PACE+ held in July at the Vrystaat Art Festival is a unique platform held in the interim years between the Pan-African Creative Exchange (PACE), to help artists reflect on and further develop their work showcased at PACE. In 2019 we hosted the first PACE+ Dramaturgical Laboratory led by Dr ‘Funmi Adewole. The PACE 2018 alumni were invited to participate in this inaugural lab. PACE+ provides talented and diverse artists with the opportunity to present innovative new work to arts professionals on a rare platform for global art professionals to see high-quality work by African artists.
PACE+ Lab Artists
Ese Brume is a French/Nigerian performing artist and cultural promoter navigating between Paris and Lagos with a passion for the Arts. From literature to poetry, cinema to theatre, dance to music; these varied fields of the Arts have repeatedly merged, collided in her career as she has collaborated with theatre directors, choreographers, artists, filmmakers in her over twenty years’ experience. She began on the contemporary Parisian theatre scene, moved on to the European scene and is now in Lagos, Africa where she is fully based. Over the past two years, she has been focusing on creating her own works and has successfully staged her powerful play My Nina Simone Trip. She performed an extract of My Nina Simone Trip at the inaugural edition of the Pan-African Creative Exchange in 2018. She is currently working on a docu-fiction around and inspired from her discovery of the genius of an artist/designer, philosopher, editor, theatre performer, Demas Nwoko.
PACE+ Dramaturgy Lab
The PACE+ Dramaturgy lab (24-29 June 2019) is a transdisciplinary space for professional performing artists. This year the lab will be exploring the concept of the ‘performer-spectator relationship’; what thinking through this concept can do for our making, performing, planning and promotions.
Western models and static ideas of African performance are insufficient for evaluating the expanding landscape of African performing arts. Since the critical discourse and theories on African performance made for ticket buying or curated audiences is limited, the work of contemporary performers runs the risk of being misunderstood by audiences both at home and abroad and being stifled before it can reach its full potential.
The artists will come to the lab with a personal goal and leave with a plan on how to achieve it. The goal will be related to work that they presented at PACE 2018. The lab will consist of short talks, facilitated discussions, cross-art workshops, creative tasks, composing, making, giving and receiving feedback, planning, presenting and moments of self and group reflection.
The dramaturges’ role will be to serve as facilitators as the artists interrogate their artistic profile, artistic processes, their position in the arts world and what they will do with their project at hand.
Last year's PIAD Forum was in partnership with PACE+ 2019.
Heritage and the Digital: Trans- and interdisciplinary performance from the Continent
PIAD is proud to present Dr 'Funmi Adewole as the PIAD and PACE+ keynote speaker for 2019. ‘Funmi is an academic researcher and professional practitioner. She lectures at De Montfort University, Leicester in England. Her research and practice are in the areas of dance and contemporary African performance, exploring issues of postcolonialism, modernity and interculturalism.
‘The complexity of African performance is difficult, layered, daunting, exciting and rich. The production of performances from Africa far outstrips the discourse, historical documentation or critical thinking about it which constitutes a challenge for practitioners in Africa who are in dialogue with global audiences. I would argue that complexity is not a problem. It is what it is. It is what and how we communicate from our complexity that matters. The digital space is a site to examine this complexity.' - 'Funmi Adewole
‘Funmi Adewole - Coordinating Facilitator (UK/Nigeria)
‘Funmi Adewole has a background in media, education, arts development and performance. She started out as a media practitioner in Nigeria and moved into performance on relocating to England in 1994. For several years she toured with Physical/Visual theatre and African dance drama companies. Her credits include performances with Ritual Arts, Horse and Bamboo Mask and Puppetry Company, Artistes-in-Exile, Adzido Pan-African Dance Ensemble, Mushango African dance and Music Company and the Chomondeleys contemporary dance company. She continues to perform as a storyteller. She was Chair of Association of Dance of the African Diaspora in Britain (ADAD) from 2005 to 2007. In this role she initiated and directed the ADAD Heritage project, which contributed to the documentation of black-led dance companies and choreographers in England between the 1930s and 1990s. As a dramaturge she works mainly with makers who are interdisciplinary or cross-sectorial in focus. Her research interests include storytelling as performance, choreography and Africanist dance aesthetics; histories of Black dance artists in Britain, and Dance as part of the cultural/creative industries. She recently completed a PhD in Dance Studies at De Montfort University Leicester and is now a VC2020 lecturer in the Dance Department at the same university.