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PACE+ Dramaturges 2019

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

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.

‘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.

Mike van Alfen - Facilitator (The Netherlands/Belgium)

Mike van Alfen, was born in Amsterdam. After graduating there at the Academy for Theatre and Dance, he created several devised physical theatre performances and worked as free-lance performer and co-creator in a wide variety of styles, forms and disciplines. He has worked as a guest teacher at art schools in Amsterdam, Maastricht, Tilburg, all in The Netherlands and more recently Antwerp in Belguim. In 1997 he joined Made In Da Shade, an Amsterdam based theatre group, that mixed techniques, styles, contexts and references from mainstream Euro American culture, hip hop club subcultures. Between 2007 and 2014, he was a member of the artistic team of MC, a workshop/venue in Amsterdam which focused on new storytellers from the big cities. There his activities gradually shifted to dramaturgy and he began coach, directing and facilitating new projects in The Netherlands and abroad for Creatives (both with an art education and self-taught). From 2014, he went freelance. He continues to work with independent creative mainly those with a culturally mixed background from the Caribbean, African, and Arabic diasporas. His specific focus is on projects that go beyond mainstream narratives, contexts and references, and use contemporary and hybrid art forms.

Jacob Boehme - Guest Provocateur (Australia)

Jacob Boehme is a Melbourne born and raised artist of the Narangga and Kaurna Nations, South Australia. Jacob is the founding Creative Director of YIRRAMBOI Festival, recipient of the 2018 Green Room Award for Curatorial Contribution to Contemporary and Experimental Arts. Jacob is a multi-disciplinary theatre maker and choreographer, creating work for stage, screen, large-scale public events and festivals. Jacob currently sits on the Board of Directors for Dance House and Polyglot Theatre and is a member of the International Advisory Panel for the Calouste Gulbenkian UK Enquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations and Ministry of Culture Taiwan South East Asia Advisory Panel. Alumni of the Victorian College of the Arts, (MA in Arts – Playwriting, MA in Arts – Puppetry) Jacob's critically acclaimed solo work Blood on the Dance Floor is touring nationally and internationally from 2019.

Saartije Botha – Guest Provocateur (South Africa)

Born Susara Susanna Botha in Bloemfontein, Saartjie attended the Hoër Meisieskool Oranje (Oranje Girl's High School) and began to dabble in theatre after she opened a coffee shop opposite the Stellenbosch University Drama Department. In 2001 she turned to theatre on a full-time basis. In 2002 she, Marthinus Basson and Jaco Bouwer founded the company Vleis, Rys en Aartappels to produce independent Afrikaans work. Their first production was Botha’s own Spanner (2002) and has been followed by more than 60 productions and theatre projects. As a playwright she has been both influential and prolific. Barrie Hough rated Botha as the most important voice in Afrikaans theatre since Deon Opperman and Reza de Wet. Her plays include Spanner (2002), Tip, (2003), Balle (2004), and a magnificent Afrikaans version of Long Day's Journey into Night (called Lang Dagreis na die Nag) amongst others. She has written for the journals Insig and LitNet, and has been a theatre organiser for festivals such as the KKNK and the Woordfees. Additionally, she has involved with community theatre work on the farms around Stellenbosch over the years. In 2015 she became caretaker Director of the Stellenbosch Woordfees on the retirement of Dorothea van Zyl.

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