Curated Showcase

Georgina Thomson, Director Dance Forum South Africa & Curator Dance Programme Vrystaat Arts Festival

  • 29 August
    15:30 – 17:30
  • Balletthaus der Deutschen Oper am Rhein | Studio 1
  • Wheelchair Access Impaired mobility
  • Duration: 120min

Curated Showcase South Africa

Curated by: Georgina Thomson, Director Dance Forum South Africa & Curator Dance Programme Vrystaat Arts Festival

Contemporary dance in South Africa has always been one step-ahead when it comes to challenging important issues on both the local and the international front. Already in the 1970s, contemporary dance practitioners challenged the political system that prevailed, with teachers and choreographers going into areas that were considered no go and connecting with young black dancers. This evolved over the years ensuring that when the 1st contemporary dance platform, Dance Umbrella South Africa, was launched in 1989, the representation of the dance community was as it is today: diverse, challenging and representative of the majority of the people in this country.

The programme that has been curated for Tanzmesse 2020 gives a small reflection of the contemporary dance scene in South Africa. The selected artists include established as well as young artists which reflects the unique new dance language prevailing in South Africa. The South African contemporary dance sector has been celebrated both locally and internationally with some artists regularly touring Europe and the USA.

The companies are from various regions in South Africa and some resident in Europe. What they all share is a transcendent language and understanding of the history and culture that South Africa reflects. It is this that makes the work from South African choreographers unique as it is touched by a time of suppression and today with a time of finding their way in a new world.

The wide diversity of South African people is also reflected in the programme which embraces traditional African roots, the fringed community in townships that still exists today and dance connected to online collaboration and film, amongst others. The sophistication of dance and film and the simplicity of live dance with traditional musical instruments will make up the interesting discovery we offer.

I have been honoured to assist with the curation of the South African platform.

Georgina Thomson

David April Arts Consultancy


Choreography: Xolisile Bongwana & David April

The work is based on discussions held between Xolisile Bongwana and David April who were keen to explore their cultural roots. The piece has subsequently evolved into Bongwana delving into his personal journey.


Association Noa Cie Vincent Mantsoe


Choreography: Vincent Mantsoe

SoliiDad is an abstract journey to oblivion. It is a deeply personal journey into the very nature of being. Taking the impulse from Lao Tzu’s comment that, “a good traveller has no fixed plan, and is not intent on arriving”. Vincent Mantsoe’s exquisite solo is a journey into, and survival of, loneliness.


Phuti Pedi Production


Choreography: Teresa Phuti Mojela

Combining movement, sound and text, Teresa Phuti Mojela delves into the cosmos of memory, dreams and nightmares. She draws her inspiration from her own experiences as a performer and a woman: from childhood to adulthood, a rite of passage and life’s complexities, difficulties, rejections and tragedies.





Choreography: Kristi-Leigh Jean Gresse

We are the results of a collective generational history that can bring us either advantages or disadvantages. We carry this history in our genetic coding, it is inscribed in us. In this production, ArtSource031 questions the life experiences of its ancestors and the interweaving of people with each other and with history. With this project they penetrate deep into the heart of the trauma that we as human beings carry in our own experiences as well as in the experiences of those who came before us.




Moving Into Dance


Choreography: Oscar Buthelezi

Road. It is the journey that leads us to this destination, accentuating the experiences of life, through learning from this road travelled. As we explore the journeys we take as human beings, the meeting points we share, the experience we come across and the unity amongst men when challenges plague their paths.



Zenzie Burnham Creative Arts Company


Choreography: Julia Zenzie Burnham

Noted is a work that investigates the influence and instigation from one generation of women to the next: cultural, religious, traditional teachings. This may lead to abuse and forced lives as well as the exploration of unspoken issues throughout different races and different paths of life. What do we teach each other? The production is performed by two female dancers and consists of projection work that accompanies the work and sound from different nations that take us through different mantra sounds.

Funders, Supporters, Co-Producers: The Market Theatre