Darkroom Contemporary New Works Project Giving Back

Darkroom Contemporary is launching a new interdisciplinary performance project – NEW WORKS. It’s a vibrant, contemporary programme that merges sound, motion and technology in a series of innovative representations of new dance.

This developmental project is made up of informal performances, educational workshops, and forum discussions in Cape Town early in 2019. It is made possible by a grant from the National Arts Council, with support from the DCAS and the NLC.

NEW WORKS will showcase Darkroom Contemporary’s work as unique, contemporary dance theatre offerings featuring dance artists of the highest artistic merit and staged in ways, which are simultaneously current, relevant, and choreographed by Louise Coetzer.

“Darkroom Contemporary Dance Theatre exists as a vehicle to reimagine dance as an art form within the current contemporary society. With innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration at its core, the company produces works which delight, excite, engage and inspire”, explains Coetzer.

PHASE 1 : November 2018 – April 2019 This first leg of the project, included a research and development process towards creating a new dance work for the programme. This development phase also included a redevelopment of a previous work CLONE created in 2018. A unique and multi-faceted dance piece that was staged, using neoclassical and contemporary dance movement languages, dramatic stage design and innovative approach to the direction of the work. CLONE was originally created in February 2018 with support from DCAS, and was staged in Johannesburg at William Kentridge’s Centre for the Less Good Idea before its performance run in Cape Town.

NEW WORKS Project will see the Darkroom Contemporary company facilitating a repertoire and movement composition workshops. The company will host workshops with Dance For All, Jazzart Dance Theatre, UCT and Indoni Dance Theatre.

Darkroom Contemporary’s previously successful and popular STUDIO SESSIONS classes continue every Friday for the duration of the project. Free, open contemporary classes are offered at UCT as training and experiential learning opportunity to the Cape Town dance community.

The company rehearsals and classes are also open to the public and Darkroom Contemporary

members at request. Here audiences can have a behind the scenes look at the movement creation process and the development of project new works. Two young graduate dancers will have an opportunity to work closely in a professional environment with our dance company during the short 2 week intensive research and development process.

The first leg of the project will culminate in an informal schools performance showcase in March 2019, the learners who participated in the youth workshops will be invited to see and experience the performances of the professional dancers. The three professional dancers and two trainee dancers contracted for this leg of the project will present the new work developed as a work in progress.

During this phase, extensive monitoring and evaluating will also be implemented in assessing the project impact. All research and development and workshop activities will be extensively documented.

NEW WORKS brings together the mediums of dance and experimental or electronic music to showcase work that is new and innovative, while maintaining the high artistic and technical standards of the company. This performance project is built around a model of collaboration and partnerships, allowing for greater sustainability and expansion opportunities and a greater audience reach.

The schools performance will take place at Dance For All in Athlone on Saturday 23 March, 12pm. The performance is followed by a Q&A session with the artists, where young people can learn more about the process of making the performance and the working dance environment.

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