Dance Umbrella is well known as a platform for contemporary dance and it goes further to promote this art form with its robust audience development. Nurturing and educating audiences is an essential component in boosting the awareness and appreciation of contemporary dance in South Africa. This is primarily achieved through quality writing or analysis of works in the mainstream press, enabling audiences to better grasp the value of the dance works and helping dancers to develop their craft through critical feedback.
It is for this reason that Dance Umbrella 2012, in partnership with the Goethe Institut, is once again holding an intensive three-day Dance Writing Workshop. The workshop is designed to encourage new or existing arts writers to turn their attention to contemporary dance and give them the tools to confidently critique and engage with it in the mainstream mass media.
The inaugural dance writers’ workshop took place at Dance Umbrella 2010 and was facilitated by the veteran, award-winning arts journalist Adrienne Sichel.
The 2012 Dance Umbrella dance writers workshop will take place on 9, 10 and 13 February and will be facilitated by Mary Corrigall, senior feature writer and arts critic at The Sunday Independent.
Corrigall, a respected critic and founder and head of the South African Arts Writers and Critics Association (SAAWCA) has received recognition for her work - in 2007 she won the CNN African Journalism award; in 2009 she received the prestigious Thomas Pringle Award for Reviews, and also the Lorenzo Natali Award for Journalism, awarded by the European Commission.
Workshop participants will be given an introduction to theories informing this expression, which will be augmented by mediated discussions with a variety of leading figures in the local dance world, as well as an in-depth analysis of their artistic trajectories. An introduction to performance art will also be included so as to make participants aware of the porous relationship between the visual arts and dance and the conceptualist thrust that defines much contemporary dance work.
Putting their newly acquired skills into practice during the 2012 Dance Umbrella, participants will be expected to write reviews of various productions, which may be published in the Mail & Guardian, or for the publications they work for, if they are already members of the press.
Selected participants include Percy Mabandu, Kulani Nkuna, Leigh-Ann Hunter, Murray Kruger, Genna Gardini and Mpho Matheolane.
Aside from the dance writers workshop, Dance Umbrella 2011 will also present a jam-packed programme with new and exciting works from local choreographers of the ilk of Alfred Hinkel, Jay Pather, Mark Hawkins, Moya Michael, Robyn Orlin, Vincent Mantsoe and Athena Mazarakis (Johannesburg), in collaboration with Hansel Nezza (Barcelona/Berlin), Stepping Stones, celebrating the wide diversity of South African dance; the Young Choreographers workshop programme and the popular Face to Face discussions with Adrienne Sichel and selected choreographers.
Tickets for Dance Umbrella 2012 can be booked at Computicket. Prices range from R30 to R100. Concessions/block bookings and subscription tickets are available.
Please contact 011 492 0709 / 2033 for further information or email
. Visit www.artslink.co.za/arts / www.danceumbrella.co.za