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Thursday, August 30, 2018


(Adrienne Sichel. Pic by Val Adamson)

Book by Adrienne Sichel to be launched at JOMBA! 2018 Festival.

Body Politics: Fingerprinting South African Contemporary Dance is a blend of award-winning, veteran dance writer Adrienne Sichel’s journalistic writing and experience combined with a vast collection of research material on the evolution of contemporary dance in South Africa. This finger printing exercise connects some of the dots of how a very valuable, even unique, heritage, has taken shape.

In Body Politics: Fingerprinting South African Contemporary Dance, Sichel presents some of the markers in the timeline and sketches the eras and genres which make up this art form in South Africa and on the African continent. This book is the only existing blueprint of contemporary dance in South Africa and will undoubtedly be a seminal teaching guide in performance studies.

Embedded in the statistics and histories lie a ganglia of complex narratives and aesthetic alchemies inextricably connected to, and emerging from, a still fractured society in constant transition. Body Politics: Fingerprinting South African Contemporary Dance is a concerted attempt to map this artistic terrain in a socio-political context. Whilst being acutely aware of the gaps, Sichel’s outline of this creative cartography aims to be as comprehensive as possible in framing, tracing and tracking a remarkable, intrinsic component of our cultural ethos.

Body Politics: Fingerprinting South African Contemporary Dance covers roughly 75 years of South Africa’s contemporary dance history up until November 2014 when the book was completed. Key features of this book include: The birth of Afro-fusion; cultural activism during Apartheid; subversive story tellers; the birth of South African dance theatre; what is African contemporary dance? and what is the role of the dance writer?

Featured in this one of a kind book are artists, companies and festivals which include early pioneers and contemporary players such as: Sylvia Glassier, Tossie van Tonder, Carly Dibakoane, Robyn Orlin, Alfred Hinkel, Jay Pather, Debbie Rakusin, Jackie Mbuyiselwa Semela,  Jayespri Moopen, Boyzie Ntsikelelo Cekwana, Vincent Sekwati Koko Mantsoe, Gregory Maqoma, Lliane Loots, Nelisiwe Xaba, PJ Sabbagha, Dada Masilo, Mamela Nyamza, Fana Tshabalala, Jazzart Dance Theatre, Moving into Dance Mophatong, The First Physical Theatre Company, The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative,  Flatfoot Dance Company, Via Kathlehong Pantsulas, Dance Umbrella, Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience and The Baxter Dance Festival.

There are only 400 copies of Body Politics: Fingerprinting South African Contemporary Dance available for purchase. Pre-sales are essential in securing a copy. This teaching treasure trove is also a collector’s item boasting 40 gorgeous and powerful historical dance images captured by the prolific John Hogg.

The 400 high quality, artfully printed books are numbered and signed by the author. This is the only book of its kind ever produced on contemporary dance in South Africa and is proudly self-published through The Ar(t)chive by Porcupine Press in Johannesburg.

Body politics: Fingerprinting South African Contemporary Dance is selling at R380 per copy. To pre-order a copy, EFT as follows:
Account Name: The Ar(t)chive NPC
Account Number: 62725254651
Bank: First National Bank
Account Type: Business
Branch: Northcliff
Branch Number: 253705
International Payments Swift Code: FIRNZAJJ
(Please use your Name and Surname/ Company/ Institution Name as reference)

Shipping and collection:
1) Collection at The Ar(t)chive office by appointment.
2) Local and National Delivery Postnet to Postnet charges apply (R99 excl packaging) up to 5kg.
3) International and national to door courier costs not covered in the book price but can be arranged by The Ar(t)chive.

Contact Jessica Denyschen  for queries and collection/delivery arrangements: