national Arts Festival Banner

Monday, September 3, 2018


(Adrienne Sichel. Pic by Val Adamson)

The Ar(t)chive, South Africa’s award-winning theatre dance and physical performance archive, launches a ground-breaking new publication: Body Politics: Fingerprinting South African Contemporary Dance by pioneering veteran dance writer Adrienne Sichel at this year’s 20th JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience in Durban on September 4, and at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg on September 29.

Sichel has over the past 40 years, painstakingly documented in her journalistic writing, and critiques the changing landscape of contemporary dance in South Africa pre and post democracy. Her contribution to the dance industry has earned her the respect of both the national and international dance community.

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

Featured in this one-of-a-kind book are artists, companies and festivals which include early pioneers and contemporary players such as: Sylvia Glasser, 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, Jeannette Ginslov, 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 Katlehong Pantsulas, Dance Umbrella, JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience and The Baxter Dance Festival.

Body Politics: Fingerprinting South African Contemporary Dance was originally edited by Tammy Ballantyne and Clare Craighead.

The Ar(t)chive in partnership with the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience (KZN) and The Market Theatre (JHB), respectively, presents two launch events for the book.

The regional launch takes place at JOMBA! on September 4 at 17h30 in the foyer of The Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre (University of KwaZulu-Natal), and is a free event.

The National Launch takes place at The Market Theatre in Johannesburg on September 29 at 15h30 for 16h00. This is also a free event. Space is limited and booking is essential by September 14 to

Books will be on sale at both events and cost R400.

The publication was made possible through the generous support of Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), RMB, Porcupine Press and Ian Hamilton.

JOMBA! runs until September 9 at various venues in Durban. For more information, like on Facebook (JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience) and follow on Twitter (Twitter@Jomba_dance).