Transaction Being Processed Kalipile Gaxamba and granddaughters 400x300 Transaction Being Processed

Kalipile Gaxamba with his granddaughters Vuyisa and Lungisa in New Brighton last July.

Transaction Being Processed:

Metaphor, Identity, and Change in South Africa

by Eryn Rosenthal, in collaboration with Xolani Rani and other South African artists tba

Identity post-apartheid, and our relationship to boundaries, limits, and new roles
In 1998-99, the last year of Nelson Mandela’s presidency and the year between the close of the Truth Commission (TRC) and the second all-democratic elections in South Africa, I had the privilege to interview over 80 artists, activists, psychologists, farmers, neighbors, and “ordinary people” throughout the country around questions of identity, metaphor, and freedom. I have continued and deepened this research on identity and change in post-apartheid South Africa, and will soon re-interview 10-15 people of those I originally interviewed and became friends with during my previous fellowship research; I have already re-interviewed previous and new interviewees during a recent research trip in July. Selections from these new interviews, along with excerpts from the original group, will then form the sound score of an evening-length dance theater work on identity post-apartheid, and our relationship to boundaries, limits, and new roles.

Interview-based performance experiments
In the second phase of the project, I will begin experimenting with different methods of bringing each interview to the stage in a series of smaller-scale pieces created in collaboration with South African artists and activists.  In the third phase of the project I will play with ways of juxtaposing these different interview-based pieces in dialogue with each other to form the complete work to premiere in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2015.  The research will also culminate in a book of interviews and essays.

Dance and Democracy Workshops in Contact Improvisation
In addition, I will continue to conduct workshops in several South African townships and dance centers in Contact Improvisation, a partnering dance form that plays with the sharing of weight and investigates democracy, listening, roles, and habits.  (Please see Dance and Democracy workshop description in the Teaching section for more information.)  I will also continue to meet with other musicians, artists, and performers and develop relationships with potential artistic collaborators for the project.

Project currently in creation

Fellowship research in 1998-99 supported by a President’s Grant from the Open Society Institute and the Henry Hart Rice Foreign Residence Fellowship of Yale University.

© Eryn Rosenthal, 2010-11.  All Rights Reserved.

Transaction Being Processed | 2011 | Projects | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,