Dance: Darkroom Contemporary’s Memoryhouse on stage at the Baxter, Cape Town and streaming, as part of the hybrid Kucheza Afrika Festival, April 2021

Memoryhouse- a new work by Louise Coetzer, created for Darkroom Contemporary Dance Theatre, Cape Town

About: Part of the hybrid Kucheza Afrika Festival programme Featuring: Darkroom Contemporary’s Farnel Smart and Tania Mteto Choreography and concept: Louise Coetzer Original score: Matthijs Van Dijk On stage: April 6 and 7, 2021, at the Baxter Theatre, 7.30pm. Two performances only. Tickets R80 and R120. Book at Webtickets: https://www.webtickets.co.za/v2/Event.aspx?itemid=1506028601   Streaming: The online premiere of the work is on April 24, via the SAST YouTube Channel. Tickets R30   Darkroom Contemporary website: www.darkroomcontemporary.com   Info: louise@darkroomcontemporary.com    

During the first year of lockdown [2020], in the global pandemic of Covid, Darkroom Contemporary Dance Theatre, continued to create and innovate and was able to stage work outdoors and on the digital stage. In the second year of the pandemic [2021], with lockdown regulations eased, the company is thrilled to present two performances on April 6 and 7, 2021 of Memoryhouse, at the Baxter Theatre, Cape Town, as part of the hybrid Kucheza Afrika Festival. The piece, which features two Darkroom Dancers, will also be filmed and then be streamed online on April 24. Choreography and concept of Memoryhouse, is by Darkrooom’s Louise Coetzer. Darkroom’s last stage performance [ie in a theatre], in front of an audience was in March 2020 as part of Woordfees- shortly before the pandemic shut theatre down. Info supplied:              

MEMORYHOUSE


MEMORYHOUSE  is a new work by Louise Coetzer, created for Darkroom Contemporary. The work is a physical exploration of the subconscious – seeking to connect the inner workings of memory and consciousness to the palpable realm. Memoryhouse visits these various ‘sites’ of memory, some dreamlike, others traumatic, many fractured – as if paging through layers of thought – archive – imprint – translucent pages bound by repetition. The work immerses the viewer in a dreamscape where the tension between reality and remembering collides in an infinite loop.

Memoryhouse is performed by Darkroom Contemporary’s Farnel Smart and Tania Mteto, to an original score by composer Matthijs van Dijk. The work has been developed through two separate creation processes, the first research and development phase took place in March 2019 (supported by the National Arts Council), where the concept and movement language was developed. After this, composer Matthijs Van Dijk spent time working in response to the movement material. The work was intended to premiere in April 2020 as part of the Kucheza Africa Festival in Gauteng, but the festival was postponed due to the Covid pandemic.

“The concept for Memoryhouse stems from an interest in the subconscious, the psyche, and the complex, repetitive nature of memory and remembering. While I created various digital, online and hybrid type performance projects during lockdown, I felt that Memoryhouse was always intended for live performance, and so we rather postponed the project, “says choreographer Louise Coetzer.

Coetzer adds: “While Memoryhouse hasn’t been specifically inspired by lockdown as some of my recent projects, the time that has passed has certainly influenced the approach and the final outcome of the work. Had we staged this in April 2020, it would’ve been a different work – I think the theme of memory and remembering is still relevant to this time, as we do look back to recent time when things were ‘normal’ – and in doing so, have to question how accurate that memory of normal actually is. But also, how much of our present time is being spent looking back. In making the choreography for this work, I’ve drawn on ideas around light & shade – being in the present or being stuck in the shadows of the past. This is reflected in the set design also. There is something about time passing too, even if we choose to live in the past, the present will pass us by. And while the work looks at the human subconscious, there is something also about computer memory and its repetitive, mechanical workings.”

Memoryhouse premieres as part of the hybrid Kucheza Afrika Festival, in partnership with the Baxter Theatre Centre. The project is supported by the National Lotteries Commission and the Kucheza Festival. Two live performances show on 06 & 07 April at 19h30, at the Baxter Theatre. Tickets vary between R80 and R120 and available at Webtickets: https://www.webtickets.co.za/v2/Event.aspx?itemid=1506028601


The online premiere of the work is on 24 April via the SAST YouTube Channel.

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Darkroom Contemporary’s Farnel Smart (back) and Tania Mteto (front) will perform in Memoryhouse- a new work by Louise Coetzer, created for Darkroom Contemporary Dance Theatre . The work is being staged as part of the hybrid Kucheza Afrika Festival: On stage. April 6 and 7, 2021, at the Baxter Theatre, 7.30pm. The work will be streamed on April 24, via the SAST YouTube Channel. Pic by Oscar O’Ryan.

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