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DAIMLERCHRYSLER AWARD (article first published : 2002-07-28)

The nominations for the DaimlerChrysler Award for South African Choreography 2003 have been announced. The selection panel, chaired by dance guru Adrienne Sichel, is comprised of highly respected and experienced artists with a strong feeling for the changing face of South African dance and choreography. The panel included Vicki Karras, Christopher Kindo, Linda Peyters, Esther Nasser, Juanita Finestone, Mark Hawkins and Ellington Mazibuko.

Among the eight nominees is Durban’s David Gouldie, choreographer in resident of the Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company. Born in Springs, he matriculated at the Art, Ballet, Music, and Drama School in 1989. He joined NAPAC Dance Company in 1990 and it was during this time that he choreographed his first works. These include: Crash Test Dummies; I'm far too middle class for therapy; the last time i checked i thought i loved you; Nothing but grey and Bounce Back.

Leaving NAPAC Dance Company in 1993 to freelance, he has had the privilege of working with many companies and educational institutions including Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre, Flatfoot Dance Company, Forgotten Angle Dance Company, State Theatre Dance Company, The University of Natal Drama Department and The Pretoria Technikon.

He has also been involved in various educationally based projects such as Reachout Youth Dance Performance Project, Kopano, BP Musicactive Performance Project and Cato Manor Vibe. In 1998 he joined Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company as Resident Choreographer for which he has choreographed I looked behind and he was drowning; When the shadows of your past have finally faded; Chasing Tales (children's educational show), risk free popular culture part 1 and 2; unfinished{r}evolution; Four Plus One, Gaudette, tri and FINTASTIC which incorporated live music and various dance styles.

He was a finalist in the 1999 National Choreographic Competition where he choreographed a work on the State Theatre Dance Company. As well as choreographing for FFFDC, he teaches company class, takes rehearsals and is actively involved with schools educational performances and classes. In 1997 he was awarded an FNB Vita commission to create a new work and in 1998 he was nominated for an FNB Vita Award for best contemporary work at the FNB Vita Dance Umbrella (Johannesburg) and at the FNB Vita Dance Shongololo (Durban). He was awarded the 2001 FNB Vita Award along with Mark Hawkins for the best presentation of an original contemporary work for Romeo and Juliet.

Also included in the nominees are Boyzie Cekwana who has also done a major amount of work for FFFDC and whose piece The Suit forms part of the company’s season soon to run at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town (see separate story)

The other nominees are David Matamela, Sbo Ndaba, PJ Sabbaggha, Acty Tang and Gregory Vuyani Macoma.

The DaimlerChrysler Award, conceptualised and supported by Jürgen Schrempp, chairman of DaimlerChrysler AG, was introduced in 1999 to promote South African artists and to bring them back into the international art arena after decades of forced isolation as a result of apartheid. The idea behind the initiative is to improve the image of South African culture, both at home and abroad, strengthen its profile and, in this way ensure that the international community takes greater notice of the high standard of South African art.

Unlike the previous three DaimlerChrysler Awards, South African Choreography 2003 falls under the sole custodianship of DaimlerChrysler South Africa and as such has been broadened to be responsive to the specific needs, conditions, changes and potentials of the South African arts and culture sector. The most important amendment to date has been the appointment of a separate selection and jury panel, the latter of which will convene at the Dance Factory in Johannesburg for a public two-day adjudication process before the winner is announced on November 8.




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