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JIZAI (article first published : 1999-09-21)

One of the most interesting pieces to appear in next month’s FNB Vita Dance Shongololo running from October 21 to 24 in the Playhouse Drama will be Jizai choreographed by Mark Hawkins for the Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company. Jizai, inspired by a trip to Japan, is based on a poem titled Seasons by Toru Takemitsu using images rather than creating a new dance language. This work has a Butoh “feel” in terms of the look of the work, dealing with the concept of cycles of life and death. It is an extension of Mark Hawkins’s previous work Kenshin.

“Through Shuttle ’99, the FFFDC were incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Danish lighting designer Lars Sorensen for the Jomba! festival,” says Mark Hawkins. “In Scandinavia, designers can study for up to 10 years majoring in something like lighting design for dance! Lars was wonderful in the sense that he had a sense of humour! And he would come to rehearsals, to arrive the next day with the most fantastic ideas. To have been able to work on something so closely with a lighting designer was a fantastic experience.

In Scandinavia, choreographer and designer often collaborate in the planning stages of a project before working for about six months on the actual artistic side - all the while fine-tuning the work. Because of budget restraints Mark Hawkins and Lars had two weeks to put the work together!

“Lars was never afraid to share his incredible wealth of knowledge with anyone who asked a question or was prepared to listen,” adds Mark. He had an incredible passion for what he does and would never say something was impossible or couldn’t be done - something which a lot of people in this country need to learn!”


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