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PARADISE (article first published : 2005-05-15)

Durban based award-winning choreographer and artistic director of Siwela Sonke Dance theatre has been working in a five-week Residency Period at the University of Cape Town's Drama Department.

Jay is well-known for his site specific dance works. Amongst these are the CityScapes series in Durban and Johannesburg, as well as large scale site specific works for the Personal Affects exhibition in New York, the Festival of Dhow Countries in Zanzibar, the International Theatre School Festival in Amsterdam, the World Social Forum in India and the Interface Theatre and Dance Festival in London.

During his Residency, Jay Pather has created the work Paradise with senior students in the UCT Drama Department. He returns to Cape Town after having won a Brett Kebble Art Award at the end of last year for his installation Kitchen at the Cape Town Convention Centre. Most recently, he was commissioned to choreograph a work for the Dance Umbrella, The beautiful ones must be born, which was performed at various sites in Constitution Hill, Johannesburg.

Paradise is described as unleashing “the most glorious, most beautiful, most comfortable of moments in a life lived. Our attempts at defining, understanding and no doubt arriving at some form of Paradise go back to the beginning of Time in all cultures. Forever out of our grasp, yet doggedly yearned for, poets and artists have often sought to conjure through metaphor, colour and image what the essence of the elusive Paradise might be.”

Provocative and thought-provoking, whimsical and portentous, Paradise will combine a range of languages: dance, text, projections, music and architecture. The dance and music are influenced by several cultures, African, European and Indian, using both evocative traditional ritual as well as street - sussed contemporary dance. The works are all site specific and make use of the evocative exteriors of the Theatre spaces and courtyards on Orange Street.

Paradise runs from May 17 to 20. Patrons are asked to meet outside The Intimate, 37 Orange Street where they will be taken to the various sight specific work. More information from Susan on 021 480 7129 or e-mail scole@hiddingh.uct.ac.za




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