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PERFORMING ARTS NETWORK (article first published : 2001-07-23)

What started as an informal discussion in March among a group of individuals concerned with the state of the performing arts in the country, culminated in June in the successful launches of the Performing Arts Network (PANSA) in the country’s three major centres.

The main aim of PANSA is to provide a national forum and organisational base for performing arts practitioners, creative artists working within the performing arts field (writers, composers, choreographers, directors, etc), technical and stage workers, designers, administrators, educators, organisations, institutions and service providers.

Following a similar format, each launch started with panel discussion on the topic Our vision for the future of the performing arts followed by the adoption of a resolution to establish a regional chapter of PANSA, and the election of a steering committee to co-ordinate the work of PANSA in the region.

Jay Pather (dance educator and artistic director of Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre) chaired the launch of the KZN chapter of PANSA attended by about 50 people at the Centre for Documentation on June 23. Jerry Pooe (director: Eager Artists), and Mark Hawkins (artistic director Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company), were panellists and the meeting generated much constructive discussion and many concrete suggestions.

A KZN steering committee was appointed which comprises chairperson Jerry Pooe; deputy chairperson Illa Thompson (Publicity Matters) with Boyzie Cekwana (choreographer/dancer), Nicky du Plessis (arts administrator), Mark Hawkins, Sifiso Ndima (playwright and director), Jay Pather and Peter Taylor (administrator Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company).

A national programme of activities will be determined when all regional steering committees meet in August, with some provinces taking up projects relevant to them and others driving national projects.

Monthly newsletters will be distributed to PANSA members and other parties via e-mail, fax and post. If you wish to receive newsletters contact PO Box 30547, Mayville, 4058, or phone/fax (031) 261-5518. e-mail: pubmatters@iafrica.com or visit www.artslink.co.za/pansa




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