Body Politics Festival | And So You See... / ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTRE
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And So You See...

Robyn Orlin

Body Politics


29-30 OCT 2018
19:30

The performance is in English
 
Upper Stage
Duration: 60 minutes
The art of the South African choreographer Robyn Orlin is a loaded machine gun. Always political, but never without humour, irony, inventiveness, and profound, transformative power. Together, the choreographer and the work’s ideal performer, Albert Khoza, will lure us into a unique “one man show” about racism and freedom.
Onassis Stegi Friends presale: from 2 OCT 2018, 12:00
General presale: from 9 OCT 2018, 12:00

Full price: 7 €
Reduced, Friend & Groups 5-9 people: 6 €
Groups 10+ people, People with disabilities - Companions & Unemployed: 5 €

Group ticket reservations at groupsales@sgt.gr
Robyn Orlin always finds a way to talk about the things no one talks about in South Africa. And while her country was once silent in the face of Apartheid, it is now celebrating its first quarter century of democracy, so what does that tell us about racism and homophobia? How does someone claim a gender identity in South Africa today? And is there real freedom? In her writings, the choreographer argues that there isn't. She advocates her country claiming a truly African identity that would be simultaneously male and female, Christian and pagan, local and global, without the one betraying the other.
 
Albert Silindokuhle Ibokwe Khoza, her young performer, is all that and more. An incredible performer whose powers of transformation are infinite, since he is already everything: both a man and woman and gay, too, a dancer and an actor and a singer, as well, Christian and a "sangoma" (a traditional healer) but also a citizen of the world. This being with the body beyond all norms, who embodies an elusively different Africa, performs his solo on the seven deadly sins with his back to the audience, facing the huge image of himself projected onto the screen in front of him.
 
And if every performance presents us with a mirror in which we can see ourselves, this performance does it literally, since the camera never stops filming Albert, projecting him in constant close-up, but the audience, too, which often sees its own image on the big screen. Which is where it encounters that massive body, that scary, wonderful, sad, happy, tormented, Kafkaesque creature—a Nubian Queen, a Peacock of the Nile, an African warrior—and faces up to it. Will that body find a way to exist in a world that refuses to accept it? And don't let the music fool you: Mozart’s "Requiem" was never quite as happy, as danceable, as ' African', as it is in this show.

credits

A proposal by Robyn Orlin
Dancer: Albert Silindokuhle Ibokwe Khoza
Costumes: Marianne Fassler
Lights: Laïs Foulc
Stage manager: Thabo Pule
Administration and production: Damien Valette
Assistance and coordination: Margot Lahalle
Production: City Theater & Dance Group, Damien Valette Prod.
 
Thanks to: Philippe Lainé for the use of images and Léopard Frock’s team

Co-production: City Theater & Dance Group, Festival Montpellier Danse 2016, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Kinneksbond, Centre Culturel Mamer, Luxembourg, Centre Dramatique National de Haute-Normandie, La Ferme du Buisson, Scène Nationale de Marne-la- Vallée
With the support of: Arcadi Ile-de-France

PARALLEL EVENT
Monday 26 October
After performance talk with the choreographers of "To Rest on a Slope", "And So You See..." and "Quartiers Libres". The talk will take place after the end of "To Rest on a Slope".
Moderated by Elpida Rikou, PhD, anthropologist, visual artist

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Robyn Orlin writes in her notes for the show: “Even though the South African Constitution talks about gender equality, I am left with questions around homophobia and corrective rape, which happen within our culture and in most of Africa.

At the beginning of our democracy everything seemed possible, as a nation and as individuals. But is the individual really free in South Africa today? Can we be free of the harness of conservative expectations of a narrow view of ‘African identity’? All searches for boundaries, whether to reach them or cross them, in terms of gender and race and intellectual pursuits are viewed as provocative and dissident by the conservative mainstream. Why can't you be gay and traditional? (...) Why must these contradictions be seen as betrayals rather than an opportunity to discover something new?”.
 
After a long period of time in which he taught himself, Albert Ibokwe Khoza studied Theatre, Music and Dance at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He has worked with a number of South Africans directors including Gys De Vilious, Warona Seane, Kabi Thulo, Tsepo Wamamatu, Gerard Bester and Tarryn Lee. His solo Influences of a Closet Chant toured European theatres.
 
In addition to the many distinctions and awards she has received, in 2009 Robyn Orlin was awarded a knighthood in the French National Order of Merit by the French state for her contributions to the arts and to culture.
 
Robyn Orlin has been choreographing since 1993, and became famous for her works—which usually have surreal long titles—which bring to the surface the difficult and complex conditions of the South African political reality. She has never been afraid of being provocative, even when there could be repercussions in her homeland.
 
Born in Johannesburg in 1955, she studied Dance at the London School of Contemporary Dance (1975–1980) and later at the Chicago School of Fine Arts (1990–1993) on a Fulbright Foundation scholarship. Since her return to South Africa, she has never stopped choreographing performances which have used a wide range of media (text, video, artistic interventions) to explore a unique and completely personal language of dance and theatre that reveals the properties of South Africa’s diverse artistic communities.
 
She has collaborated with artists and ensembles covering every manifestation of the performing arts, from pop groups to traditional music troupes, and classical dancers to breakdance and hip hop groups. Commissioned to create choreographies for Europe’s most important arts institutions as well as for major dance ensembles, she has won multiple awards both in South Africa and internationally.
 
Some of her best-known works include: "Daddy, I've seen this piece six times before and I still do not know why they're hurting each other" (1999), "When I take off My Skin ..." (2005), "Have you hugged, kissed and respected your brown Venus today?" (2011), "Beauty remained for just a moment then returned gently to her starting position..." (2012), "At the same time we were pointing a finger at you, we realized we were pointing three at ourselves..." (2014).