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My Body My Space: brand new dance and flash mob festival for Ekurhuleni

2 - 7 February 2015

MyBodyMySpace Banner

My Body My Space is a new festival of public arts happenings and co-ordinated by The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative (FATC).

It is a festival designed to contribute to key issues such as social cohesion and nation building. It celebrates 20 years of democracy as it explores issues relating to gender violence and the impact of HIV/Aids; and aims to re-stitch communities and spaces that have previously been separated, to shine a light on the role of women, children and other vulnerable members of society and find a shared voice and experience around critical, personal and social issues.

The festival will play out as a series of ‘guerrilla style’ art interventions, installations and live public performances, erupting on the streets and pavements of the City of Ekurhuleni, in hubs of city life, under-served communities and at the intersection of its diverse citizenry. 

Since antiquity, philosophers and architects have imagined cities as bodies, with arteries and veins through which pedestrians and traffic stream; My Body My Space seeks to make the connection between the individual and the city patent. With the City as a metaphor for the human body FATC envisages the festival and events unfolding along the city’s numerous critical routes and arteries, which serve as major transport routes but are also significant in their linking of historically, politically, socially and economically separated communities.

The installation of My Body My Space will take place during 2015 as follows:

• “Central Nervous System”: FATC will build a programme of public arts events and performances at Wattville’s OR Tambo Memorial Cultural precinct on February 7,11h00-18h00. The programme comprises dance, music, cultural and performance art, as well as a craft market, creating a rich experience that activates every corner of the cultural precinct. The audience will travel with the programme on foot. They will be guided through an array of happenings, performances and installations placed at strategic points in the route.

• In “Arteries”, FATC and collaborating artists will build guerrilla style events and performed interventions along Ekurhuleni’s major arteries and transport routes, on February 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, at sites including taxi ranks, markets, parks and other public spaces in Katlehong, Thokoza, Wattville, Benoni, Daveyton and Springs, through provocative public art happenings, the festival will contribute to the activation of these arteries.

“As we celebrate 20 years of democracy and political freedom the festival is a call to artists, public and private sector and the citizens of Ekurhuleni to actively engage in a process of personal and social transformation and healing in addressing critical issues that are our current stumbling blocks to true emancipation,” says PJ Sabbagha, the mastermind behind the event.

MMC for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (Ekurhuleni) Zeni Tshongweni says, “The City wholeheartedly supports the My Body My Space initiative. It will turn the city around and open up its citizens to the magic of dance.”

My Body My Space aims to be an annual event. Attendance will be free of charge. FATC believes that this festival, in moving arts and performance events out of traditional spaces and into the public domain will position Ekurhuleni as a vibrant and responsible contributor to arts and culture, which will reignite and uplift the public space of the city.

My Body My Space has been made possible with the generous assistance and support of the Department of Arts and Culture: Mzansi Golden Economy; the Ekurhuleni Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture; the Gauteng Provincial Department of Sports, Arts, Recreation and Culture, as well as Splitbeam, UJ Arts and Culture, the French Institute of South Africa, and Rand Merchant Bank. Arts sector partners include Sibikwa, Moving Into Dance Mophatong. Vuyani Dance Theatre, Lucky Dance Theatre, Via Katlehong, FATC and BUZ Publicity.

The performances on February 7 at the OR Tambo precinct in Wattville, that make up the Central Nervous System programme will feature collaborations from the Sibikwa orchestra, Sibikwa Dance Company, FATC, Moving into Dance, Lucky Dance Theatre, Via Katlehong, and Vuyani Dance Theatre, with works created by Oscar Buthulezi, Muzi Shile, Sonia Radebe, Fana Tshabalala, Shawn Mathupi, Thoko Sibiya, Thapelo Thokolo, Tsego Kutsoane, Nadine Joseph, Kieron Jina, Nicholas Aphane, Thabo Kobeli and Thulani Chauke as well as youth and cultural groups from Katlehong, Wattville and Etwatwa amongst others.

The guerilla interventions/flash mobs, that make up the arteries programme will last approximately 30 minutes. They will take place as follows: On February 2 at 14h00 in Khumalo Street, Thokoza; on February 3 at 14h00 in Natalspruit Street, corner of Kgotso Street in Katlehong. There will be further flash mobs during the My Body My Space season at the taxi rank in Daveyton on Esselen Road, at the taxi rank in Benoni on Voortrekker Road and in Dube Street in Wattville opposite the schools.

 

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