Jazzart Dance Theatre is a leading South African contemporary dance company .
Jazzart Dance Studio
Originally founded in 1975 by Sonje Mayo and called the Jazzart Dance Studio, it had its first home in Longmarket Street, Cape Town, and was intended to provide dance training for underpivileged children. It later moved to Jameson Street in the Bo-Kaap.
Jazzart Contemporary Dance Company
In 1978 Sue Parker took over and formed the Contemporary Dance Company as part of it, to offer classes in contemporary dance. Val Steyn continued this work, renaming the institution the Jazzart Contemporary Dance Company.
Jazzart Dance Theatre
In 1986 Alfred Hinkel took over the reins and once more renamed it the Jazzart Dance Theatre. It now became a prominent performing company, creating audacious and challenging new theatrical work aimed at changing society.
In 1992 Jazzart became part of the contemporary dance wing of Artscape, being heavily involved in educational outreach.
Philosophy and impact
Jazzart Dance Theatre is acknowledged as South Africa's leading contemporary dance/theatre performing company with an enormous creative and critical output. Its roots and philosophy are located in the widest range of cultural experiences available within the Western Cape primarily, and South Africa generally. It is acknowledged as a vibrant and deeply socially and community committed cultural organization. Jazzart has ensured that strong technique has been matched by a uniquely South African philosophy of dance.
Their first major project was Abamayani (1986), followed by **, ** and Bolero (1990)**. It however still produced other work, including Medea (Choreographed by Alfred Hinkle, directed by Mark Fleishman in association with Magnet Theatre, 1994), The Sun, the Moon and the Knife (Choreographed by Alfred Hinkle, directed by Mark Fleishman in association with Magnet Theatre, 1995), Beyond the Borders (in association with the Cape Town City Ballet, 19**), Junction (1996), Umoya Womzanzi ("Breath of the South", 19*), Moya Wa Sechaba ("Spirit of the Nation", 19*), Cold Waters, Thirsty Souls (19*), ***, Rain in a Dead Man's Footprints (with Magnet Theatre, 200*), Light Beyond the Door (Spier Amphitheatre, 2003), Gatherings (Artscape Theatre, 2008).
Return to The ESAT Entries
Return to Main Page