The PACE+ Dramaturgical lab

by - October 05, 2019



"Break a leg!" they tell you.

This is the phrase you usually hear when you take to the stage so it is right to assume the same for a group of Barbadians who went to Bloemfontein South Africa where they took part in the PACE+ Dramaturgical Lab and the Vrystaat Kunstefees Arts Festival.

“PACE+ provides talented and diverse artists with the opportunity to present innovative new work to arts professionals on a rare platform for global arts professionals to see high-quality work by African artists.”

The PACE+ Dramaturgical lab requested that each performer create a poem which would be used in a performance during the workshop.

Shihaam Domingo, a PACE delegate, assessed the sub genres of the poets’ work in addition to their ability to operate collectively.

Each poet was interviewed individually so that the delegate could see their range of performance abilities. This activity was themed, ‘pressure cooker’ creativity.

Each person was placed in a situation where they were virtually unprepared and was required to prepare an artistic piece for consumption.

Oh... is that a stomach growling? Not food guys, this wasn’t that type of consumption.

During the workshop, StonedwithCupid, a member of Frenetic Arts (the group of Barbadians) was paired with a Senegalese professional dancer, Abdoulaye and Sizaleke, a South African vocalist and they were given the task of bridging the gap between traditional artistic expression and modern/contemporary expression.

What an interesting concept!

The piece began with South African traditional native song sung by Sizaleke and was accompanied by traditional Senegalese dance movements.

We will now take a brief intermission of 15 minutes before returning to our regular programming. Just kidding...

The sound of modernisation (rapping) then interrupted the native sound and what was once traditional dance became modern hip-hop.

Abdoulaye, the dancer was torn between the old and the new and thus the sounds of tradition and rapping became a new harmony, a symphony.

The dancer no longer had to be torn between two worlds but rather blended two varying dance styles to create a beautiful and successful ‘merger’.

The Dramaturgical lab encouraged artists to be as creative as possible and to expand their view of themselves and others around them.

Frenetic Arts was asked to facilitate their second day at this workshop and two of its members, Cyndi Marshall and StonedwithCupid organised the activity.

The theme was from page to stage and it was approached from the perspective of ‘writing to be read’ vs ‘writing to be heard’.

As the workshop came to an end, a two day seminar was held that focused on publishing and income generation as well as being a writer.

The workshop was truly a creative and enlightening experience that is recommended to all. When you visit South Africa maybe you too could participate in such an activity.

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