Jay Pather named Legacy Artist for Jomba! Dance Festival
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Cape Town - UCT professor, renowned choreographer and arts visionary Jay Pather has been chosen to open this year’s online Centre for Creative Arts’ 23rd Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience later this month and features as the festival’s 2021 Legacy Artist.
Jomba! Festival artistic director and curator Dr Lliane Loots said, “Pather has forged a path as one of South Africa’s most critical and innovative dance makers, often celebrating the border crossings of cultural clash and the dis-ease of the ‘rainbow nation’.”
Pather currently works as a professor at the UCT Centre for Theatre, Dance and Performance, the director of Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre and curates Infecting the City Public Art Festival.
“As an artist, you don’t make your mind up to leave any kind of legacy. I was always interested in innovation so I was constantly trying to find something new and film a new vision, without knowing how it would be received.
“I am very thrilled to be named this year’s Legacy Artist and receive it with great respect, especially for the Jomba! Festival that struggled to maintain contemporary dance in this country against a great deal of odds,” said Pather.
Loots said since the festival’s inception 23 years ago, Jomba has been home to many of Pather’s works and they were very excited to honour this legacy. This after contributing over two decades creating innovative and deeply challenging dance theatre that unashamedly picked at too easy ideas of a rainbow nation at peace with itself.
Pather said his opening piece for the festival will be a reflective work as the choreographer will be going back on some of previous featured works and bring them together to reflect on what that legacy was then and what it says about the present moment.
“It's both a difficult and a very important time to be talking about dance, the arts, society, where we are and where we need to go. It is important for us to foreground the arts as a space of healing and vision, not just a space of entertainment but something that should and can contribute towards a range of other aspects in our lives,” said Pather
Pather will also have a photographic exhibition of his work created with Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre over the years by award-winning dance photographer Val Adamson to honour his work in the industry.
The UCT professor’s opening of this year’s digital Jomba! Festival will premiere on the Jomba! Youtube channel on August 24.