Unique MBMS2021 arts reviews will form part of the My Body My Space: Public Arts Festival 2021, a ‘festival on your phone’ featuring original dance and movement. The event started on 29 January 2021 and will continue until 31 March 2021.
The Ar(t)chive, a contemporary dance and physical performance archive based at the Wits School of Arts, has undertaken to produce a series of short-form reviews on many of the works being presented on this innovative platform.
With the death of newspapers and more traditional forms of media, dance writing and general arts reviewing have had to find ways to stay alive and become accessible to new audiences. Covid-19 accelerated the dive into new digital forms of expression and also how people receive and comment on works we are more used to seeing as live performance. With MBMS2021 going completely digital, the opportunity presented itself to offer a nuanced and curated response to the festival.
Encouraging arts writing
The Ar(t)chive team, consisting of dance researcher, writer and editor, Tammy Ballantyne, and three exciting writing voices – Thobile Maphanga (KZN), Kivithra Naicker (South Korea/KZN) and Ntshadi Mofokeng (GAU) – is rolling out very tight, short-form reviews to complement the platform.
The project was inspired by the very intense and valuable work done over the years by the Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience team of Dr Lliane Loots and Clare Craighead, who started one of the very first dance writing residencies with veteran theatre and dance writer Adrienne Sichel. Maphanga and Naicker began their writing journeys at these residencies. Last year, the 22nd (Digital) Jomba! festival was hosted completely online and an extensive webinar-based event took place with participants from Wits/The Ar(t)chive, UKZN, University of East London (UK) and See Chicago Dance (USA).
This particular collaboration with MBMS2021 serves to contribute to encouraging arts writing in different spaces and offers a form of mentorship and guidance within a peer-review process – it is a shared process as opposed to an isolated idea of writing and hopes to produce a body of work that adds value to the artists and viewers alike.
What: MBMS2021 arts reviews
Where: The reviews can be found under the NEWS menu on the Whatsapp platform, or with the direct prompt ‘REVIEWS’. To access the festival send ‘HI’ to +27600110444. MBMS21 is funded by The National Department of Sports, Arts and Culture and The National Arts Council of South Africa
When: 29 January to 31 March 2021