LOUISE COETZER received her Bachelors Degree in Dance with Movement Composition as major from the Pretoria Technikon and is currently living and working in Cape Town. In 2010 she established DARKROOM CONTEMPORARY DANCE THEATRE along with co-founder Oscar O’Ryan, with the vision to reimagine dance as art form within the current contemporary society. Coetzer is artistic director and choreographer for the company, creating works with the intention to delight and engage audiences through its innovative approach to staging and presenting dance to audiences.
Through Darkroom Contemporary, Louise also regularly works within the genre of dance film as choreographer and director. The company’s dance film works sits alongside its performance projects, making the work accessible to a larger global audience through the mediums of film and digital media.Darkroom Contemporary’s dance films have screened internationally as part of the Burgundy International Festival of Video Dance (France), Agite Y Sirva (Mexico), The British Film Institute’s Young South African Filmmakers Showcase(UK), Foreign Exchange (France) and the Global Art and Moving Images Awards(Finland), and locally as part of the Letters from the Sky Film Project,City Breath Festival of Video Poetry,COP17 Climate Change Convention and the National Arts Festival.
Coetzer has choreographed an impressive collection of original works with a strong focus on relationships and the humour and complexities inherent in human interaction. She has been lauded in the press for her unique understanding of the group dynamic, clever use of music and ability to deliver entertaining commentary on society through experimental dance and movement. Her work has been showcased at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees, the Baxter Dance Festival and Dance Umbrella, and she has produced works for the Dance For All InSPIRAtions Youth Dance Company, Unmute Dance Company, Northern Dance Project and the Cape Academy of Performing Arts.
She has worked as dance teacher and movement lecturer with the Western Cape Education Department, UCT School of Dance, New Africa Theatre Association and City Varsity Acting Department. She was head of the contemporary dance program at Dance For All and has worked with the Cape Town Junior Ballet Company. Currently Louise teaches as part of the contemporary dance faculty at the Cape Academy of Performing Arts and the University of Cape Town School of Dance. She continues to create new works for Darkroom Contemporary, as well as various dance companies and training institutions.
OSCAR O’RYAN is a South African photographer and videographer specialising in capturing movement and dance. He regularly works with a range of theatre and dance companies, capturing rehearsal, performance, marketing and studio photography. His clients include The Baxter Theatre, The Cape Dance Company, Jazzart Dance Theatre, The Baxter Dance Festival, Infecting the City Festival, Dance For All, New Africa Theatre, and Skenkonst Sormland (Sweden). Oscar’s work was selected as a top ten entry in the media category of the Ramsay Media Picture the Change photo competition and his photo story, The MOTION Project, was included in the official programme of World Design Capital Cape Town 2014. He has shown solo exhibitions at the Cape Town City Hall, Youngblood Gallery, The Baxter Theatre Centre and Side Street Studios.
As videographer, Oscar has worked on numerous documentary films and travelled across the continent, filming Getaway to Africa for the BBC and Discovery Channel. He has created film work for the theatre productions “I hit the ground running” and “Struck Silent , both produced by the Baxter Theatre in collaboration with Skenkonst Sormland. Oscar’s dance film works produced by Darkroom Contemporary have screened at the Burgundy International Festival of Video Dance (France), Agite Y Sirva (Mexico), British Film Institute (UK) and the GLAMY Awards (Finland). Oscar is co-founder of Darkroom Contemporary (est. 2010), a Cape Town based physical theatre company and non-profit organisation. As project manager for Darkroom Contemporary, Oscar oversees all aspects and logistics of the organisation’s work including staging productions, dance film work and development projects, and is closely involved in the organisation’s growth.