DARKROOM CONTEMPORARY’S PROJECTS PROVIDE PLATFORMS AND CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR SKILLS DEVELOPMENT AND EXCHANGE AMONG ALL ARTISTS INVOLVED. THE ORGANIZATION’S DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS WORK TOWARDS AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT, ACCESSIBLE ARTS EDUCATION AND PLACING DANCE IN PUBLIC SPACES.
ACCESS ME is a photo story formed through documenting ideas and emotions around accessibility, and a collaboration between Darkroom Contemporary & Unmute Dance Company. The story hopes to communicate real opinions about what accessibility means. To some, the word may be filled with possibility - openness, convenience, ease and approachability, equal rights and unlimited access, doors always open. To others, it conjures knowledge of that which is unattainable, excluded, difficult, impossible to reach, and limited in its access to.Access is dealt with daily, to varying degrees. Those with unlimited, easy access to communication, information, physical space - may not pay it as much attention - while others fight every day for accessibility - for equal rights, access to information, opportunity, and physical space.
ACCESS ME asked the Unmute Dance Company performers to describe their own stories relating to access - of struggle, hope, overcoming and ultimately new aspiration. A process of interviews and discussions discovered a collection of real stories, experiences and histories in relation to accessibly or the lack thereof. The resulting photo story and short film by Darkroom Contemporary throws a glimpse on these individual histories, while the performance by Unmute Dance Company unpacks the theme of access through movement. ACCESS ME asks us all to recognize those moments of believing to be trapped, locked in or limited, isolated or helpless, alone, misunderstood, yearning for change, looking for hope, or trying to overcome.
UNFINISHED Vol. 1 - 4
A platform to share and connect people through dance and music, UNFINISHED brings together Cape Town’s independent dance companies and a selection of classical and experimental musicians. This Darkroom Contemporary initiative invites dance makers to create short works outside of their comfort zones, in a short space of time, and using a small space to perform them in, while the musical input acts as the catalyst and driving force behind the performance.
• The dance is always performed to live music accompaniment
• The dance is adaptable to a small performance area of 2 square meters
• The dance is created in a maximum of 4 rehearsal sessions - hence “unfinished”
THIS INITIATIVE ACHIEVES A VERY UNIQUE SET OF OUTCOMES:
• Opening up dialogue and opportunities to collaborate among the participating dance groups and musicians
• Creating opportunities for audience development and cross exchange of audience networks for all participating artists.
• Giving audiences a unique glimpse into the dance making process, by showing works - in - progress in a performance setting
• Acting as an incentive to dance makers to make new work, while being creatively challenged by the set parameters of given music, performance area size and rehearsal time indicated.
UNFINISHED contributes to Darkroom Contemporary’s ongoing audience development initiative, working towards ensuring a future generation of art practitioners and supporters through accessibility and guidance.
Darkroom Contemporary regularly hosts students from various schools, community groups and training institutions at special Schools Performances of their work, followed by Q&A sessions with the creative team. These events contribute to Darkroom Contemporary’s ongoing audience development initiative, working towards ensuring a future generation of art practitioners and supporters through accessibility and guidance.Invited schools and groups have included iThemba Labantu Lutheran Community Centre, Dance For All and Jazzart Dance Theatre Trainees.
The MOTION Project
Darkroom Contemporary’s flagship development initiative, The MOTION Project - A photo story of dance, is an ongoing awareness campaign, aiming to foster an appreciation for the wealth of talent within the dance industry. Initiated in 2012, The MOTION Project invites viewers to explore and rediscover the designed spaces of historical and contemporary Cape Town through the mediums of photography and dance. An official project of World Design Capital Cape Town 2014, this photo story captures the grace of dancers as they interact with urban spaces – letting the lens reveal the surprising similarities and contrasts between the human form and the built environment.
Since being launched in 2012, The MOTION Project has invited 80 dancers to participate, and the project has been exhibited at Cape Town City Hall, Side Street Studios, Youngblood Gallery and the Baxter Theatre Centre.
The MOTION Project 2014
The MOTION Project 2013
The MOTION Project 2012