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Bold & innovative, Darkroom Contemporary's distinctive style and approach makes this interdisciplinary and creation - based  dance company, a leader in the production and development of contemporary dance in South Africa.



DARKROOM CONTEMPORARY DANCE THEATRE is a project based company formed as vehicle to reimagine dance, through its innovative approach to staging and presenting contemporary works. Darkroom Contemporary challenges perceptions on how dance is viewed, by creating unique audience experiences and new ways of representing and appreciating dance.

The organisation was founded in 2010 by Louise Coetzer and Oscar O’Ryan. Coetzer, a dancer and choreographer, and O’Ryan, a photographer and filmmaker, bring together expertise from their respective fields to form a dynamic partnership. Projects spearheaded by the founders provide platforms and create opportunities for skills development and exchange among all artists involved. A focus on the use of new technology and digital media frame their artistic approach. Similarly does interdisciplinary exploration, with project collaborators including visual artists, musicians, designers, filmmakers and digital artists.

PUBLIC PERFORMANCE - The company regularly stages works in unexpected performance areas, transforming ordinary spaces into intriguing, multi-faceted arenas.


DANCE FILM - An extensive & award winning body of dance film works exist alongside the company’s performance repertoire, making their work accessible to a larger global audience through the medium of film and digital media.

DIGITAL ARTS & TECHNOLOGY - As a research & development dance company, we are focused on exploring how we can merge dance and technology to enhance our live performance and film works. The company develops interactive audience experiences and new ways of presenting and experiencing dance, through collaborations with digital arts specialists. We make use of technology and digital media to enhance the creative art of storytelling.


To date, Darkroom Contemporary has produced dance works incorporating kinetic motion sensor technology, full dome 3D projection, interactive laser projection, interactive projection mapping, dance film, live stream performance and Artificial Intelligence.  Currently the company is engaged in research & development phases for projects incorporating 360 degree filmmaking for VR, and large scale projection mapping.


Darkroom Contemporary continuously explores new avenues to make dance accessible to all, through its artistic output, educational and developmental initiatives. 

Darkroom Contemporary is a registered Non Profit Organisation and Public Benefit Organisation with the objectives to provide opportunities for trained performers and arts practitioners through its performance, education and film projects, while encouraging audiences to appreciate and support the art of dance. Darkroom Contemporary is dedicated to actively promoting and exploring contemporary dance theatre as art form.

VISION: To present contemporary dance in ways that are current, relevant, innovative and accessible.


MISSION: Darkroom Contemporary seeks to be a catalyst for innovation and preservation within the contemporary South African performing arts landscape.

Louise Coetzer

Founder & Artistic Director

LOUISE COETZER (b 1980, South Africa) is a multidisciplinary dance artist working within the genres of site-specific performance creation, choreography for the stage, and dance film. Her works are experiential, experimental and innovative, and often have interdisciplinary collaboration at their core. 


Oscar O'Ryan

Founder & Company Director

OSCAR O’RYAN (b 1978, South Africa) is a photographer and videographer specializing in capturing movement and dance as well as reportage style visual stories. He implements photo and video projects geared towards raising the profile of dance as art form. 



“ Darkroom Contemporary has found a way to transform contemporary dance into an experience that captures the zeitgeist of the times. “ 

- David Fick, Broadway World

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