CfP The University of Cape Town School of Dance CONFLUENCES 8 Negotiating Contemporary Dance in Africa 16 – 18 July 2015 Cape Town

Dance is celebrated on the African continent in a myriad ways. The difficulty in articulating these approaches in a contemporary world is a key aspect of Confluences 8 and will be of interest to dance scholars, historians, writers, ethnographers, ballet aficionados and musicologists. The teaching of African Dance in studios, schools and colleges presents challenges that beg further enquiry such as: How are these pedagogic processes informed by the context of the learning environment? How has the teaching of choreography, music in dance and the history of dance shifted in Africa in the past 20 years?

The African continent has spawned a rich and complex melting pot of dance that is also present in the diaspora. Following the rich discussion held at JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Festival in South Africa in 2004, the intention of Confluences 8 is to expand the discourse by probing the writing on the dancing body in contemporary Africa. As an art form, contemporary dance has provided a space for the transition and translation of traditional African dance practices. To what extent then, is African dance being negotiated out of its birth right on African soil? Some of the questions which Confluences 8 will attempt to address include:

What are the questions for Black dancing bodies today?

Is exoticism surrounding the Black dancer as ‘noble savage’ still present in Johannesburg, Acra and Abuja?

What is re-presented as the faces of Africa and by whom, in an advanced technological age?

Who is performing Contemporary dance in Africa ? Where?

What are we teaching future generations about traditional African dance vs African contemporary dance?

Are minority interests e.g. South Asian dances in Uganda being excluded under the umbrella of contemporary African dance forms?

Is there a place for dance processions like Gay Pride in Harare?

As (in)appropriate challenges to purists of culture continue to enter the stage and performance space, what are the new tools in the young choreographers’ tool box? Who censors whom?

What is being traded when Latin/o stars like Beyonce hire mpantsula dancers from Mozambique?

How does the experience of women in Africa as dancer, (m)other, manager and creator differ in and outside this space?


Deadline for submissions: 21 December 2014

We invite the submission of proposals which should include a brief rationale and abstract (max 250 words) of your paper, performative experience or workshop (max.1hour). Please provide us with your name, institutional affiliation, email address and contact details. Your proposal should outline whether you intend to make a joint presentation (max. 30 mins) or individual paper (max. 20 mins). As far as possible, individual papers will not run concurrently in the conference programme.

Please send your submission(s) as email attachments in MS Word to or

All proposals will be reviewed by the Conference Committee and feedback provided to applicants by the end of February 2015. Past delegates have been drawn from countries including Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Lesotho, Nambia, The Netherlands, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, UK, USA and Zimbabwe. Past

Keynote speakers include: 2013 Vincent Mantsoe 2011 Julia Buckroyd, Juanita Finestone 2008 Brenda Dixon-Gottschild, Emile YX?, Daniel Renner, Nita Liem, Joan van der Mast 2004 Sherry Shapiro, Laveen Naidu, Ton Wiggers, Juliette Hofman Conference Committee Director: School of Dance – Gerard Samuel, Dip Ballet Cape Town, MA University of Natal Lisa Wilson. BFA , Wesley Institute Sydney, Australia, MEd University of Exeter, UK Dianne Cheesman, BPhil(Hons) Dance Durham ARAD Grade Examiner Danie Fourie, BMus University of Cape Town UPLM Lindy Raizenberg, Dip Ballet MMus(Dance) University of Cape Town Maxwell Xolani Rani, BMus(Dance) , MMus (Dance) University of Cape Town Consultants Sharon Friedman, BA(Hons) History University of Cape Town STD (JCE), MMus (Dance) Cape Town Karen Vedel, University of Copenhagen Elizabeth Triegaardt. BSc Cape Town, ARAD

For more information about Confluences please view: