As a cautious world continues to reopen and a sense of normalcy begins to return to theatres , a lively lineup of exhibitions by artists are helping ensure that the imbalances exposed by the pandemic remain center stage, and that the urgency surrounding them isn’t lost. Highlighting themes such as activism, racism, ageism, ableism, innovation and intimacy, these shows help envision a future informed by past progress, but still mindful of present challenges and unafraid to keep evolving.
Kamogelo Molobye is an artist and thinker whose main intention is to challenge and develop creative, professional and new modes of knowledge production. Key to his work and interest is developing critical and reflexive skills within emergent arts and performance institutions.
His research interests include gender and sexuality studies, performance studies, cultural studies, and choreographic practice and language.
The work that he has done, and continue to do, enables him to participate in cooperative, communicative, creative, and leadership positions that require adaptability, reflectivity, and problem-solving strategies within the arts industry and economies – artistically, theoretically and institutionally
Kamogelo Molobye is also a lecturer of Movement studies and Physical theatre At Wits University and also a choreographer and performer.
He has recently choreographed a production for the virtual National Arts Festival 2021 – Fringe Program – titled Bina.Pina.
Bina.Pina is a production that was conceptualised in early 2020 as a live stage physical theatre piece but was halted as a result of lockdown in March of the same year.
The production title is an embodiment of what the piece is: Bina which is a Setswana word meaning “to dance”, and Pina which is a Setswana word meaning “sing, or to sing”.
When thinking through this work he was interested in the relationship between song and dance and vice versa.
It was important to recognise the many ways in which music influences how we dance and when we dance, and the many ways in which we dance (as South Africans) is informed by the music we listen to and where we listen to it.
That is to say, there are internal and reciprocal relationships between rhythm of music and dance within spaces and places, for example church gatherings, social party gatherings , traditional ceremony gatherings , and many others.
All these spaces and places have music embedded in them which in turn influence the types, forms and styles of dances that live in those spaces. There is an interesting release of the body and the spirit through the rhythms of song and dance that allow South Africans to locate joy in themselves.
Added to all this, Bina.Pina is, in terms of research, an investigation in how the words for ‘music’ and ‘dance’ originate from the same words in Setswana. Song does not exist without dance and dance cannot exist without song/music/sound in Setswana. This co-existence of one and the other is what binds the production – the music and dance in the piece – together.
Lastly, he began to observe how South Africans held on to joy during lockdown through finding spaces and places to move and celebrate.
There is a particular alcohol beverage that would trend on social media with videos of people dancing and singing as they hold it. They had so much joy in them.
While my interest was not in the alcohol brand itself, I was more moved by how South Africans insisted on locating and choosing joy – through music and dance – during what has been a very difficult and unprecedented time in our recent history.
That insistence of joy, and intentional choosing of joy, is what is located in Bina.Pina. It is an insistence of joy through embracing how culture, tradition, religion, and urban spaces allow us to embrace the many colours and shades of music and dance that cradle the South African culture and spirit.
In celebration of all things that move us to dance and move us into song you can purchase your ticket on https://nationalartsfestival.co.za/show/bina-pina