SATJ : South African Theatre Journal - latest Issue
Volume 29, Issue Issue-1-2-3, 2016
Syncretic arenas: essays on postcolonial African drama and theatre for Esiaba Irobi, Isidore Diala (Ed.) : book reviewAuthor Ajumeze Henry ObiSource: SATJ : South African Theatre Journal 29, pp xx –xxii (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10137548.2016.1223178More Less
Isidore Diala's festschrift for Esiaba Irobi, Syncretic Arenas: Essays on Postcolonial African Drama and Theatre for Esiaba Irobi can be viewed through a number of critical lenses. At one level, one could consider how the volume captures the nature of Esiaba Irobi's work as poet, dramatist, theatre and film scholar, as distilled through the interviews, essays, poems and tributes collected in this book. On another level, the book provides a discursive platform for scholars of transcultural studies across the world to articulate a myriad forms of performative and choreographic epistemes. Irobi had grappled with some of these modes of cultural knowledge in his short but eventful life before his death on April 4, 2010. At this level the festschrift becomes a scholarly festival, literally highlighting a diverse critical mass of ideas, some historical others theoretical, that represent Africa's theatre culture. Helen Gilbert captures this in the book's incisive Foreword when she writes that 'the substance of this volume comes from, and sometimes via, such a wide array of places - Ghana, Germany, the UK, Nigeria, South Africa, Canada, Kenya and the USA - that indicates the international reach of African theatre and dramaturgy' (p. xvii).
Recasting transnationalism through performance: theatre festivals in Cape Verde, Mozambique, and Brazil, Christina S. McMahon : book reviewAuthor Luis R. MitrasSource: SATJ : South African Theatre Journal 29, pp xvi –xix (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10137548.2016.1219530More Less
Christina S. McMahon has written a fascinating study of theatre festivals in the cities of Mindelo (Cape Verde), Maputo (Mozambique) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). To better explain these festivals, the book also considers some of the most emblematic and interesting plays performed at these festivals and, in that sense, the book is also an in-depth study of these particular theatrical performances.
Author Miranda Young-JahangeerSource: SATJ : South African Theatre Journal 29, pp xiii –xvi (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10137548.2016.1219529More Less
Practitioner/educators and students of applied theatre will be no strangers to the work of Tim Prentki. He, along with Sheila Preston, literally wrote the book or rather compiled the Routledge Applied Theatre Reader (2008) which has become for many the 'go-to' resource book, along with Juliana Saxton and Monica Prendergast's Applied Theatre: International Case-Studies And Challenges For Practice, published in the same year (Intellect). This latest offering simply entitled Development is part of the Bloomsbury Methuen series on applied theatre, which they state on the back cover 'is a major innovation in applied theatre scholarship'.
Author Eleanor ChadwickSource: SATJ : South African Theatre Journal 29, pp x –xiii (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10137548.2016.1218203More Less
The ongoing interdisciplinary research between the fields of theatre and neuroscience provides a fascinating and fruitful area of study and experimentation for artists and scientists alike; here Clelia Falletti, Gabriele Sofia and Victor Jacono have collected contributions with an international range, from neuroscientists, theatre scholars and practitioners, to give as full a picture as possible of a realm of exploration which is still undergoing rapid change and development. Falletti, Sofia and Jacono are theatre scholars who share a two-fold interest in neuroscience: firstly, this interest stems from their consideration that the discipline of theatre pertains 'to the vast territory of the "human sciences"' (p. xv), and secondly, it relates to their belief, which I share, that theatre scholars should not limit themselves to literary interpretations, but take an interdisciplinary perspective drawing on humanities, sciences and practice-based approaches in order to fully understand the complexity of the relationship between actor and audience.
Author Heike GehringSource: SATJ : South African Theatre Journal 29, pp vii –x (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10137548.2016.1218201More Less
Alan Read's book, Theatre in the Expanded Field, is in one sense a response to Richard Southern's The Seven Ages of the Theatre (1962), as the subtitle suggests. However, the main title's echoing of Rosalind Krauss's essay, 'Sculpture in the Expanded Field' (p. xxxiii), signals Read's intentional incorporation of other artistic genres in his work. A further influence is Richard Schechner's concepts of performance, developed around the early 1960s, when Southern was writing The Seven Ages. Both Southern's and Schechner's theories about theatre and performance played a significant role in shaping and understanding the relationship between contemporary theatre and performance (p. xi) and set in motion a new trajectory in theatre and performance studies. It is from this trajectory that Read's book emerges.
Wuthering Heights on film and television: a journey across time and cultures, ValérieV. Hazette : book reviewAuthor Annel PieterseSource: SATJ : South African Theatre Journal 29, pp v –vii (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10137548.2016.1220746More Less
Valérie Hazette's Wuthering Heights on Film and Television: A Journey Across Time and Cultures is a thorough and wide-ranging study of the transnational and transmedial afterlives of Emily Brontë's canonical novel. Hazette's central premise is that the most 'singular' film and television 'translations' of the novel are those that successfully 're-surface' the novel's dynamic structures and mythical components. The book is divided into three parts. In Part I Hazette outlines her methodological approach. She starts by noting the novel's intertextual richness, the archetypes in its 'unconscious', which find expression primarily in its appropriation of the myth of Psyche's quest for Eros, the romance of Tristan and Iseult, and the tale of Beauty and the Beast. In addition to these 'mythical components', Hazette also presents the key 'themes' in the novel, as identified by Georges Bataille in his reading of Wuthering Heights. In her analyses of the multiple adaptations, Hazette traces the extent to which the practitioners involved in the adaptation process have, consciously or not, been attentive to these 'mythical components' and 'Bataillan themes'. She draws on a combination of archetypal criticism (or, as she refers to it, 'mythocritique'), adaptation theory and translation theory in her exploration of the various film and television adaptations of the novel. Hazette's interest in these adaptations initially led her to conduct a series of interviews with the practitioners who had gone through the daunting task of translating Emily Brontë's novel (and it's unconscious) for the screen'. The book under review grew out of this interview project and thus employs a combination of research methods namely textual analysis, industry analysis and audience analysis that offer a nuanced understanding of the subject.
Author Alude MahaliSource: SATJ : South African Theatre Journal 29, pp 1 –14 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10137548.2016.1217744More Less
This article aims its attention at interrogating the integrity of choices, the state of identities and reflects upon notions of selfhood in South African choreographer and dancer Mamela Nyamza's critically acclaimed work, Hatched. I explore rites of passage - in accordance with anthropologist Arnold van Gennep's delineation of rites of separation, transition, incorporation - and how these are embodied and enacted in Hatched. I analyse concrete performative actions that are about making and marking transformation. Individuation might be the consequence of the rite and its intention, but I also interrogate the rite as a performative and aesthetic process. Rites are not solely about the narrative of the performance, but the ritual within the stage action. The focus is not on what the individuation does, but rather the rite itself, because it facilitates those undergoing transformation, to transform. Hatched as a rite of passage work is about passing through something; an event, a state of being, a sense of self and practice in this present moment. Furthermore, as a rite of passage work, Hatched reflects and echoes the transition in South Africa's shifting identity, along with the identities of the individuals who inhabit it.
Author Mareli StolpSource: SATJ : South African Theatre Journal 29, pp 15 –32 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10137548.2016.1217745More Less
The 'performer-creator' approach to the creation of dance and movement theatre presumes that messages, content and meaning become inscribed in movement through processes of experimentation, improvisation, discussion and play: the performers, guided and facilitated by a choreographer, participate in the creation of the dance language and steps that eventually develop into the final work. For her 2013 production entitled Run!, South African choreographer Nicola Elliott expanded this approach to include also the creation of the musical score. As the musical performer in this work, I was engaged in similar processes and activities to those the dancers were involved in; I acted as intermediary between the choreographer, dancers and the composer, and the musical score for this production was created synchronously with the movement language. This article discusses the process through which the musical score for Run! was created; it explores Elliott's 'performer-creator' approach and some of its implications in terms of musical creation; and it examines some of the implications of creating a musical score through creative choreographical processes that include improvisation, experimentation and play. I suggest that reading Run! as a multimodal text enables the recognition of the different authors of this text: choreographer, dancers, musician and composer. Reading the work also as a prime example of the performer-creator paradigm further enables the recognition of the integral roles played by the performers in the creation of this production.
Creating a contemporary Xhosa Theatre through reimagining the intsomi form : a production of Nongenile Masithathu Zenani's 'Mbengu-Sonyangaza ndakwenz'int'embi!'Author Mfundo TshazibaneSource: SATJ : South African Theatre Journal 29, pp 33 –43 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10137548.2016.1217747More Less
This article researches the theatrical possibilities and relevance of a Xhosa folktale to contemporary South African theatre. It recycles the ancestral Xhosa knowledge of the storyteller Nongenile Masithathu Zenani to the search for acting identity as an inheritance by the Xhosa storyteller. Through examining the creation of a theatre performance from a folktale, it investigates the place of the contemporary storyteller and the influences of tradition in day-to-day life. The production searched for tools that could present a traditional Xhosa Princess's tale from a Xhosa perspective and aimed to locate itself as a traditional Xhosa theatre genre re-invigorated for a contemporary audience. This article aims to continue the debate about the place and status of Xhosa women in the past and present, and particularly to address concerns of abuse and agency in contemporary Xhosa women's lives. It celebrates the position of the female storyteller and responds to ancient performance techniques with respect, but also through the creation of original and innovative theatre.
'Restitutions of Body and Soil' in Mies Julie (2012) : South African theatre audience receptions of Yaël Farber's adaptation of Strindberg's Miss Julie within a post-apartheid South African political landscapeAuthor Marisa KeurisSource: SATJ : South African Theatre Journal 29, pp 44 –55 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10137548.2016.1217746More Less
Yaël Farber's 2012 adaptation of August Strindberg's classic play Miss Julie entitled Mies Julie and subtitled Restitutions of Body and Soil since The Bantu Land Act No. 27 of 1913 and The Immorality Act No. 5 of 1927, received rave reviews internationally, earned a great number of awards, had sold-out performances and often received standing ovations from various international audiences. In this article I discuss why South African audiences' experience of Yaël Farber's South African adaptation of a classic play, Strindberg's Miss Julie, would differ to some extent from international audiences' reception of the play. The focus is on two aspects which would have impacted on local audiences and their reception of the play, namely the particular South African setting of the play, and its sociohistorical context. The three aspects foregrounded by the play's title: the aspect of 'indentured race-based servitude' as reflected in the title, Mies Julie; the Bantu Land Act, and thirdly, the Immorality Act, as reflected in the subtitle, are discussed in some detail to demonstrate why the political is more personal for local audiences than for international audiences.