Mamela Nyamza, easily one of the most active and skilled artists in the realms of dance and physical theatre in the country, brings her solo dance piece, Black Privilege to Season 4 of The Centre for the Less Good Idea.
Black Privilege is a wry and stirring performance on contemporary debates about race, identity, and the workings of creative and academic institutions which debuted at the 2018 National Arts Festival to packed theatres.
Informed by the ideas and experiences of rejection by mainstream institutions, the work is a celebration of South Africa’s unsung or rejected heroines, while also dealing with conflicting notions of patronage and judgement, education and unemployment. What does it mean to be jobless with a PhD, asks Nyamza, and how does one become simultaneously celebrated and limited by the same institution or group of people?
While Nyamza’s physical style is well-known and has grown into something of a signature for the artist, her conceptual process is equally experimental and free-flowing. For Black Privilege¸ Nyamza first conceptualised the piece as taking place inside a courtroom before moving onto discussions on the notion of ‘trash’, which led to a deliberation on the idea of snakes and ladders, finally becoming Black Privilege which, ultimately, embodies all of the aforementioned processes in its performance.
Director and performer | Mamela Nyamza
Collaborators | Sello Pesa | Lighting & Stage Designer: Wilhelm Disbergen, Body Paint Artist & Costume Designer: Linda Mandela-Sejosingoe, and Production Manager: Buntu Tyali