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
COLLABORATOR | Sello Pesa
LIGHTING AND STAGE DESIGNER | Wilhelm Disbergen,
BODY PAINT ARTIST AND COSTUME DESIGNER | Linda Mandela-Sejosingoe
PRODUCTION MANAGER | Buntu Tyali
ANIMATEUR FOR THE CENTRE | Bronwyn Lace
CINEMATOGRAPHY AND EDITING | Noah Cohen
PROJECT MANAGER | Shruthi Nair
LIGHTING | Wesley France and Guy Nelson
SOUND | SoulFire Studios and Zain Vally
STAGE MANAGEMENT | Hayleigh Evans and PopArt Productions
WRITING | Dave Mann