Season 4 took place in October 2018
Curated by writer, academic, and playwright Jane Taylor, Season 4 of The Centre for the Less Good Idea takes the shape of a Collapsed Conference – a series of talks, presentations and ideas all told through performance.
DON’T TRUST THE BORDER | JESSICA NUPEN
Staging Jessica Nupen’s Don’t Trust the Border in Johannesburg is a homecoming of sorts. The work, performed for Season 4 of The Centre for the Less Good Idea, may have been debuted in Hamburg with a message that aspires to a global mentality, but it is in Joburg that the idea for the work was born.
In Don’t Trust the Border, there are a number of questions and ideas around the concept of borders in both our minds and our physical realities. There are the more overt examples – geographical boundaries, Brexit, Trump’s wall – and then there are the psychological and intrinsic examples of borders that exist, such as cultural crossovers and divides, fear of new ideas, or phases of one’s own life. In Don’t Trust the Border, both the visible and the invisible borders are examined through a striking display of physical theatre.
The piece opens with a semi-transparent curtain separating audience and stage and, in this way, you are introduced to your first border before the performers have even begun. Other borders throughout the show take the form of well-placed lighting, considered stage direction, and the clever use of props and materials. Coming in at just over an hour, and with an extraordinary number of different scenes and thematic shifts, Don’t Trust the Border could be a difficult show to follow, but it is these aforementioned manifestations of borders throughout the performance that help to both contain and lend a fluidity to the contents of the show.
It is the performers themselves who shine through, however. For every presented problem, idea, or line of thought In Don’t Trust the Border, there is a physical counterpart. Be it the jubilant group dance scenes or the painful, tense interactions between two silhouettes, Nupen and her co-performers – who are both SA and Berlin-based – serve as a brilliant reminder of how seemingly incomprehensible issues can find clarity through the simple act of a body in motion.
For the full version go to | https://vimeo.com/303012061
DIRECTOR | Jessica Nupen
DRAMATURGY | Phala Ookeditse Phala
DANCERS | Themba Mbuli, Thulani Chauke, Jessica Nupen, Lorin Sokol, Thamsanqa Masoka, Olivia Papoli Barawati, Eugene Mashiane
VISUAL ARTIST | Peter Mammes
MUSIC COMPOSITION | Luca Hinrichs & Lucinee Der KaraPetian
COSTUME AND PROP DESIGN | Joel Janse Van Vuuren
LIGHTING AND SET | Wilhelm Disbergen
FILM AND ILLUSTRATION | Leila El-Kayem
ASSOCIATE INSTITUTIONS | Freeeye-TV, Kampagnel, Lufthansa, Hamburg,Universitat Hamburg, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and Mantombaz Foundation
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