The French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) is proud to announce the launch of an original contemporary dance performance, Cut, by South African choreographer Vincent Mantsoe in partnership with the Market Theatre. Cut is a 13-minute online work by Mantsoe created in remote collaboration with composer and musician Mpho Molikeng, and filmmaker Frank Pizon. The performance will be available to stream for free on the Market Theatre's social media pages and on the French Institute's Facebook page from 18 June to 2 July. It will be accompanied by interviews of Mantsoe and behind-the-scene videos of the creative process.
A remote and virtual creative process
Critically-acclaimed South African choreographer and dancer Vincent Mantsoe, who is currently based in France, was scheduled to tour South Africa in April to present his solo piece SoliiDaD as well as to present his workshop programme Trok. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, his creative mind has found another innovative way to reach his home country. Mantsoe's new dance short film creation, called Cut, will be streaming live for two weeks in June. Choreographed for the camera, Cut explores the experience of living with the imminent danger of infection and the derived consequences of the ongoing pandemic, such as quarantine, social distancing and self-isolation. The movements of the dancer are crafted to multi-layered music. Cut was filmed in the studio of the dancer and edited at a distance by the video artist, the visual composition captures the experience of being torn between extreme poles of opposition, and of struggling to resist the emotional weight of a self that may give in to the anxiety of the situation. Cut articulates some of the many contradictory emotions in these disturbing times. These emotions pull us apart but also makes us gravitate towards one another.
The short film was conceived through an interesting creative process. Vincent Mantsoe, along with musician Mpho Molikeng from Lesotho and filmmaker Frank Pizon from France, collaborated remotely and virtually, exchanging thoughts, sounds and images by email. A first for all of them!
It is truly a cross-cultural project that brings together, directly from their homes, exceptional talent from South Africa, Lesotho and France for a journey of inspiration and discovery. The short film is produced by the Market Theatre with the support of IFAS.
Vincent Sekwati Mantsoe
Dancer and choreographer
Vincent Mantsoe is considered as one of the founding fathers of South African contemporary dance. As dance critic Adrienne Sichel describes him "[Vincent] is an aesthetic innovator and choreographic shaman. (...) [His first performances] involved consulting the ancestral spirits and going into states of trance which, with permission from his family, he later transposed to the dance stage".
Mantsoe has created his own dance company "Association Noa" in France in 2005, but he returns to South Africa regularly to continue his cross-cultural dialogues.
Musician, poet, painter, curator and actor
Mpho Molikeng is a Lesotho-born multi facet artist. He is a curator, actor, musician, poet, painter, author, storyteller and cultural activist. Molikeng plays a number of African instruments such as lesiba, mamokhorong, setolo-tolo, mbira, djembe and others. He studied Fine Arts with Bloemfontein college and Drama at Soyikwa Institute of African Theater. In 2016, Molikeng was the co-facilitator at the Music In Africa Instrument Building and Repair Workshop. As of 2017, he was a visiting lecturer at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa. Molikeng has also published articles for websites and publications including Music In Africa, "Sage publications/encyclopaedia of world music, history and geography" and the "University of Frankfurt of music".
Filmmaker, photographer, author and researcher
Frank Pizon is a multi-faceted French filmmaker, photographer and researcher. Passionate about nature and the environment, he excels in wildlife photography and pays a sensitive tribute to nature through photographs that are published in various magazines in France and Europe. Pizon also directs short films and documentaries, several of which are about dance and education. He worked with the National Centre for Scenic Costume Design for his short film "Noureev, version courte" (2018) and won the First National Prize for Artistic and Cultural Audacity for the short film "Le geste à la source" (2015).
Cast and crew Choreography and dance: Vincent Mantsoe (South-Africa, lives and works in France)
Music: Mpho Molikeng (Lesotho, lives and works in South Africa)
Film: Frank Pizon (France)
Production: The Market Theatre Foundation
Support: The French Institute of South Africa (IFAS)