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Guests 2016

Guest Teacher | Ester van der Walt 


Ester van der Walt is a researcher, lecturer and artist who is at her happiest when she finds opportunities to challenge and investigate the philosophies and practices of performance and education.

She completed her Masters degree with distinction at Rhodes University specialising in choreography and is currently preparing to do her PhD. Her interest in expanding her transdisciplinary approach to creative practice and research has encouraged her to explore a range of disciplines creating works such as: the physical theatre work Ingrid (2016); stand up comedic work as part of Lambs to the Laughter (2016); the flash web series pap & sous (2016); the practice-as-research work Transparent (2015); and the satirical art collective Useless Artist Collective (2014).

Guest Teacher | Maria Praeg 


Maria Praeg is a Grahamstownian who has just returned from Ubud, Bali from having completed her 500hr Yoga Teacher Training. 

She is now an accredited Yoga Teacher with a passion for creating and facilitating a space for people to explore their bodies and connect with themselves. Maria focuses on a Hatha Vinyasa style yoga, but with an emphasis on steady and slow movement in order to facilitate proper alignment and strength building.

The classes are for all levels from beginners to more advanced yogis, as Maria’s goal is to cultivate a space of wellbeing, patience and self love.

Guest Teacher | Scott Williams | Meisner-based Acting Workshops 


Director Scott Williams trained with Sanford Meisner at Neighborhood Playhouse in the 1970s, relocating in London in the mid-1990s following a San Francisco-based career as a teacher and director. 

He now teaches and directs internationally and has shared his commitment to helping actors become the best they can be with thousands of practitioners all over the world. The Impulse Company is the UK home of the unique Meisner-rooted performance techniques with schools also in Paris, Brussels, Melbourne and Sydney. 

Scott is a regular guest lecturer and director at the School of Drama, Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts. This was his first visit to South Africa. Refer to www.impulsecompany.co.uk for further information.

Guest Teacher | Roel Twinjstra

August (information taken from website)

Artistic / innovative

I work as a theatre director for theaters, festivals and and drama departments. You could have found my work also in unexpected places like an oases in the Maroccan desert, Umlazi township, the center of J’burg where we performed for street kids, in a Russian state theater in Samara at the Wolga or in North Uganda performing for child soldiers. I am the founder of Twist projects. TWIST focuses on development of community theatre groups in KZN. Since 2013 I am living in South Africa, lecturing at UKZN in Durban and Pietermaritzburg  and directing adaptations of African novels.

Socially involved

In my work I try to be inventive and self expressive.  I like to disturb, upset and enlighten my audience, and that opens ways for a better understanding of myself, others and the world around us. That is a start for change. Themes like xenophobia, child-abuse, trafficking and domestic violence are often a motive in my work. At the end I want to share hope with my audience. 

International orientated

I worked in USA, Russia, Indonesia, Nepal, Marocco and in other African countries like Uganda, Guinee, Benin and the last 15 years in South Africa.  The mission of Twist is building capacity in local theaters, festivals, theaterschools  and community theatergroups and international exchange. I advise Dutch theatre groups who want to present their work or collaborate in South Africa and can act as Executive Producer.

Guest Professor Vicky Karkou | Open Lecture  


Title: Dance and the arts in psychotherapy: what are their contribution to wellbeing?

Dance, and the arts in general, are increasingly being used as means of improving psychological wellbeing. A rising popularity of music, art, drama and dance movement psychotherapies raises interesting questions around their value, impact and effectiveness in supporting people who are faced with psychological struggles.

Professor Vicky Karkou’s open lecture seeks to explore this topic, drawing upon diverse perspectives and research methodologies to discuss the ways in which arts psychotherapy interventions are used. During her lecture she will reflect on the range of evidence that supports arts psychotherapies, identify gaps in the literature and suggest future directions in research and practice. 

Professor Karkou is well published in national and international journals, she is one of the co-editors of the international journal Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, and is currently co-editing her third book, the Oxford Handbook of Dance and Wellbeing (co-edited with Dr Sue Oliver and Dr Sophia Lycouris).  In this presentation, some examples from this work will also be presented, showcasing contributions from performance artists and choreographers, somatic practitioners, dance scientists and dance movement psychotherapists. 

Guest Artist | Natasha Davis | Teeth  


About the work | poetic, bitter-sweet, personal

The Rhodes Drama Department proudly presents a one-night only production of Teeth Show, by visiting artist Natasha Davis.  Starting with teeth as a metaphor for roots, Teeth Show invites you on a poetic, medical, bitter-sweet and personal journey through surreal stories, original sound and film. The performance takes the autobiographical fact that wherever Natasha Davis migrated, she experienced an extraordinary tooth story.

The show explores complexities around democratic rights of the displaced body in a constant flux between breaking and repairing. It asks how crossing borders and living in exile impact on the rights of the body regarding its identity, citizenship and medical status. It is a mixed-media, playful and harrowing examination of who, and across what borders, may have access to beautiful and pain-free teeth. What options remain to those in precarious and transient situations and those who are left out? Created in collaboration with Lucy Cash (movement), Marty Langthorne (lighting) and Bob Karper (sound & media).

About the director | Natasha Davis

Natasha Davis is a performance artist who creates poetic and challenging interdisciplinary material exploring body, memory, identity and migration. 

Born in Croatia and based in London – her work is coloured and defined by migration and displacement experiences.  Her work focusses on crossing borders, migration, body and memory and is very interdisciplinary and political.  

Natasha Davis has presented her performances, films and installations in the United Kingdom and internationally, in venues such as the National Theatre Studio London, Birmingham Rep, Barbican Plymouth, Playhouse Derry, Project Arts Centre Dublin (Ireland), Point Centre for Contemporary Art Nicosia (Cyprus), Mitchell Theatre Madison (Wisconsin, USA), Cummings Art Gallery Stanford (California, USA), El Patio Madrid (Spain), DDL Toronto (Canada), School of Arts at the University of Hyderabad (India) and many others.

Her work has been funded by Arts Council England, British Council, Hosking Houses Trust, Humanities Research Fund, Transatlantic Fellowship and numerous commissions and residencies. Natasha teaches at the Masters in International Performance Research at the University of Warwick, UK and has delivered talks and workshops across the world, from Buffalo to Tokyo and Grenoble to New Delhi. Her practice and research have been included in several publications and a book about her recent work is available through Live Art Development Agency’s Unbound. www.natashaproductions.com

Last Modified: Fri, 31 Mar 2017 15:46:03 SAST