DEVELOP Performance Arts Workshops

Dates: 23/23/30 August (Cape Town) 12/13/20 (Johannesburg)
Venue: Hiddingh Hall, University of Cape Town, Orange Street, Cape Town School of the Arts, Wits University, Braamfontein, Johannesburg

As part of our mandate to provide training and development the Spier Contemporary makes a point of organising a series of performance art workshops that are facilitated by the  well known choreographer, UCT Associate Professor and member of the Spier Contemporary 2007/8 and 2010 curatorial team’s, Jay Pather.

Spier Contemporary recognises that live performance is an increasingly prominent area of the visual arts, and yet the creative spaces to invent, explore and develop performance are still rare.

The workshops aim at providing some of the necessary tools for the conception and execution of performance art. Pather and a range of guests presented a three day workshop, with a particular focus on some of the challenges and debates surrounding the staging of performance work within the context of a visual arts exhibition and included experiences in:

  • the use of the body, time, rhythm
  • space, architecture, site- responsive and site specific  work
  • accessing sense and emotional memory
  • use of mixed media and projection
  • the use of light and sound
  • ‘framing’ of performance

Participants used the final day to collaborate across disciplines and created mixed media, site specific performances.

The workshops were open to all artists who have an interest in performance and who welcome and/or search for further extension of their ideas and practice. i.e. it is not restricted to performers or choreographers but appropriate for artists from all media e.g. visual artists, architects, musicians.


  • Jay Pather
  • Elizabeth Mills
  • Greg Homann
  • Vaughn Sadie


  • Jay Pather, Cape Town
  • Natasha da Silva, Johannesburg

Stage Managers:

  • Jade Bowers and Jaletta De Jager, Cspe Town


  1. Eduardo Cachucho
  2. Emma laurence
  3. Brink Scholtz
  4. Dadivo Jose
  5. AdjeteyAnang
  6. Kenneth Tafira
  7. Mellissa Alexander
  8. TlhoniSechogela
  9. KabiThulo
  10. OmphileMolusi
  11. RahiemWhisgray
  12. AntheaMoys
  13. Estelle v d Heever
  14. Martha Amutenya
  15. KieronJina
  16. NyanisoDzedze
  17. Kim Kerfoot
  18. HasanEssop
  19. WalindahSeerma
  20. Philippe Kayumba
  21. JuttaHolzapfel
  22. Dominique Jossie
  23. Sue Kiel
  24. Janet Botes
  25. Elsa Lourens
  26. PascaleMeuschafer
  27. Jonathan Nkala
  28. Maurice Hermes Mbikayi
  29. Theo Ndindwa
  30. HussainIssop
  31. Jill Williams
  32. Roxandra (Cindy) Britz
  33. Lea’n Coetzer


It goes without saying that the most important and welcome result of the Spier Contemporary Performance Workshops, is the fact that their have been several performance collaborations between participating artists in the period following the workshops themselves.

The workshops in Cape Town and Johannesburg attracted a cross section of participants from visual arts, dance and theatre with some participants even coming from the more unusual fields of architecture, music and urban planning. The mix of disciplines was particularly stimulating for participants.

“I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to participate in the workshop and to have met all the people involved. Your ‘teaching’ methods are very inspiring and I feel I’ve come away with a lot.” Jutta, Cape Town participant.

Again, as a direct result of these workshops, several participants have entered work actually created during the workshops, into the Spier Contemporary 2010 exhibition/competition selection process.

We are pleased to note that at least seven of the ten Spier Contemporary 2010 Exhibition performance finalists took part in the Performance Art Workshops.