The Institute for Creative Arts (ICA) in collaboration with Pro Helvetia will host a comprehensive interdisciplinary Live Art Workshop, under the direction of Jay Pather, running from 29 March – 14 April
This Workshop is aimed at all creative artists, thinkers and practitioners in a range of fields – including sociology, political science, anthropology, psychology, urbanism, literature, digital technology etc. – who are interested in experimental practice and performance. The ICA therefore invites artists and practitioners from a diverse array of fields to apply.

The Workshop will engage participants in a rich programme of workshops and lectures in choreography, sound and lighting design, dance and movement, amongst other disciplines, presented by esteemed practitioners and educators from South Africa, Mozambique, India, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, China, Palestine and Egypt – see bios below.  

The intended outcome is a presentation of a concept for a new live art work developed during the course of the Workshop, to be presented at the Public Showing on Sunday 14 April. The Showing will be witnessed by a range of guests from South Africa, Egypt, India, China and Switzerland.


Download the programme of Live Art Talks, Films & Performances which ran concurrently with the Live Art Workshop.

See images from the Live Art Workshop Public Showing.


Live Art Workshop Teachers include:

After writing his Master’s thesis of knowledge engagement at ECAV, Switzerland in 2014, Mohamed Abdelkarim turned toward producing text-based performances, and became committed to performative practices across multidisciplinary research, concerning the perception of narrating, singing, dancing, detecting and doing. His practice engages with these actions through a focus on travel, locomotion, renegades history and picaresque literature, where a series of non-linear, serendipitous encounters with concepts, fictions, almost truth and what is known as historical facts are gathered to form a script and an archive of events and stories. In this context, his practice aims at producing narratives and exposing the way narratives are produced.

Noor Abuarafeh is a Jerusalem-based artist working primarily with video, performance, and text. Her work addresses the memory, history, archive, and the possibilities of tracing absence. Abuarafeh’s videos and performances are text-based and question the complexity of history, how is it shaped, constructed, made, perceived, visualised and understood, and consider how all these elements are related to fact and fiction, and the possibility of imaging the past when there are gaps in documentation.

Panaibra Canda is an internationally renowned choreographer and dancer. In 1998, Canda founded Mozambique’s first contemporary dance company, CulturArte, and has since encouraged and fostered many local dance projects and artists. He has engaged in collaborations with artists in Southern Africa and Europe, and his work has been presented in Africa, Europe, the USA and Latin America. Canda won the ZKB Patronage Prize in Zurich, Switzerland in 2008 and the Sylt Quelle Cultural Award for Southern Africa in 2009.

Zhao Chuan is a writer, theatre worker and art critic. His publications include fiction, non-fiction and works on contemporary art history. He is the founder and director of Grass Stage, a leading Chinese theatre company.

Bernhard Frederik la Dous (née Greif) studied communication sciences at the University of Hohenheim, Germany, before studying Applied Theatre Studies (BA and MA) in Giessen from 2007-2012. The focus of his artistic work is on the areas of sound design, sound production and radio play. He is a permanent member of the group Lukas and from Dusseldorf, and worked as a sound designer, among others, for the performance group proposal: Hammer and yuri500, as well as the director Corinne Meier.

Jonathan O’Hear trained as a filmmaker in Vancouver, Canada in the late 1980s. Today he lives in Switzerland and works primarily as a lighting designer for performing arts and gives workshops on the use of light as an artistic medium. His interests in light revolve around three main themes: the language of light as an artistic medium, the use of new technologies submitted to human interference, and light emitting objects. His work is often tainted by the belief that human imperfection transcends technological limitations.

Jay Pather is a choreographer, curator and academic. He is associate professor at the University of Cape Town and director of the Institute for Creative Arts. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Dance Theatre at New York University and since then his work has travelled widely, both locally and internationally, extending across discipline, site and culture.
Vaughn Sadie is an interdisciplinary artist and educator, living and working in Johannesburg. He completed his MFA in 2009 and is currently registered in the PhD Programme at the Urban Futures Centre at the Durban University of Technology. Since 2010, Sadie has become increasingly interested in the role that artificial light has on our perception and construction of the spaces we occupy. In response he has worked collaboratively with Sello Pesa, Jay Pather and Neil Coppen on various projects, through site-specific work and participatory practice, to develop alternative ways of perceiving and engaging with a city.
Kapila Venu is an exponent of the Kutiyattam art form, which is one of the oldest forms of world theatre and the only surviving tradition of Sanskrit theatre in the world. She is a disciple of the legendary Kutiyattam maestro the late Padmabhushan Guru Ammannur Madhava Chakyar. Venu hails from a family of artists. Her father G. Venu is a performer and scholar of Kutiyattam and her mother Nirmala Panicker is a well-known exponent and scholar of the Mohiniyattam dance form. Along with her parents, Venu runs the Natanakairali school at Irinjalakkuda, Thrissur. Natanakairali is a research and training centre on Kerala's traditional art forms. Venu is also a visiting faculty at the National School of Drama, New Delhi.
Nelisiwe Xaba began her vibrant career in dance almost 20 years ago. In the early 1990s she received a scholarship to study at the Johannesburg Dance Foundation and the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London. Returning to South Africa in 1997, Xaba joined Pact Dance Company and later launched her solo career, working with a variety of esteemed choreographers, including Robyn Orlin. Since then, Xaba has been involved in various multi-media projects, collaborating with visual artists, fashion designers, theatre and television directors, poets and musicians.