Combining dance and technology

Joy Millar

When one thinks about dance, the elements of movement and music immediately spring to mind, but a new production by non-profit organisation, Darkroom Contemporary, brings in a third element – technology such as film and digital media.

Featuring dancers Cilna Katzke, 31, from Oranjezicht and Joy Millar, 32, from Tamboerskloof, In C Double Bill of New Dance was recently staged at the Magnet Theatre in Observatory.

Cilna told Atlantic Sun her passion for dancing started when she was just four years old, after her mother introduced her to a ballet studio. When she went to high school, she expanded her repertoire, doing both ballet and modern dance. And when she finished high school, she said, she was not prepared to give up dancing – she wanted to do it professionally.

In 2014 she obtained her Master’s degree in dance studies with distinction from the University of Cape Town (UCT). Cilna danced professionally for iKapa Dance Theatre, and was also a freelance dancer for Cape Town City Ballet, Bovim Ballet, Free Flight Dance Company and Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre.

In 2012 she joined Underground Dance Theatre (UDT) as a director, choreographer and performer and a year later received a Kyknet Fiesta Award for Best Dance Production for Keepsake Minus 3, which she co-choreographed and co-directed.

When she is not in the studio or on stage, Cilna is building her portfolio as a graphic designer and artist.

Joy, who started dancing at the age of 12, said dance “found” her when her talent for dance was noticed by a primary school teacher which suggested that Joy take up ballet classes with one of her friends.

Joy gave it a go and spent two years at the school, before enrolling at the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg. “I learnt ballet in quite an unusual way,” she said. “I learnt it by mirroring other dancers.”

Joy has a BA in English, dance, drama and media studies, having graduated from UCT in 2009.

She has performed with various companies including South African Ballet Theatre and Cape Town City Ballet where she shared the stage with world renowned Royal Ballet dancer, Vadim Muntagirov.

She now teaches private pilates classes and ballet classes in Sea Point.