Fresnaye artist presents latest iteration of dance series

Pianist José Dias and Dr jackï job are performing at the Artscape theatre.

Fresnaye dancer-choreographer Dr jackï job is presenting her latest play, And Then… at the Artscape theatre until Saturday December 2.

Dr. job is also an academic researcher at the University of Cape Town, and this will be her first performance at the Artscape in 20 years.

And Then… is the latest iteration in an award-winning dance series that started in 2018.

“It’s a long series of work, this one particularly is called And Then dot dot dot as it has a sense of an ongoing story, and then what happens next. Since it started there is a new iteration each year and it’s following on from where the last one ended and at the same time it gives you an indication of where we are at in this moment, so and then where are we now and then what’s going to happen next and all these questions can be asked,” says Dr job.

The essence of And Then…, in which she collaborates with classical pianist José Dias, she explains, is inspired by the praying mantis, an insect that symbolises transformation.

“Transformation is about the unknown and it’s about seeing things from a different perspective. When one looks at the praying mantis it’s an iconic insect in most cultures. In Egypt they consider it a messenger between the living and the dead, in martial arts the praying mantis is a form and even here in South Africa, in the Khoi San culture it’s seen as a harbinger of good luck. So that’s a few examples of this insect and it’s been around for a long long time. And there is this language of the praying mantis where it seems it’s unbalanced, it seems like its not certain, and those are the principles of transformation,” Dr job says.

“We need to see imbalance as a place of power, we need to wait and not just act immediately, we need to wait and sometimes take the most difficult option and I believe that’s what transformation is about and not defining success by what someone else is,” she said.

According to Dr. job, the audience should expect a piano styling in the vein of John Cage as the musical instrument is part of the creative evolution of the play.

“We take people on a meditative journey where they feel they are connecting to something ancient within themselves. The feedback I’ve received consistently is that you will go into a moment of magic, you will be captivated,”she said.

“I believe that performances are successful when people leave the theatre and think about themselves, when they see themselves in this work and forget about the performer, of course they can acknowledge that José plays beautifully, but if they can see themselves in this performance and it moves them, then it’s relevant about where we need to go or are going,” Dr job said.

And Then… was nominated for a Naledi Theatre Award and won the UCT Meritorious Award for Creative Works in 2022.

Dr jackï job