Strange and absurd world inspires dancer

Founder of Darkroom Contemporary Dance Theatre, Louise Coetzer, formed part of this years Baxter Dance Festival programme

Vredehoek resident Louise Coetzer, the founder of Darkroom Contemporary Dance Theatre, says she takes inspiration for her work from real life.

Her company, which she founded in 2010 to create work opportunities for dancers, is part of the Baxter Dance Festival currently on at the Baxter Theatre in Rondebosch.

Known for her experimental, innovative, and often interdisciplinary artistic work, Ms Coetzer, said she’d always been passionate about dance theatre.

“I did ballet as a young girl but it was when I was 12 that I switched over to contemporary dance and realised that it was what I wanted to do,” she said.

Ms Coetzer’s dance theatre company is recognised for delivering innovative, unexpected works of the highest artistic standard, and drawing inspiration from observing how the world works, she said, she stylises real life issues and takes them into a theatrical space.

“I just observe the world and question that because a lot of things in this world aren’t right, it’s always strange and absurd,” she said.

When choreographing, Ms Coetzer said, she aims to create new movements which further her ideas, movements that can portray emotion or make the audience understand the situation or story.

Ms Coetzer said she’s looking forward to her performance at the dance festival which gave them an opportunity to catch up on what other artists have been doing.

“The dance festival is a great vibe. We get to reconnect with other artists and see everyone’s work. I will be presenting a solo performance, working with one of my former dance students and will be doing a piece inspired by the beauty of the nature of a small town.

“It will be great to see how this will pan out,” she said.

On the business side of things, said Ms Coetzer, securing funding was often a challenge.

“We’d work extremely well with a group of dancers for two months and then the project ends, we part ways and then when there’s new project, the dancers have already found other work and we have to start from scratch,” she said.

Ms Coetzer said the future of contemporary dance was bright as it was always moving with the times, changing and reflecting where the world is at right now. “I’m interested in where the new technology, our smartphone apps and artificial intelligence can be used for dance theatre,” she said.