CityLife Arts

Vincent Mantsoe film cuts through the pandemic

By CityLife Arts Writer 

The French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) is this month presenting an original contemporary dance performance, Cut, by South African choreographer Vincent Mantsoe in partnership with the Market Theatre. Cut  s a 13-minute online work by Mantsoe created in remote collaboration with composer and musician Mpho Molikeng, and filmmaker Frank Pizon.

The performance will be available to stream for free on the Market Theatre social media platforms and on the French Institute faceBook pages from June 18 to July 2. It will be accompanied by interviews of Mantsoe and behind-the-scene videos of the creative process..

Critically-acclaimed South African choreographer and dancer Mantsoe, who is currently based in France, was scheduled to tour South Africa in April to present his solo piece SoliiDaD as well as to present his workshop programme Trok. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, his creative mind has found another innovative way to reach his home country. Mantsoe’s new dance short film creation, called Cut, will be streaming live for two weeks.

Choreographed for the camera, Cut explores the experience of living with the imminent danger of infection and the derived consequences of the ongoing pandemic, such as quarantine, social distancing and self-isolation. The movements of the dancer are crafted to multi-layered music. 

Cut was filmed in the studio of the dancer and edited at a distance by the video artist, the visual composition captures the experience of being torn between extreme poles of opposition, and of struggling to resist the emotional weight of a self that may give in to the anxiety of the situation.

Cut articulates some of the many contradictory emotions in this disturbing times. These emotions pull us apart, but also makes us gravitate towards one another.   

Pictured; Vincent Mantsoe.

The short film was conceived through an interesting creative process. Mantsoe, along with musician Mpho Molikeng from Lesotho and filmmaker Frank Pizon from France, collaborated remotely and virtually, exchanging thoughts, sounds and images by email. A first for all of them!

It is truly a cross-cultural project that brings together, directly from their homes, exceptional talent from South Africa, Lesotho and France for a journey of inspiration and discovery. The short film is produced by the Market Theatre with the support of IFAS. 

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