Garage Dance Ensemble (Arts / Theatre)


Garage Dance Ensemble searingly unites vernacular movement and uncompromising poetry. Knock-out Northern Cape-based company centers the lives of young South Africans and the legacies they bear with a deeply personal and socially charged dance-theater work.

Garage Dance Ensemble is adept at creating from absence, at mounting rich and riveting performances in blank spaces like community halls. Making art meant to merge and reflect its community, Garage’s work is essential by necessity – and by choice. It’s immediate and raw, filled with passionate presence and clear, expressive movement. When you watch Garage’s dancers, you’re witnessing embodied thought and feeling.

In many ways, Garage traces South Africa’s recent past and current circumstances. Its home is O’Kiep, a remote former mining area in the Namaqualand (Northern Cape) region of South Africa, not far from the border with Namibia. Its dancers are youthful co-creators in the Ensemble’s work, many of them hailing from backgrounds still too rarely featured on South African mainstream stages. Its founders are Alfred Hinkel and John Linden, two of S.A.’s most influential dance makers and company directors, perhaps best known for their decades-long work leading Cape Town’s Jazzart Dance Theatre to be one of the most important cultural and creative centers. From 1986-2010 they pioneered a teaching and performance ethos firmly rooted in the progressive ideological principles of the South African anti-apartheid struggle.


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