Photographer's Note

A Maker of Spectacles: Foofwa d'Imobilité
Acclaimed Swiss contemporary dance artist Foofwa d'Imobilité and his company bring two innovative dance pieces to Southern Africa in September. Their visit forms part of a tour presented by Pro Helvetia Cape Town, the Swiss Arts Council, and includes performances in the major centres of Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban as well as Maputo and Antananarivo.

Foofwa, born Frederic Gafner in Geneva, was a student of the late Merce Cunningham, one of the great creative forces of American dance. His solo and collaborative works have earned him numerous international awards, including a New York “Bessie Award” (1995) and, more recently, the 2006 Swiss Prize for dance and choreography. His work also has graced the stages of the Paris Opera, the Fenice Theatre in Venice, Italy, the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York and over 40 other cities in Europe.

Because he employs various theatrical modes and his choreography is full of play, illusion and risk, Foofwa’s work has been hard to categorise. Pure dance, theatrical dance, experimental theatre, performance art, mime, and even stand-up comedy are just some of the ways his work has been described. What he brings to Southern Africa then are two very different, though equally engaging, pieces.

In “The Making of Spectacles”, the audience is invited to collaborate with the artistic team (Foofwa and dancers Ruth Childs, Anja Schmidt and Filibert Tologo) in order to compose a unique performance. The solo “Pina Jackson in Mercemoriam” is Foofwa’s channelling of the spirits of three “royalties” of dance who recently passed away. Avoiding morbid portrayals, Foofwa instead constructs something of a choreographic comedy or, what he calls, a “humouriscritic” and vivifying tribute.

“Call it play in the field of masters. Call it illusion in the Land of Oz. Call it whatever you want".

*Pro Helvetia quote

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Additional Photos by Alex Fan Moniz (LondonBoy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 85 W: 0 N: 392] (1950)
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