Mozambique // South Africa
For this research project, Mozambican contemporary dancer and choreographer Pak Ndjamena will collaborate remotely with the inclusive Unmute Dance Company in Cape Town to continue work on his piece DEUS NOS ACUDI (God Supports Us) and research more broadly the role of contemporary dance in relation to shifting local and global experiences of space.
Through a series of online interactions, Pak will develop new choreography and incorporate work by Unmute as source material for further research and experimentation with various forms of expression, body creation, the sharing of knowledge and cultural experiences. The essence of this virtual research aims to find bases of body expression that question and comment on consumer culture and the place of the body in society today. Pak aims to explore the relationship between the body and history, power, religion and culture. He sets out to ask, Is the contemporary body free or controlled? Original or imitated? Is the experience of the body influenced by the cultural pattern to which it is inserted?
This research will inform a choreographed video performance of DEUS NOS ACUDI that imagines how this body reacts when relating to the environment and other bodies. The documentary will be shown at the Arts Ability online Festival from 28 November to 3 December 2020 in Cape Town.
Bernardo Guiamba, who goes by the artist name Pak Ndjamena, began his career as a dancer in the Escola Nacional de Dança. He is strongly influenced by the traditional dances of groups Tsemba and Ussoforal. Since 1996 he has participated as a performer and choreographer in numerous festivals and projects in Mozambique, and other African and European countries. As a dancer, he has worked with Augusto Cuvilas, Culturarte and O Rumo do Fumo. Some projects include De Porto em Porto in 2015 in Portugal, and during the Cape Town Art Week 2016 he was part of the live architecture project Influx with visual artist Gerald Machona. In 2017 he performed the pieces Dentro Mim Uma Ilha, by Panaiba Canda and Influx at the KINANI Festival and Pak collaborated on the 2M project as a choreographer and interpreter (Mozambique and Madagascar), with the dancer Judith Olivia for the KINANI Festival in 2019. Pak also creates video performance works, and teaches contemporary dance to amateurs and semi-professional dancers.