Géraldine Leong Sang: “to work beyond our borders”
Malagasy choreographer and dancer Géraldine Leong Sang has had several points of engagement with the Regional Arts Programme, both as a direct ANT Mobility Fund recipient and indirectly through partner organisations working in southern Africa.
The first time I received ANT Mobility support allowed me to attend the 2017 Kinani Dance festival in Mozambique. During my stay in Maputo I was able to do two creation residencies, one with Horacio Macuacua (Mozambique) and the other a co-creation with Anjara Rasamiarison (Madagascar). I was able to present these two choreographic pieces in the Quatro Andar programme and meet peers from different countries during the festival. In parallel with the festival, Anjara and I were able to take pictures of artists and people working in the artistic world for “Danseho”, a television programme devoted to dance that we programme in Madagascar. The video recordings we made were able to feed our programmes over several months and give an international dimension to our reports. The creation residency of our duo also gave birth to a new version of our choreographic piece which received positive feedback during festivals in which we subsequently participated.
The second ANT Mobility grant allowed me to attend the Terms of Engagement seminar in Johannesburg, South Africa. Artists from more than 20 countries were present to share their experiences. I encountered countless people, stories, experiences, professions, challenges, cultural and political issues, etc. from the African continent which shed light on my own experiences. I made several connections for future collaborations and had the chance to see one of the largest contemporary art exhibitions on the continent.
The third ANT Mobility grant supported a residency creation of a duo that I co-created with Lovatiana Rakotobe (Madagascar) in Harare. This residency came about through the connections I had made during my previous stay in South Africa: Glawdys Hwami, administrator of Njelele Art Station at the time and Daniel Maposa of the Savanna Trust.Initially planned to take place at Njelele Art Station, then at Afrikera, our residency had to be revised several times due to budgetary constraints before finally taking place in collaboration with the performing arts organisation Savanna Trust. This worked out well because Savanna Trust put us in touch with many different performers and directors who we would not have met otherwise and whose artistic outlook greatly enriched our work during the residency. We were also able to meet the dancers working at the Afrikera Trust during an exchange at the end of the residency. The support not only allowed us to work beyond our borders but also to continue our research work back at home in Madagascar and to give us the accessories and costumes necessary for the final presentation of our duo creation.
In summary, the ANT Mobility support not only allowed projects to take shape by making resources available, but also fostered the development of exchanges between artists from the continent and from other continents. The ANT Mobility Fund has had a leverage effect on artistic creativity as well as fostered the revitalisation and sustainability of artistic activities in southern Africa.