Darkroom Contemporary Dance Theatre presents ULTRA at the National Arts Festival

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Darkroom Contemporary Dance Theatre is proud to present ULTRA at the National Arts Festival which this year celebrates 50 years in June.


ULTRA will form part of the Curated Programme, themed Justice and Hope. This live art performance incorporates multimedia elements and an original score by music artist Brydon Bolton, combining to draw viewers into an immersive experience.
ULTRA is produced by Darkroom Contemporary Dance Theatre and will be performed from 20 to 22 June at Graeme College.


This performance tour of ULTRA is made possible thanks to a grant from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) and supported by the National Arts Festival.
ULTRA exposes the physicality of extremes. The performance transcends beyond its own range of limits, seeking to balance the tension between extreme and moderate. The work echoes our current climate of extremist, reactionary colliding, and tests to what degree, the moderate and the revolutionary can co-exist. ULTRA conjures a virtual reality where the performers’ humanness is continuously interrupted by an omnipresent machine.

“The concept for the production stems from an interest in the nuances and complexities of how societies function, both on the real and virtual planes. A moment of extremes, in many forms and guises, this work seeks to understand our physicality within that,” says Louise Coetzer, co-founder of Darkroom Contemporary Dance Theatre.
“The Darkroom Contemporary company dancers deliver a performance that is at once refined, truthful, and fervent.”
With Concept, Direction and Choreography by Louise Coetzer, ULTRA features an original score by Brydon Bolton. It is performed by Bronwyn Craddock, Darion Adams and Gabrielle Fairhead.
Visuals are by Oscar O’Ryan and Keshet Karidi. Costumes are realised by Henri Design.

ULTRA performance dates are:

20 June at 19h00;
21 June at 12h00 & 19h00;
22 June at 13h00

Tickets cost R120

Bookings can be made at https://tickets.nationalartsfestival.co.za/en/events/218/ultra
An enthralling production, ULTRA is a continuation of Louise Coetzer’s research into the use of new technologies, interdisciplinarity and media applications as presentation tools. The result is a deeply engaging sonic and visual journey punctuated by the performers’ intense physicality.
ULTRA connects the form to the world outside the theatre – an exploration of placing dance in surprising juxtaposition with everyday life, both real and virtual.

riveting and intriguing dance theatre…. I want to see this piece again” Robyn Cohen, The Cape Robyn

“True to the style of work are renowned for, ULTRA merges dance theatre with interdisciplinary live art, technology, and elements of sound design to offer audiences a uniquely immersive experience. ULTRA exists at the intersection between live art, durational sound installation, physical theatre and visual art,” says Coetzer.
“Brydon’s experimental sound score drives the work and frames the audience experience; at times anxious, calm, meditative or pulsating. The result is a deeply engaging sonic and visual journey.”
Darkroom Contemporary Dance Theatre is a multiple award-winning company which was formed as a vehicle to reimagine Dance, through its innovative approach to staging and presenting Interdisciplinary Works. Darkroom Contemporary creates unique audience experiences representing Dance through Live Art, Screendance, Interdisciplinary & Tech – Based Performance, and Site – Specific & Public Performance.
Projects spearheaded by the founders Louise Coetzer and Oscar O’Ryan provide platforms to create opportunities for skills development and exchange among all artists involved. An emphasis on the use of New Technology and Digital Media frames their artistic approach, with a focus on three pillars of activation – Performance, Film and Development.

  • Commissioned by the SA State Theatre for the Kucheza Afrika Festival, and the TOYOTA US Woordfees (2023), with support from the National Arts Council and the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs & Sport. This performance tour is made possible through support from the National Arts Festival and the National Lotteries Commission.
  • Darkroom Contemporary Dance Theatre is grateful to the funders, sponsors and partners who support its programmes and projects:

The National Lotteries Commission of South Africa, The National Arts Council of South Africa, The Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme, Dance For All South Africa, The Western Cape Government Department of Cultural Affairs & Sport, The National Arts Festival, The City of Johannesburg, The Toyota US Woordfees, The South African State Theatre.


NOTE: ULTRA carries a Flashing Light Warning – the work uses multimedia and lighting effects that may disturb photosensitive viewers.
ULTRA will be performed from 20 to 22 June at Graeme College.
Bookings can be made at https://tickets.nationalartsfestival.co.za/en/events/218/ultra

Join the conversation:

Website: www.darkroomcontemporary.com
Facebook: DarkroomContemporary
Instragram: DarkroomContemporary

Shaun Zietsman https://www.thesomethingguy.co.za

Blogger and Content Creator from Johannesburg, South Africa.

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