The Centre for the Less Good Idea: Season 1

The Centre for the Less Good Idea launches with a season of outstanding collaborative work created by more than 60 Johannesburg-based multi-disciplinary practitioners.

Founded by William Kentridge in November 2016, the name derives in part from a Twana proverb: ‘If the good doctor can’t cure you, find the less good doctor’.

The Centre aims to nurture artists in finding the less good idea, and creates and supports experimental, collaborative and cross-disciplinary arts projects.

Theatre practitioner Khutjo Bakunzi-Green with William Kentridge during a script reading | Photographer | Stella Olivier

The Centre provides a physical and immaterial space to pursue incidental discoveries made in the process of producing work. “Often, you start with a good idea. It might seem crystal clear at first, but when you put it to work the cracks and fissures emerge in its surface, and they cannot be ignored. It is often the secondary ideas, those less good ideas found in trying to address the cracks in the first idea, that become the core of the work… the intention is to provide a forum for these less good ideas – arguing that in the act of playing with an idea, you can recognise those things that you didn’t know in advance, but knew were somewhere inside you,” says Kentridge about the intentions of Centre.

Rehearsals for the 10 piece Blind Mass Orchestra, performing experimental compositions by João Renato Orecchia Zúñiga to primarily instruction scores and animated scores | Photographer | Stella Olivier

The Centre is a space to follow impulses, connections and revelations. It’s a physical space for artists to come together over two seasons every year and for the curators of these seasons to bring together text, performance, image, and dance because an ensemble sees the world differently to how an individual does. It’s a safe space for failure, for projects to be tried and discarded because they do not work. It’s a space for short form work that does not have a natural home in a theatre or gallery, work which can show the jumping from context to context you do in your need to make sense of the world.

Actors Hamilton Dlamini and Tony Miyambo with vocalist Ann Masina in rehearsals for a piece extracted from Wole Soyinka’s ‘The Trials of Brother Jero’, directed by co-curator for Season 1 Khayelihle Dominique Gumede

Season 1 of the Centre brings together more than 60 practitioners (actors, dancers, poets, writers, composers, musicians, visual artists, filmmakers and boxers) under the guidance of curators Khayelihle Dominique Gumede, Lebogang Mashile, Gregory Maqoma and William Kentridge. Artists met for a series of workshops in December 2016, after which the less good ideas began to take shape. The result is SEASON 1 OF THE CENTRE FOR THE LESS GOOD IDEA, taking place from 1 – 5 March 2017 at Arts on Main in the Maboneng Precinct.

This explosion of creativity has not only stretched every collaborator within this inaugural season but it has also reinstalled the bravery to genuinely explore beyond and to fail extravagantly if need be. (Khayelihle Dominique Gumede)

Dancers Xolisile Bongwana and Thulani Chauke rehearsing Requiem Request, a piece conceptualized by choreographer and co-curator of Season 1 Gregory Maqoma in collaboration with iscathamiya choir, Phuphuma Love Minus directed by Nhlanhla Mahlangu | Photographer | Stella Olivier

The program comprises of performances and films showcased in three different venues in the Arts on Main complex, as well as site-specific performances at the Kwa Mai Mai market and installations in the surrounding neighbourhood.

Make sure to book for one or all of the exciting events that Season 1 of the Centre for the Less Good Idea has to offer from 1 – 5 March 2017.

Bookings: www.lessgoodidea.com

Tickets from R 100 – R 150. Film, installation and site-specific

Vocalist Ann Masina in responds to action on the stage using a mic’d up typewriter

PROGRAMME DETAILS:

4 SHORT PLAYS BY SAMUEL BECKETT

DATE: 1 & 2 March 2017

TIME: 19:00 – 20:30

VENUE: William Kentridge’s studio at Arts on Main

An evening of 4 short plays performed back to back: Not I, Rough for Theatre I, Play and Catastrophe. Directors include Khayelihle Dominique Gumede, William Kentridge, Khutjo Bakunzi-Green and Jemma Kahn. Actors include Patricia Boyer, Tony Miyambo, Jemma Kahn, Hamilton Dlamini, Vanessa Cooke and Dan Robbertse

William Kentridge draws in response to live sound elements and projections | Photographer | Stella Olivier

IN THE RING

DATE: 3, 4 & 5 March 2017

TIME: 21:00 – 22:30 on 3rd and 4th March

18:30 – 20:00 on 5th March

VENUE: William Kentridge’s studio at Arts on Main

An evening of collaborative performances from artists across the disciplines of theatre, visual art, poetry, music and dance. Choreographed by Gregory Maqoma, Nhlanhla Mahlangu and Sello Pesa. Composed by João Renato Orecchia Zúñiga. Curated by Lebogang Mashile, Khayelihle Dominique Gumede and William Kentridge. Performers include Lebogang Mashile, Hamilton Dlamini, Ann Masina, Thulani Chauke, Nhlanhla Mahlangu and Phuphuma Love Minus an Isicathamiya choir.

Actor Hamilton Dlamini in rehearsals for a piece extracted from Wole Soyinka’s ‘The Trials of Brother Jero’, directed by co-curator for Season 1 Khayelihle Dominique Gumede | Photographer | Stella Olivier

AT THE CENTRE

DATE: 3, 4 March 2017

TIME: 19:00 – 20:30

16:30 – 18:00 on the 5th March

VENUE: The Centre for the Less Good Idea | Unit 11 at Arts on Main

An evening of collaborative performances from artists across the disciplines of theatre, visual art, poetry, music and dance. Choreographed by Gregory Maqoma and Nhlanhla Mahlangu. Composed by João Renato Orecchia Zúñiga. Curated by Lebogang Mashile. Performers include Thulani Chauke, Xolisile Bongwana, Nhlanhla Mahlangu and Phuphuma Love Minus an Isicathamiya choir, a 10 piece experimental orchestra conceptualised by João Renato Orecchia Zúñiga to primarily instruction scores and animated scores, musicians include Thandi Ntuli, Tlale Makhene, Waldo Alexander and Mpumelelo Mcata.

Visual artists Blessing Ngobeni, and Kutala Chopeto (the collective name for artist duo Teresa Fimino and Helena Uambembe) in discussion | Photographer | Stella Olivier

KAFKA’S APE and more

DATE: 4 March 2017

TIME: 14:00 – 15:00

VENUE: The Centre for the Less Good Idea | Unit 11 at Arts on Main

An afternoon featuring Kafka’s Ape performed by Tony Miyambo and improvisational vignettes directed by Khayelihle Dominique Gumede.

Visual artist Rhett Martyn and dancer Julia Zenzie Burnham test out some ideas with recently thrown clay pots | Photographer | Stella Olivier

BLACKBOARD PROJECTIONS

DATE: 1, 2, 3, 4 March 2017

TIME: 17:00 – 19:00 daily

10:00 – 16:30 on Sunday 5th March

VENUE: Arts on Main

An installation experience of over 17 short format films. Artists and filmmakers include Naomi van Niekerk, Blessing Ngobeni, Angus Gibson, William Kentridge, John “Sparks Napoli” Makatise and Jemma Kahn.

Actor Dan Robbertse and director Khutjo Bakunzi-Green in rehearsals | Photographer | Stella Olivier

AFRIKA

DATE: 5 March 2017

TIME: 14:00 – 15:00

VENUE:  Kwa Mai Mai Market, Corner Anderson and Berea Street

A site-specific performance at MAI MAI Market conceptualised by Ntsoana Contemporary Dance Theatre. Performers include Sello Pesa, Humphrey Malek and Brian Mtembu.

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