Jay Pather, Performance and Spatial Politics in South Africa
Published by: Indiana University Press
Jay Pather, Performance and Spatial Politics in South Africa offers the first full-length monograph on the award-winning choreographer, theater director, curator, and creative artist in contemporary global performance. Working within the contexts of African studies, dance, theater, and performance, Ketu H. Katrak explores the extent of Pather's productive career but also places him and his work in the South African and global arts scene, where he is considered a visionary.
Pather, a South African of Indian heritage, is known as a master of space, site, and location. Katrak examines how Pather's performance practices place him in the center of global trends that are interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, collaborative, and multimedia and that cross borders between dance, theater, visual art, and technology.
Jay Pather, Performance and Spatial Politics in South Africa offers a vision of an artist who is strategically aware of the spatiality of human life, who understands the human body as the nation's collective history, and who is a symbol of hope and resilience after the trauma of violent segregation.
Preface: Personal Journey to Discovering Jay Pather
Introduction: Pather's Spatial Politics within South Africa's Historical and Political Landscape
Journeys across Political, Socio-racial and Geographic Borderlines: Interconnecting the Present, Past, and Future
1. Crossing (over): Indian Ocean Migrations Pather's Historical Dance-Dramas
2. Race and Space Matter: Outdancing Apartheid's Grip (1980s and 1990s) The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Choreographed Critiques of Broken Promises Post-1994 Testimonies; Laws of Recall; Unclenching the Fist, Forked Tongues, Shifting Spaces, Tilting Time
The Transitional and the In-between: Theoretical and Creative Engagements with Urban Geography (2000-2015)
3. Site-Specific Cartographies of Belonging Cityscapes; Republic; Rite, Blind Spot
4. Site-Responsive Works of History and Memory Home; The Beautiful Ones Must be Born; Body of Evidence; Qaphela Caesar
Curatorial Choreographies: Challenges of Curating Public Art Festivals (2007–Present)
5. A New Kind of Performance-Curation of Live Artists Director of the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (2010-2015), now the Institute for Creative Arts (2016 on) Spier Contemporary: Fostering New South African Arts Director of GIPCA 2010-2015; Institute for Creative Arts (2016 on)
Conclusion: A Sense of Ending
Appendix: Indians in South Africa
"Jay Pather's own artistic as well as his curatorial practices are deeply engaged with South Africa's histories and legacies of injustice, segregation, racialization as well as the country's aspirations for a new dispensation, for a better, more equal, just, and democratic future. He is fully deserving of this full-length study."~Catherine Cole, University of Washington
"Jay Pather's choices have never been easy, nor have the routes he has taken been paved with anything but obstacles and mire. Yet, as Ketu H. Katrak shows, Pather's works and achievements are extraordinary records of the challenges faced by those excluded from most places in South Africa by apartheid's drastic laws."~Sarah Davies Cordova, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Paris Dance