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SA Dance Journal

Message from the Editor (2013)

At the time of writing this editorial, South Africa holds its breath for a return to good health for our beloved Madiba, Tata, and former President - Nelson Mandela. As a nation we owe so much to him that the second issue of SADJ warrants a salute to his courage and fortitude. The innumerable dance festivals , afro–fusion works, SA contemporary dance , heritage events , debates of African Renaissance and diasporas , transformation of the arts sector  and the emergence of Dance Studies in our National education curricula are all part of his Madiba magic. Our tribute list is long.  Madiba continues to inspire many to find articulate voices that offer critique and insight that is multi-faceted and cohesive - i.e. community centredness. My role in enriching this legacy is to offer you (dance scholars and readers) this space to share and learn more about your work thereby strengthening our village - Dance as Research.

Democracy in South Africa has come at an enormous public and private cost for so many and this includes all those who have engaged with the performing arts and specifically, Dance. It is not surprising that the vestiges of colonialism and apartheid continue to flavour and permeate the scholarly writing in this latest issue. The topics covered are wide ranging and continue to find their intersection with the position of Dance of the South. I have once again encouraged voices from both within and outside of our base, South Africa, and trust that you will find these perspectives stimulating and an extension of readership beyond borders.

I am grateful to the Editorial Board that has strengthened my resolve for our publication on Dance through this specific academic format (as opposed to the stage/ performance space format). The lens of our largely female authored SADJ Vol. 2 journal may also be noteworthy for some.  I am especially pleased by the ontology of nurture and openness as suggested by Wilson (see page 14) and Akunna’s writing of dance movement therapy within its African (see page 24) focus.  We can only look forward to the further developments from both these more seasoned authors and dance researchers. The discourse and analysis of spectatorship whether provocative in Castelyn’s “Lion King” article ( see page 1), or pithy in Krastin’s dogged search for ‘disappearing’ answers with National Arts Festival Director Ismail Mahomed (see page 147), are also highlights.

One of SADJ’s aims is to widen the space for emerging voices and to this end, the inclusion of previously unpublished writers is welcomed. Langeveldt’s , personal account of challenges facing a dance educator are not necessarily unique but could provide solace and nuanced views for dance teachers everywhere. The isolated study in its application of Butoh in Cape Town schools by Job, also offers such possibilities, in my view. Zimbabwe remains in global headlines and Cheesman’s account from the field is simultaneously tragic and encouraging. I hope you will find resonance in each of these musings that have prompted me to include them.I trust readers will also enjoy the multiple layers of Dils ( see page 95) bi-lateral accounts of student exchange between a USA and South African institution, and notions of collaboration and performance-making explicated by Johnstone ( see page 45).

I look forward to new books and the range of your next articles which may stem from screendance, the virtual body to pole dancing! My special thanks to associate editors, Alan Parker (guest) and Daniel Fourie, who have toiled to make this issue reach its final print deadline. Thank you to the team at Nashua at UCT. If you are holding this copy, I trust in your continued support, and purchase, of this valuable teaching tool, insightful magazine and keepsake/time capsule of our ethereal art form in the Winter of 2013.