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Vahla & Gabang to speak at NSU Circle 7 winter symposium 2023

Updated: Jan 13


NSU Circle 7 winter symposium 2023


24th - 26th Feb 2023

Stockholm University of the Arts

Brinellvägen 58

115 53 Stockholm

Sweden


Maipelo Gabang & Athina Vahla to present:

A choreography of reciprocity across continents; rotating the roles of host and guest


Short Abstract


A choreography of reciprocity across continents; rotating the roles of host and guest , the paper discusses the creative relationship between Maipelo and Athina over a period of ten years and across geographical distance; Botswana and Greece, the Eastern Cape in South Africa Sweden and England. The paper particularly discusses the relationship through a hula - hoop performance Maipelo and Athina originally created in 2013 and which they continue to develop.


The paper discusses the creative relationship between two Performing Arts practitioners, Maipelo Gabang and Athina Vahla. The collaborative relationship is approached through the lens of reciprocity as a mutual exchange of energy and support and a sharing of practice that the two artists developed over a period of ten years and across geographical distance. The paper partly comprises a chronicle of the rotating, ‘host -guest’ roles undertaken by the two artists through their affiliation with academic institutions located in different countries. The rotating roles include these of student and teacher, mentor and maker, insider and outsider researcher, academic and artist, theorist and practitioner. The geographical locations include Botswana and Greece, the artists’ birth places which partly influenced their creative path; the Eastern Cape in South Africa where they originally met and created work; Sweden and England where they currently live and work.


The paper particularly discusses the artists’ relationship through a hula - hoop based performance they originally created and which they continue to develop. During their ten-year relationship, Vahla and Gabang re-visited the concept of the hula-hoop and explored an array of creative possibilities and iterations that emerged since. For this paper the hoop is used as a symbol of a physical and metaphorical full circle connection between different people, but also continuity and life endurance.


The creative paper will be supported by a performative presentation comprising of visual extracts, a commentary and short hula - hoop demonstrations shared live.


Questions: how the concept of a hoop activates a reciprocity of giving and taking in a collaborative relationship; what dimensions of knowledge can be physically performed and shared through a hula- hoop dance; can existing forms of social dance stretched to their limits still remain ‘rooted’ yet, also, transcend their role?


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