TAH DAM (2020 - 2022)

Image by Lindsey Appolis

“Together At Home, Music And Dance” (TAH DAM) is a performance project for children aged 2 - 6 years, first conceptualised and developed in 2020 in the framework of the FRATZ Symposium Research Lab in association with ASSITEJ South Africa. First created in Cape Town and performed under strict conditions in 2020 at Theatre Arts Admin Collective, and later in Cape Town in 2021 and in Malmö, Helsingborg, Amsterdam and Berlin for the FRATZ Festival and Symposium 2022.  

Performed by Coila-Leah Enderstein (SA), Thalia Laric (SA), Vintani Nafassi (MZ), Sumalgy Nuro (MZ), Manuela Lucia Tessi (NL/IT). Developed by the performers in collaboration with Nicola Elliott (SA). Original videos and additional credits on the website.

Image by Lindsey Appolis

The original research question, “how can artists collaborate with children to compose a music and dance performance in real time?”, had to be adjusted due to Covid-19 conditions. The result was a series of videos that sought to bring music and dance into the daily lives of young children and their caregivers, providing entry points for potential live performances at a later stage. The content of the videos was developed through practices of real time composition, the discipline through which the artists first came together. 

The full-length piece combines the content of the videos. It has distinct sections and landmarks but retains the flexibility and spontaneity of real time composition, which is crucial since the piece opens up to the children during the performance.

The fundamental principle of the practice is the negotiation in real time of different modes of performance as well as different aesthetic traditions. In this case, a juxtaposition of elements of traditional African music and dance with figurations of Western classical music, in conversation through an experimental and collaborative approach. 

Images by Lindsey Appolis