From September 25th to October 2nd a small delegation of our company travels to Johannesburg/South Africa and Nairobi/Kenya. The Goethe-Institut invited us to present small pieces of William Forsythe's works. After the performances, the audience will become dancers themselves, because our artists will work with them on small improvisations. Through these events, the guests gain an insight into the daily work of a ballet company.
September 25th & 26th, 2016
18:45: Here we go! Or so we thought… Our flight out of Dresden was delayed but we did make it to Johannesburg right on time Monday morning. We had just enough time to check into our hotel before being taken over to the Dance Factory for a rehearsal; this is where we will do both our Johannesburg performances.At 13.00 we enjoyed lunch with our colleagues from the Goethe-Institut. Good thing we didn’t overeat, because right after we were crammed into little Tuk Tuks for a tour of the famous Soweto neighbourhood! We all agreed that the most special part of this tour for us was the visit to Nelson Mandela’s house. We all collapsed heavily into bed, first impressions still flashing through our heads from an amazing and full first day in Johannesburg.
September 27th, 2016
Today was already our first performance! At 14.00 we were joined by 200 students who spectated our practice beforehand, and then our presentation of various Pas de deux from Forsythe’s repertoire. The most exciting part actually came after the performance, when we split up the audience and did workshops as smaller groups. As dancers we acted as teachers and taught our audience a few tips on Forsythe’s dance technique and improvisations. It was a delightfully memorable experience for all involved.
We were unexpectedly exhausted by the end, the elevation and lowered oxygen levels were really quite noticeable during such a strenuous day. That evening we reaped our reward though, as we were invited to an evening safari! We spied lions, giraffes, and wild dogs from afar but the best part was of course petting lion babies…
September 29th, 2016
We were up bright and early this morning! Checked out of our hotel at 6:30 and flew to Nairobi (Kenya) at 10:10. It was a 4 hour flight, but thankfully very punctual. Of course the punctuality ended as soon as we got to our hotel and stood around for quite a while filling out visa forms. Once again our generous colleagues from the Goethe-Institut took us out for dinner and we got to enjoy a Happy Hour beer! It was a very nice end to a long day.
September 30th, 2016
Our day started off quickly, with a city tour through Nairobi after breakfast. Most striking for us Germans was the intense noise and exhaust fumes of driving through this city. While visiting the conference center, we were greeted by an amazing view of the city from the helipad! After a quick stop over to the market, we started preparing for our first performance. At 18.00 we started the show and what else can we say? The audience was amazing! They were so cool and open to the experience. Not even two power outages (leaving us in complete darkness) could dampen theirs or our excitement and enjoyment! It was a wonderful performance and we are really looking forward to our last one tomorrow night.
October 1st, 2016
Sadly today is already our last performance and last day of the tour! Once again we took the opportunity to explore the city during the day before retreating to the theater for our last performance. Our audience was once again fantastic! They took part in our workshop with such enthusiasm. Right now we're sitting in the airport waiting to board. It is unbelievable how much we've been able to experience during this short week. We are so grateful to our colleagues at the Goethe Institute in Johannesburg and Nairobi for this amazing and unforgettable opportunity!