Ever since returning to O’Kiep from Cape Town in 2010, after firmly establishing the revered Jazzart Dance Theatre as South Africa’s flagship contemporary dance company, Alfred Hinkel and John Linden birthed a new professional organisation (Garage Dance Ensemble) aimed at developing and employing the artistic, technical and administrative skills of individuals from the area.
The company creates world-class innovative theatre, provides skills training and exposure to art that contributes substantively to the transformative development and expansion of the performing arts in the Namakwa region.
Garage’s work introduces ever-expanding audiences to socially relevant cultural performances through school programmes, annual regional tours, major festivals and theatres across the country.
The organisation’s workspace is marketed both nationally and internationally as a venue for creative residencies.
Garage’s Hinkel (Mentor) and Linden (Choreographer/ Artistic Director) both have extensive experience including 40 years in the Southern Africa theatre business as pioneers/dance teachers/directors, successfully establishing and managing four renowned dance companies (in Namibia, Durban, Cape Town and O’Kiep).
They are award winning choreographers who have contributed artistically to the creation of world class productions, collaborating with and inspiring heavyweight South African dance and theatre practitioners, and grooming high calibre dancers. They are also committed to actively contributing to community development.
Since 2010 Garage have produced 8 professional dancers who are all in the field and considered as top-class by people in the industry. There are also other artists from the Namakwa area that have previously been trained by Hinkel and Linden in Cape Town.
The duo has a history of creating meaningful, rewarding employment and opportunities for a selected group of people who are being groomed to continue their legacy and Garage’s work.
They are veterans reputable for developing the creative skills of individuals from Namakwaland and the broader Southern Africa region.
2015 – Arts and Culture Trust, Lifetime Achievement Award (Hinkel).
2017 – Arts and Culture Trust, ImpACT Award (Byron Klassen – Garage Dance Ensemble dancer, choreographer and mentee of Hinkel and Linden).
2019 – Western Cape Department of Sport Art and Culture, Lifetime Achievement Award (Linden and Hinkel).
2020 – Woordfees 2020 Woordtrofees, Best Dance Theatre Production (‘Krummelpap, Afval en Sunlightseepbaddens’ by Garage Dance Ensemble).
2020 – Woordfees 2020 Woordtrofees, Best Up-And-Coming Artist (Lynette Du Plessis – Garage Dance Ensemble dancer)
2020 – Northern Cape Awards, Best Choreographer (Klassen)
Janine Lange is a published author, trauma-informed embodied narrative practitioner and social entrepreneur. She holds two Masters degrees, one in development studies and one in creative writing, and is currently pursuing a PhD in gender studies at UWC as part of the New Imaginaries project for sexual and gender justice. Her work is focused on narrative practice and intersectional feminist methodologies among the BIPOC communities in South Africa and abroad through dialogical and visual storytelling.