Point of Humanness

Stacey van Schalkwyk in collaboration with Yashin Naidoo, Nicole Joka and Kizito Mukasa

  • Ticket Price: R40.00
  • Duration: 25min
  • Age Recommendation: 10+
  • Genre: Multi-media
  • Language: English

Point of Humanness, comprising a set of five short videos merging music, cinematography, dance and poetry, strings together the unfolding journey of our humanness. It starts from a place of nothingness. Each video creates a new layer of possibility towards finding our humanness, while modelling reflections for the viewer. Ashes – In our broken humanness, we don’t see beyond the ashes. Yet, at the point of embracing our humanness, even in its broken state, we break free from our immobility caused by fear. Drifting – weaves a narrative around the feeling of loneliness, its power to isolate and create social disconnection. Childlike Wonder – “All grown-ups were once children… but only a few of them remember it.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. A simple reminder of our inner-child. Ballad for Earth – “Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein. To be whole, to be human, we need to contemplate the extraordinary rhythms of the earth. The repeated refrains of nature is the birthplace of healing and growth. Joy of Movement – Music and dance is the manifestation of being human, channelling love, connection, and community.

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PRODUCTION CREDITS

Concept, Composition, Director and Flute: Stacey van Schalkwyk
Cinematography, Production and Percussion: Yashin Naidoo
Choreography and Dancer:Nicole Joka

Bass: Lex Futshane
Guitar: Mageshen Naidoo
Cello: Rina Schutte
Vocals: Debbie Mari and Luca Crouse
Poetry: Kizito Mukasa and Chantal Snyman

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Point of Humanness merges music, cinematography, dance and poetry into a unique transformative online viewing experience that will inspire dialogue and facilitate story-sharing. An essential part of the viewing experience is reflection. We, therefore, invite viewers to share their thoughts and stories on our Facebook page. Viewers may also upload video clips as a way of sharing life experiences. An essential part of our humanness is to make a real connection with others, with the purpose of creative collaboration. This will allow us to recognise our interdependence with each other and our environment. Point of Humanness is a newly conceptualised collaborative project, drawing on the experience of leading, as well as emerging performers and creatives.

While Stacey van Schalkwyk is the birthing mother of the concept, Point of Humanness is a collaborative project. Each creative bringing a wealth of experience and insight to the story while trying to reimagine performance space in the current climate. Stacey van Schalkwyk is an admired cultural and social innovator flautist, writer, researcher, and educator. In 1996 she was awarded an IAJE award for outstanding contribution to music education at the 23rd IAJE International Conference. Stacey is best known for her innovative vision and as founding member and leader of the band Mosaic in the nineties. Together with Mosaic, she performed in many local and international festivals, including at the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference (IAJE ) in the USA. In 1998 Graham Collier invited Mosaic to perform and give workshops at the Royal Academy of Music. Mosaic also performed at Nelson Mandela’s birthday, the Southern African Economic Forum’s Heads of State Conference, and the Common Wealth Cultural Exchange Conference. Stacey has collaborated in various productions and music education programmes over the years, including VW Music Active, TopTots and UKUSA. When her son was born, she took time away from performance to focus more on research, writing, learning (education) and well-being.

Yashin Naidoo is an emerging multi-talented cinematographer, photographer and aspiring percussionist. Yashin was home-schooled and sees himself as a self-directed learner, open to all possibilities. Since starting as a photographer two years ago, he has taken marketing photographs for various musicians, portfolios for models, dancers and athletes, as well as landscape and wildlife photographs. He is currently working on a book focusing on intimate wildlife portraits. He is also working with musicians shooting performance footage and collaborating on music videos set for release later this year.

Lex Futshane is an international electric and acoustic bassist, prolific composer, arranger, performer and educator. He currently teaches bass and ensemble at Wits University, as well as manage a teacher training programme at the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra Company. Lex is the founder member of LEXtet, an exciting ensemble playing his compositions and arrangements of local and international jazz standards. The band released an album of Lex’s compositions titled “Innocent Victims and Perpetrators.” Other recordings include “Art Gecko” with Counterculture, “Durban Noise” with Jurgen Braunninger, “African Tributes” with NU Jazz Connection, “Old Blue Balls Is Back” with Felema, “Before it’s too late” with Darius Brubeck. He has toured and performed extensively around the world including USA, Cuba, Korea, UK, Germany, Swaziland, Zambia, and Maputo, to name a few. Since establishing himself as a renowned bassist, he has worked with amongst others, Winston “Mankunku” Ngozi, Rashied Lanie, Bheki Khoza, Bheki Mseleku, Ezra Ngcukana, Ulrich Sussie and Brice Wassy.

Mageshen Naidoo, an internationally-acclaimed guitarist, composer and educator, has performed in the USA, London, Scotland, Germany, Sweden, Canada and Mexico (Puebla and Veracruz), Denmark and all over South Africa. His performance credits include Joanne Brackeen, Mike Rossi (USA), Yuri Honing (Holland), Ronald Snijders (Suriname), Marco Pignataro (Italy), Oscar Stagnaro (Venezuela), Karin Bengjmark (Sweden), Feya Faku, Ladysmith Black Mambazo (South Africa) and African pop star Angelique Kidjo. Mageshen made his debut recording on Canadian pianist/composer Carol Ann Weaver’s Dancing Rivers (1999) and recorded on Weaver’s album Every Three Children (2008). He also recorded his original compositions and arrangements with South African band, Tonk (2000) and his album Warwick Triangle (2009). Mageshen has won numerous awards for music including the Old Mutual Jazz Competition, both in the Composer and Performance categories and USC’s Faculty Award for Distinguished Scholarship and Leadership.

Debbie Mari is a lecturer in the Jazz Studies programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She is the Project Manager of the UKUSA Arts Programme and is a Board member of KUMISA (KwaZulu-Natal United Music Industry Association). Debbie has enjoyed many musical collaborations as a performer who enjoys singing jazz standards and original compositions such as those she recorded with Darius Brubeck (Before It’s Too Late, the title track), George Mari (Since I Met You) and Richard Walne (The Only One Around, the title track). She has performed with the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra, the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra and she performs often with Durban-based musicians George Mari, Burton Naidoo, Melvin Peters, Neil Gonsalves, Ildo Nandja and Philani Ngidi to name a few. Debbie has been a preliminary judge for SA Idols (2012, 2014), SA’s Got Talent (2014, 2016, and 2017) and The Voice South Africa, Durban auditions (2016). She was the Vocal Coach for SABC 1’s Season 1 of X-Factor South Africa (2014). More recently, Debbie joined the jury of the International Online Jazz Competition 7Virtual Jazz Club (2017, 2018).

Rina Schutte is an accomplished cellist and teacher. She is currently with the International Touring Production of Matilda the Musical (GWB Productions, London, in association with The Royal Shakespeare Company). In 2015 Rina was a member of the La Vie dei Concerti International Orchestra, touring through northern Italy. In the same year she also participated in the Cremona International Music Academies, where she was section leader of the String Orchestra. Rina has performed with various well-known international and South African artists, including Michael Bublé, Prime Circle, Just Jinger, and the Charl du Plessis Trio.

Kizito Mukasa was born and raised in Cape Town, to a Ugandan father and a South African mother. He has spent his entire life fascinated by the intersections between language, culture and the arts. Currently able to speak English, isiXhosa, French and Mandarin, he is a student at the School of Languages and Literatures at Rhodes University, majoring in French Studies and Chinese Studies.

Chantal Snyman has used theatre-making, performance, creative writing, collaborative arts projects and events as opportunities for learning, knowledge production and social transformation within the various communities she has worked alongside. As freelance arts and educational project coordinator/ conceptualiser/ manager and creative workshop facilitator, she has travelled extensively throughout the SADEC region and internationally with physical and puppet theatre designed to start difficult conversations. Chantal was the Director of Arley’s Workshop, an NPO which created innovative issue-based theatre. She is a board member of Assitej South Africa, Catalina Unlimited (operating as Theatrebiz), a Section 21 which promotes new South African works and creates a commercial platform for emerging artists, and writers. She is also a member of the SA National Steering Committee of the Arterial Network and a member of the community empowerment collective Woman in Action South Africa (WIASA).

Nicole Joka is regarded as one of the most talented emerging dancers in the Eastern Cape. She is highly accomplished in tap, modern, Spanish, Afro-fusion and contemporary dancing. While still at school she was one of the few dancers who received distinctions across several dance styles including Ballet, Spanish, Modern Dance, Hip Hop and Pre-associate tap. During this time she was awarded the King Shield for the Dancer of the Year and the Meades Trophy for the modern dancer of the year. She is currently a postgraduate student at Rhodes University. Nicole is extremely talented, as a triple major student in psychology, sociology and Afrikaans, she still found time to complete her tap and hip-hop associate teachers’ qualification with the South African Body of Dance. She then went on to opening her own Dance Academy in Makhanda, The Prestige School of Dance, grooming and inspiring new dancers. In 2019 she competed at the South African Championships of Performing Arts, winning gold and 4 bronze medals for dance.”