ROLEX MENTOR AND PROTÉGÉ ARTS INITIATIVE COMES TO CAPE TOWN

4 Feb 2020 - 11:15

Rolex Arts Initiative mentors Sir David Adjaye, Zakir Hussain, Crystal Pite and Colm Tóibín to join protégés for public events at the Baxter Theatre Centre on 8 and 9 February 2020

More than 200 renowned artists and arts leaders from South Africa and around the world will gather at Cape Town’s Baxter Theatre Centre on 8 and 9 February to attend the prestigious Rolex Arts Weekend.

Booking for the public who would like to experience some of these events over the two days is now open through Webtickets or Pick n Pay stores and seating is limited, so early booking is strongly advised.

The Arts Weekend, a series of public events – talks, readings, exhibitions and performances, including two world premieres – will feature the work of the 2018−2019 protégés of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative with their mentors.

The two-day celebration is the culmination of the current cycle of the programme, which pairs master artists with emerging artists in several disciplines for a period of creative exchange in a one-to-one mentoring relationship.

“The Baxter is a most appropriate venue for the Arts Weekend,” said Rebecca Irvin, Head of the Rolex Arts Initiative. “Not only is it known for presenting a variety of progressive works, it is led by CEO and Artistic Director Lara Foot, herself a former protégée of the theatre great Sir Peter Hall in the 2004−2005 series.”

Through these various events, the protégés will demonstrate the insights they gained from their mentors over the course of the mentoring period. This interchange between generations is integral to Rolex’s dedication to passing on knowledge, in this case, perpetuating excellence in the arts.

“To be able to host the 2020 Rolex Arts Weekend is an honour for me personally and for the Baxter,” says the multi-award-winning Foot. “This is certainly one of the most distinguished and vital international programmes for young artists. As the years go by, I find that my year-and-a half with Peter, nearly 15 years ago, has become richer and more meaningful. As I become more of a mentor and as my writing evolves and I take on bigger challenges with my directing, I find that the time with my mentor becomes more recent. So, in a sense it never really finished, it never really ended.”

This year the Rolex Arts Weekend is being curated by Fruzsina Szép, the Hungarian-born Festival and Artistic Director of Lollapalooza Berlin, who also served as an Arts Initiative nominator, helping to identify suitable potential protégés for the programme in 2018−2019.

Highlights over the weekend include dance, architecture, literature, music, arts symposia and cinema. The Saturday is dedicated to dance and architecture and Sunday to literature and music.

For the symposia, international artists will debate the role of culture in society and the interdisciplinary nature of their work in two separate panel discussions led by Professor Homi K. Bhabha of Harvard University.

The Arts Weekend kicks off on Saturday from 10:00 to 11:30, with the symposium entitled Who is Unrepresented in the Arts Today? The Arts in Times of Polarization, in the Main Theatre. Professor Homi K. Bhabha will lead the discussions with Lara Foot, Annemarie Jacir, Yo Yo Ma and Wole Soyinka.

 

From 14:00 until 15:00 there will be the world premiere of When the night comes, by Senegalese protégée Khoudia Touré, a pioneer in urban street dance, with three members of the dance company, Compagnie La Mer Noire. The production was created following Touré’s close interaction with her mentor, Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite, who will introduce the piece, which was born from hip-hop and infused with other dance styles and techniques.

The Architecture Spotlight from 15.30 to 17.00 will feature protégée Mariam Kamara, originally from Niger, and mentor Ghanaian-born British architect Sir David Adjaye, who will present their plans for a new cultural centre in Niamey, Niger’s capital. The discussion, moderated by Ghanaian-Scottish architect Lesley Lokko, will be followed by the official opening of the exhibition, Public realm along the Niger River, Niamey. The architecture installation will be available for public viewing in the Baxter’s foyer until the end of February.

 

The Sunday programme starts at 14.00 until 15.30, with the second symposium, moderated by Professor Homi K. Bhabha, with William Kentridge, Tracy K Smith, Mira Nair, Stephen Frears and Robert Wilson, entitled Other Muses: Inspirations from Elsewhere, in the Main Theatre.

 

The spotlight on Literature from 16:00 to 17:30 in the Main Theatre will fall onto mentor Colm Tóibín and fellow Irishman and protégé Colin Barrett who completed his first novel, The English Brothers, during his mentorship. An adapted extract from the book that features the two writers’ mutual fascination with questions of belonging and self-definition, will be performed by local actors in advance of a discussion, What Can be Said: Home and Voice, between mentor and protégé.

Music protégé Marcus Gilmore, an innovative young drummer from the United States, will present a world premiere of his composition, Pulse, commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra from 18:00 until 19:15 in the Baxter’s Concert Hall. The composition for ensemble and the spoken word will include an exciting exchange between Gilmore and former Rolex literature protégée Tracy K. Smith. Gilmore will perform the work with musicians from the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and its resident conductor Brandon Phillips. Following the performance and a solo by Gilmore, the protégé and his mentor Zakir Hussain will discuss their mentoring experience.

In addition to the symposia and the mentor-protégé events, an Arts Weekend Cinema at the Baxter’s Golden Arrow Studio will feature films about the Rolex Arts Initiative, with past and present mentors and protégés. These screenings are free and will take place from 12:00 until 21:00 on both days.

Booking is now open for the public to attend any of the events, discussions or the symposia, by booking through Webtickets, online at www.webtickets.co.za, or at Pick n Pay stores. Ticket prices are only R100 throughout and R50 for students. All proceeds will go the Baxter’s Zabalaza Theatre Festival.

ENDS

For further media information interview request or pictures, please contact Fahiem Stellenboom on email fahiem.stellenboom@uct.ac.za, telephone 021 680 3971 or mobile 072 2656 023 or Jessica Gois at JNPR, email jessica@jnpr.co.za,  telephone  011 506 7357 or mobile 082 777 5427.

 

ABOUT THE ROLEX MENTOR AND PROTÉGÉ ARTS INITIATIVE

Inspired by the ethos of its founder Hans Wilsdorf, over the decades, Rolex has made a unique and lasting contribution to culture by assisting in the transmission of knowledge across generations. This tradition of supporting and perpetuating excellence is exemplified in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. Created in 2002, the international programme seeks out gifted young artists in a variety of disciplines from around the world and pairs them with artistic masters for a period of mentoring and creative collaboration. In keeping with its tradition of supporting excellence, quality and performance, all values inherent in Rolex, the company gives these emerging talents time to learn, create and grow.

 

Since its launch, the Arts Initiative has evolved into an enriching dialogue between artists of different generations, cultures and disciplines, helping ensure that the world’s artistic heritage is passed on. From the time of its inception at the beginning of the 20th century, Rolex has encouraged individual excellence and the perpetual pursuit of perfection in all its endeavours, from watchmaking to the many people and activities it supports – including sports, the environment, exploration and arts and culture.

 

ROLEX ARTS WEEKEND PUBLIC EVENTS AT A GLANCE

 

SATURDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2020

10:00 - 11:30 Symposium: Who is Unrepresented in the Arts Today? The Arts in times of Polarization, moderated by Professor Homi K. Bhabha, with Lara Foot, Annemarie Jacir, Yo Yo Ma and Wole Soyinka

 

14:00 – 15:00 Dance Spotlight: the world premiere of When the night comes, by Senegalese protégée Khoudia Touré, a pioneer in urban street dance, with three members of the dance company, Compagnie La Mer Noire. The production was created following Touré’s close interaction with her mentor, Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite, who will introduce the piece, which was born from hip-hop and infused with other dance styles and techniques.

 

15:30 – 17:00 Architecture Spotlight: Protégée Mariam Kamara, originally from Niger and mentor Ghanaian-born British architect Sir David Adjaye, will present their plans for a new cultural centre in Niamey, Niger’s capital. The discussion, moderated by Ghanaian-Scottish architect Lesley Lokko, will be followed by the official opening of the exhibition, Public realm along the Niger River, Niamey. The architecture installation will be available for public viewing until end February.

 

SUNDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 2020

14:00 – 15:30 Symposium: Other Muses: Influences and Confluences in the Making of Art, moderated by Professor Homi K. Bhaba, with William Kentridge, Tracy K Smith, Mira Nair, Stephen Frears and Robert Wilson

 

16:00 – 17:30 Literature Spotlight: Mentor Colm Tóibín and fellow Irishman and protégé Colin Barrett who completed his first novel, The English Brothers, during his mentorship. An adapted extract from the book that features the two writers’ mutual fascination with questions of belonging and self-definition, will be performed by local actors in advance of a discussion, What Can be Said: Home and Voice, between mentor and protégé.

 

18:00 – 19:15 Music Spotlight: Music protégé Marcus Gilmore, an innovative young drummer from the United States, will present a world premiere of his composition, pulse, commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra. The composition for ensemble and the spoken word will include an exciting exchange between Gilmore and former Rolex literature protégée Tracy K. Smith. Gilmore will perform the work with musicians from the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and its resident conductor Brandon Phillips. Following the performance and a solo by Gilmore, the protégé and his mentor Zakir Hussain will discuss their mentoring experience.

CINEMA

12:00 – 21:00 Saturday and Sunday. Films about past Protegés and Mentors will be shown, and entrance is free.

 

 

 

 

 

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