International Dance Companies to perform at GIPCA

The Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) will host performances by two leading international contemporary dance companies: EIRA from Portugal and T42 from Switzerland. These performances will take place from 11-14 September at Hiddingh Hall, and follow on the heels of performances at Jomba! Dance Festival (Durban) and Dance Umbrella (Johannesburg) by both companies.

The evenings of 11and 12 September will feature T42’s Misato Inoue and Félix Duméril in Another Chopsticks Story and Swan. Another Chopsticks Story takes Madame Butterfly as a point of departure, using the famous opera to examine ideas around orientalism and identity, and false binaries between East, West, male and female; while Swan explores the physical, aesthetic and kinesthetic representations of innocence, vulnerability and elegance, as inseparable from pain, fear and guilt.  “We may say white is the absence of color, as purity has no memory, while black is the saturation of colour as recurrent waves of pain and discreditable secrets. We look deeply into this profound despair, fear guilt and anger and we find a similarity to innocence, such as the infinite field of unfolding possibilities” comments choreographer, Misato Inoue.


The second company, EIRA, will perform Our Lady of Flowers and The King in Exile on the evenings of 13and 14 September.  Our Lady of Flowers, a solo by Francisco Camacho, shares its title with the Jean Genet novel. Presented in over forty venues in Europe and South America since its première in 1993, the piece employs a choreography of convulsion, obsession, failing physiological systems, and of the collapsing body – a dance of absolute sensual experience. It is an invocation of ghosts, of ridicule and laughter, of sensuality and obscenity.

In The King in Exile (remake), Camacho draws inspiration from the figure of Dom Manuel II – the last king of Portugal, known as “the Patriot” or “the Unfortunate,” who ascended the throne after the assassination of his father, King Carlos I and his elder brother, Luís Filipe. In an exploration of political power, this work merges history and autobiography, also encapsulating Camacho’s ongoing explorations of bodily identity, history and representation.

Founded by choreographers Misato Inoue and Félix Duméril in 2006, the Swiss-based dance collective T42 creates works of contemporary dance and physical theatre, often including collaborations with artists across disciplines. To date, this award-winning company has produced 12 original dance pieces, which have been performed in Switzerland, France, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Russia, Czech Republic, Japan, Canada, Thailand, and Serbia. T42’s South African tour is supported by Pro Helvetia, the Stanley Johnson Foundation and the City and Canton of Bern.

Based in Lisbon, Portugal, EIRA is currently in its 20th year of existence. Headed by internationally acclaimed choreographer Franciso Camacho, the company has become an important reference point in Portuguese contemporary dance and performance, as well as a highly regarded name in dance internationally. EIRA also fosters the development of contemporary dance within and beyond Portugal by supporting and co-producing new works by other artists, as well as utilising its Lisbon studio as a space for artists’ residencies.  EIRA’s South African tour is supported by DG Artes, Instituto Camões, the Portuguese Embassy of Pretoria and the General Consulate in Cape Town

“We are thrilled to be able to host these esteemed and innovative companies in Cape Town, following their national appearances in other cities,” commented GIPCA Director, Jay Pather.

This programme will take place on 11 and 12 September (T42) and 13 and 14 September (EIRA) at 20:00 in Hiddingh Hall; University of Cape Town (UCT) Hiddingh Campus, Orange Street, Cape Town. Attendance is free of charge, but seating is limited and booking is essential. Please direct all bookings to  For more information, contact the GIPCA office on 021 480 7156.