Sometimes I have to lean in...
Dance & Physical Theatre / Rhodes Box

“Sometimes I have to lean in...” is an interdisciplinary collaboration between choreographer-performer Alan Parker and director-performer Gerard Bester. It was originally commissioned by the Dance Umbrella in 2018, specifically for the 30th anniversary of the festival. 


The work is a sometimes playful, sometimes dark, consideration of the act of leaning. On one level, the performance is a leaning in of two ageing performers, who lean in closer in order to better see and understand each other. On another level, this act of leaning is explored as a metaphor for looking back to where you have come from in order to understand where you are now.


It strikes a delicate balance between humour and light-hearted reminiscing, alongside more poignant interrogations of what the passing of time means for artists, performers, and indeed, festivals, as we influence, support, encourage, knock down and ultimately transform each other. 

Production Credits

Choreographer & Performer: Alan Parker

Director & Performer: Gerard Bester

Production Manager: Gavin Krastin

Text ("Wallflower"): Gwydion Beynon


About the Artists

Alan Parker is a choreographer, performer, dramaturg, and researcher based in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown), where he is employed as a senior lecturer at the Rhodes University Drama department. He holds a Masters degree in Drama, specialising in choreography, from Rhodes University as well as a PhD in Live Art, Interdisciplinary and Public Art, from the University of Cape Town.


Over the last fifteen years, Alan has presented a wide range of work at various festivals and platforms, including the National Arts Festival in Makhanda, the Dance Umbrella in Johannesburg, the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees in Oudtshoorn, the Cape Town Fringe and the Live Art Festival in Cape Town.

In 2015, as part of his doctoral research, Alan began creating a trilogy of solo performances as a means to explore the archiving of dance in South Africa. The first of these, ‘Detritus for one’, received a Standard Bank Ovation award at the National Arts Festival 2015. The second in the trilogy, ‘Sacre for one’, received a Silver Standard Bank Ovation Award in 2016 as well as a Fringe Fresh Award at the Cape Town Fringe Festival. The third work, ‘Ghostdance for one’, was co-commissioned by the Institute for Creative Arts (ICA) for the 2017 Live Art Festival in Cape Town as well as the 2017 National Arts Festival. 


As a dramaturg, Alan has worked on numerous projects with his partner and regular artistic collaborator, performance artist, Gavin Krastin. He is also the resident dramaturg for the Live Art Arcade, a NPC providing an annual platform for early-career artists working in Live Art, founded by Krastin in 2018.


Gerard Bester is a performer, director, teacher and arts administrator based in Johannesburg. He graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand Drama School in 1990 with a BA Dramatic Arts Honours. He is presently Director of the Windybrow Arts Centre in Johannesburg.


As an actor, Gerard has worked for Robyn Orlin’s City Theatre and Dance Company. Notable works include, ‘Daddy I’ve seen this piece six times before and I still don’t know why they hurting each other’ (1999), ‘Babysitting Caspar’ (2002), ‘Hidden Beauties/Dirty Histories’ (2004) a short dance film commissioned by Arté in France, and ‘Baby Sitting Baby Louis’ (2009). In 2006 he performed in ‘Coupe’ for which he received a Naledi Award for Best Comedy Performance in 2007. 


Notable directing projects include ‘Coming Out Again’, an HIV/Aids play initiated by the Gay and Lesbian Archives, ‘Spectator’, a physical theatre production for the Wits School of the Arts, internationally acclaimed ‘Beautiful Me’ for Gregory Maqoma, and the award winning ‘Attachments (nos. 1-7)’. He directed Athena Mazarakis’ ‘Flicker’ for the National Arts Festival and Nhlanhla Mahlangu’s ‘Chant’ for Julidans in Amsterdam and ‘The Cenotaph of Dan Wa Moriri’ with Tony Miyambo.

  • Venue: Rhodes Box
  • Location: Rhodes Theatre
  • Ticket price: ZAR 120.00
  • Programme type: Curated Programme
  • Genre: Dance & Physical Theatre
  • Duration: 50 mins
  • Ages: ALL AGES
Rhodes Box
June 20, 2024 20:00 - 20:50
Rhodes Box
June 21, 2024 16:00 - 16:50
Rhodes Box
June 22, 2024 18:00 - 18:50