Dance & Physical Theatre / Graeme College

The concept for ULTRA stems from an interest in the nuances and complexities of how societies function, both on the real and virtual planes. This seems to be a moment of extremes, in many forms and guises, and this work seeks to understand our physicality within that.


The work continues Louise Coetzer’s artistic research on the use of new technologies, interdisciplinarity and media applications as presentation tools. A focus on developing new audiences for dance - by connecting the form to the world outside the theatre - informs this exploration of placing dance in surprising juxtaposition with everyday life, both real and virtual.


True to the style of work Louise Coetzer, and Darkroom Contemporary are renowned for, ULTRA merges dance theatre with interdisciplinary live art, technology, and elements of sound design to offer audiences a uniquely immersive experience. ULTRA exists at the intersection between live art, durational sound installation, physical theatre and visual art.


The concept, direction and choreography are by Louise Coetzer. Brydon Bolton’s experimental sound score drives the work and frames the audience experience; at times anxious, calm, meditative or pulsating. The result is a deeply engaging sonic and visual journey punctuated by the performers’ intense physicality. The Darkroom Contemporary company dancers deliver a performance at once refined, truthful, and fervent.

Production Credits

Concept, Choreography, Creative
Louise Coetzer
Performed by
Darkroom Contemporary Dance Theatre
Original Score
Brydon Bolton
Bronwyn Craddock

Darion Adams

Garbrielle Fairhead

Vuyelwa Phota

Oscar O’Ryan & Keshet Karidi
Technical Co-Ordinator, Project
Oscar O’Ryan
Stage Manager
Buntu Tyali

Rehearsal Director

Natalie Fisher 

Ballet Mistress

Nicolette Loxton

Costumes realised by

Henri Design

Project Co-Ordinator
Robyn Pretorius

Commissioned by the SA State Theatre for the Kucheza Afrika Festival, and the TOYOTA US Woordfees(2023), with support from the National Arts Council and the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs & Sport. This performance tour made possible through support from the National Arts Festival and the National Lotteries Commission. 

About the Artists

LOUISE COETZER (b 1980, South Africa) is a multidisciplinary Dance Artist working within the genres of Site-Specific Performance, Digital & Live Art, Choreography for the Stage, and Video Art. Her works are experiential, experimental, and place interdisciplinary approaches at their core, while grappling with tensions between the physical and psychological.


Her research on the use of New Technologies and Media Applications as presentation tools, is ongoing. A focus on developing new audiences for Dance, by connecting the form to the worldoutside the Theatre, informs her exploration of placing Dance in surprising juxtaposition with everyday life, both real and virtual. Her works are renowned for their unique physicality,precision and theatricality.


Coetzer trained as Dancer and obtained a B. Tech Degree in Dance, with Movement Composition as Major, from the Pretoria Technikon, and is currently living and working in Cape Town. She is founding Artistic Director of Darkroom Contemporary Dance Theatre, an Award Winning Company formed as a vehicle to reimagine Dance, through its innovative approach to staging and presenting Interdisciplinary Works. Coetzer is a Guest Lecturer at the University Of Cape Town’s Centre for Theatre Dance and Performance Studies and has taught as part of the faculties of the Cape Academy of Performing Arts, Dance For All, Western Cape Education Department, City Varsity and AFDA.


PERFORMANCE: Louise is an inventive Dance Maker, regularly creating new works for her Company Darkroom Contemporary Dance Theatre. Recent commissions include new works for the Pan African Telematic Art Project, featured at Ars Electronica (Linz,Austria), Vrystaat Kunstefees, The Pan African Creative Exchange, and Fak’ugesi Festival of African Digital Innovation; CREATIVATE at the virtual National Arts Festival; Zeits MOCAA, and the Iziko Planetarium Under The Dome Festival. Her Live Art Performance Installations have been showcased at the Zeits Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, the Centre For The Less Good Idea, Dance Umbrella, Kucheza Afrika Festival, Baxter Dance Festival, the National Arts Festival, and the Norval Foundation, and was awarded Best Live & Interdisciplinary Art Production at Vrystaat Kunstefees 2022.


FILM: Coetzer is an award-winning Film-maker and her Video works have been presented at festivals worldwide. Awards include the POOL 22 Artist Award at POOL Movement Art Film Festival Berlin, Best of Festival Award at Third Coast Dance Film Festival (Nevada, USA); Best Film Award at Under The Dome Festival (SA); and Jury Awards at Denton Black Film Festival (Texas, USA); and Danceador Videodance Festival (USA). Her Film works have been presented by Video Art Miden (Greece), 40 North Festival (Calif. USA), Foreign Exchange (Paris, France), Ubumuntu Arts Festival (Kigali,Rwanda), Agite Y Sirva (Oaxaca, Mexico), The British Film Institute (London, UK) and Global Art & Moving Images (Pinsio, Finland).


DARKROOM CONTEMPORARY - Darkroom Contemporary is a research & development dance company, focused on exploring how dance can merge with technology to enhance live performance and screendance works. Based in Cape Town, South Africa, the company develops interactive audience experiences and new ways of presenting and experiencing dance.


The organisation was founded in 2010 by Louise Coetzer and Oscar O’Ryan. Coetzer, a dancer and choreographer, and O’Ryan, a photographer and filmmaker, bring together expertise from their respective fields to form a dynamic partnership. To date, the award winning company has produced live art performance works incorporating kinetic motion sensor technology, full dome 3D projection, interactive laser projection, interactive projection mapping, dance film, live stream performance and Artificial Intelligence.


An extensive & award winning body of dance film works exist alongside the company’s live performance repertoire, making their work accessible to a larger global audience through the medium of film. The company’s screendance works have been included in POOL Tanzfilm Festival (Berlin); Festival Miden (Kalamata, Greece); Dance Days Chania (Crete); Ubumuntu Festival (Kigali, Rwanda); Antidote Festival(Netherlands); 40 North Festival (California USA); Agite Y Sirva (Mexico); Foreign Exchange (Paris, France); GLAMY Awards ( Finland); UDance on Screen (UK); and the British Film institute (UK).


Recent awards include the Artist Award at POOL Tanzfilm Festival 2022
(Berlin); Best Live & Interdisciplinary Art Production at Vrsytaat Kunstefees 2022; Best Screendance Runner Up Award at Denton Black Film Festival (USA).

  • Venue: Graeme College
  • Location: Graeme College
  • Ticket price: ZAR 120.00
  • Programme type: Curated Programme
  • Genre: Dance & Physical Theatre
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • Ages: ALL AGES
Graeme College
June 20, 2024 19:00 - 19:50
Graeme College
June 21, 2024 12:00 - 12:50
Graeme College
June 21, 2024 19:00 - 20:00
Graeme College
June 22, 2024 13:00 - 13:50