Atelier performance

Author : Orlin, Robyn

Recorded at the CND 7 April 2003


Dialogue avec Robyn Orlin

Workshop with Robyn Orlin / 2003

Concept Robyn Orlin

Robyn Orlin is an independent artist who has worked in South Africa for twenty years. As an activist, she took part in the struggle against apartheid and continues to denounce all forms of discrimination, racial tensions and those affecting the different generations. Producer and stage designer, she created a mixed company (black and white, men and women of all ages), a mix that echoes the different artistic disciplines that form an integral part of her work. With irony and provocation, in her shows she deals with the difficulty the population of South Africa faces in formulating a distinct way of “being together”.


concept Robyn Orlin
a film by
Centre national de la danse
running time
82 minutes

Further information

Robyn Orlin website

Resource by the Médiathèque du Centre national de la danse

Last update : December 2010

Orlin, Robyn

Robyn Orlin was born in 1955 in Johannesburg and obtained bursaries to study in London (London Contemporary Dance School) and then in Chicago (School of Art Institute).

Since her first performance in Johannesburg in 1980, she has attempted to redefine choreography and the art of theatre in her country and has become one of the most committed anti-apartheid choreographers. She starts from the principle that “dance is political”, and in her pieces she examines the social and cultural situation in South Africa: its influences, its history, its rifts and its disintegration. The choreography then creates “an iconoclastic dance which puts its foot in it”, a dance-chronicle of today's South African society, skilfully handling irony and derision; a dance that shamelessly stirs up references and identities, blending traditional popular culture with the radical avant-garde, a dance that is capable of breaking down the artist-audience barrier by putting the audience at the centre of the event.

Robyn Orlin came to France for the first time in April 2000 at the invitation of La Filature Scène Nationale, Mulhouse, with “Daddy, I've seen this piece six times before...”

She achieved immediate recognition: Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis, Montpellier Dance Festival, Théâtre de la Ville, Paris, followed by tours all over the world.

In 2004, Robyn Orlin took part in the inauguration of the Centre National de la Danse, Pantin and composed a solo for Sophiatou Kossoko as part of “Vif du Sujet”.

In 2005 she created “When I take off my skin and touch the sky with my nose, only then I can see little voices amuse themselves...”, a piece with 6 singers from the South African Opera, then, during the summer, “Hey dude... i have talent... i'm just waiting for god...,” a solo for the dancer-choreographer Vera Mantero.
From September 2005 Robyn Orlin was in residency for two years at the Centre National de la Danse, Pantin. In April 2007 her “L'Allegro, il penseroso ed il moderato” was premièred at the Paris National Opera.

Last creations

Beauty remained for just a moment then returned gently to her starting position

Have you hugged, kissed and respected your brown Venus today?

Call it… kissed by the sun…better still the revenge of geography… : solo for Ibrahim Kossoko

Walking next to our shoes...
Intoxicated by strawberries and cream, we enter continents without knocking...

Dressed to kill… killed to dress…

Porgy and Bess

L'Allegro, il pensero ed il moderato

Confit de canard

When I take off my skin and touch the sky with my nose, only then can I see little voices amuse themselves

Further information

Digital resource - Médiathèque du Centre national de la danse
Robyn Orlin

Last update : November 2010

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Centre national de la danse

Centre national de la danse

Founded in 1998, the Centre national de la danse (CND) has advantages which make it a unique centre dedicated to dance. Its strengths come from its assets: the skills of its staff and the diversity of specialisation offered; a renovated and comfortable building in Pantin (Paris), twelve studios, three of which are open to the public for shows or performances, a multimedia library, a projection room, collections and a whole range of training courses, resources and services for professionals and companies. The Lyon/Rhône-Alpes CND provides continuity for all the projects in its region.

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