Robyn Orlin

Born in 1955 in Johannesburg, Robyn Orlin studied at the London School of Contemporary Dance 1975 – 1980. With the help of a Fulbright scholarship, she then completed her Masters in Fine Art at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1990 till 1993. She has been working consistently on her own work in South Africa from then onwards. Nicknamed in South Africa “a permanent irritation”, she is well known for reflecting the difficult and complex realities in her country. Integrating different media (text, video, plastic arts…) she investigates a certain theatrical reality, which has enabled her to find her unique choreographic vocabulary. One often owes her uniqueness to her entertaining titles: If you can’t change the world, change your curtains (1990), The Polka dot lives on ! (1995) for the Soweto Dance Theatre ; Naked on a goat (1996), Orpheus… I mean Euridice… I mean the natural history of a chorus girl (1998) which obtained the FNB Vita Dance Umbrella award for choreography; Daddy, I’ve seen this piece six times before and I still don’t know why they’re hurting each other (1999); F…(Untitled) (2000), We must eat our suckers with the wrapper on and The future may be bright, but its not necessarily orange (2001), Ski-Fi-Jenni …… and the frock of the new, a piece loosely based on the myth of Iphigeni, at Montpellier Dance Festival in July, 2002, Although I live inside …, in 2004, a solo for Sophiatou Kososko , When I take off My Skin …, in 2005 at MC2 in Grenoble . In Summer 2005 she created a solo piece for Vera Mantero in Aix en Provence, Hey Dude, I have talent, I am just waiting for God…. Robyn Orlin directed L’allegro, il penseroso ed il moderato from Haendel at the National Paris Opéra in April 2007.
During the season 2007/2008 she has create a piece for the Via Katlehong Dance in December 2007 in Créteil, part of Festival d’Automne. She has created in Liège a piece with Swenkas Dressed to kill…Killed to dress… in February 2008. Robyn Orlin is invited by Opéra Comique in Paris to direct the Gershwin’s opera Porgy & Bess in May 2008. Walking next to our shoes… intoxicated by strawberries and cream, we enter continents without knocking… was created with the Phuphuma Love Minus singers and presented as part of Banlieues Bleues Festival in 2009. She pursued the Babysitting-series with another pièce for the Musee du Louvre entitled Babysitting Petit Louis commissioned by the Louvre and the Festival d’Automne in Paris. In January 2010 she presented Call it… kissed by the sun… better still the revenge of geography… a solo for the french hip-hop dancer Ibrahim Sissoko with live graphic illustration by Maxime Rebiere. In 2011 Have you hugged, kissed and respected your Brown venue today ? was presented at festival d’Automne à Paris and on tour in Luxembourg, in Monaco and in many other festivals.
She created Beauty remained for just a moment then returned gently to her starting position… at Biennale de Lyon in september 2012. This piece was performed at Théâtre national de Chaillot for the Official Opening of the South African season in France. In 2013 she created In a world full of butterflies, it takes balls to be a Caterpillar … in Reunion Island and at Bastille theater part of Festival d’Automne à Paris. In 2014, she created a new piece for festival d’Avignon, with the dancers of Ecole des Sable of Germaine Acogny, At the same time we were pointing a finger at you, we realized we were pointing three at ourselves….