Nelisiwe Xaba (Johannesburg)

entrance € 12,00 | reduced € 6,00

Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst | Auditorium

30.10. 15:00

31.10. 15:00

31.10. 19:00

Artist talk after the performance on 30.10., moderated by Silvia Bauer (in English)

In English with German simultaneous translation

  • Rollstuhlgerecht
  • Alternative Sitz- und Liegemöglichkeiten

In the Lecture Performance BANG BANG WO („helping“ in Mandarin) the choreographer and performer Nelisiwe Xaba explores the politics and meanings of giving and receiving help as she builds a circular wall around herself of clear cellophane bags that contain various grains and seeds. BANG BANG WO reminds us that relations built on help often mask a violence that runs beneath the surface of societies. Scholarship funding, affirmative action, allyship in digital space, charitable giving and the transnational NGO aid sector, “Black Tax” and the gendered domestic labour that forms such an integral part of the domestic life of South African homes come under scrutiny. BANG BANG WO asks often uncomfortable questions about what animates our various investments in receiving and giving help, and the dynamics of power between the helper and the helped.

Lecture Performance  

Read more:

Concept | Performance | Choreography Nelisiwe Xaba Script Development | research Nelisiwe Xaba | Candida Merwe Audio Montages Candida Merwe Recorded | edited by Mocke J Van Veuren Voice Over by Toni Morkel Video | Projection Direction by Nelisiwe Xaba Edit by Candida Merwe Costume Superella


Nelisiwe Xaba lives and works as a choreographer and dancer in Johannesburg. She began her vibrant career in dance almost twenty years ago. In the early 1990s, she received a scholarship to study at the Johannesburg Dance Foundation, as well as the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London. Returning to South Africa in 1997, Nelisiwe Xaba joined Pact Dance Company and later launched her solo career, and began working with a variety of esteemed choreographers, including Robyn Orlin. Since then Nelisiwe Xaba has been involved in various multi-media projects, collaborating with choreographers, performers, visual artists, fashion designers, theatre and television directors, poets and musicians. Her recent solo works and collaborations, including PLASTICISATION, THEY LOOK AT MET AND THAT’S ALL THEY THINK , SAKHOZI SAYS “NON” TO THE VENUS, CORRESPONDANCES, BLACK!...WHITE? and UNCLES & ANGELS have toured extensively in South Africa and internationally. Nelisiwe Xaba participated in the 2013 Venice Biennale, performing adaptations from THE VENUS, and was awarded the 2013 FNB Art Prize for the UNCLES & ANGELS film created with Mocke J van Veuren. In 2016, she created URBAN MERMAID for the 50th anniversary of the Goodman Gallery and also performed the piece at the Berliner Festspiele. In 2017, Nelisiwe Xaba created BANG BANG WO. The piece was funded by the National Arts Council and premiered at the Centre for the Less Good Idea. Nelisiwe Xaba’s collaboration HOMINAL/XABA, with the Swiss choreographer Marie-Caroline Hominal, premiered in 2019 and is currently touring. Nelisiwe Xaba’s most recent piece is the sound installation NZINGA, created for the 2020 Virtual National Arts Festival in Makhanda.

Realization in collaboration with the Staatliche Museum Ägyptischer Kunst München and the Goethe-Institut Supported by National Arts Council of South Africa | The Centre for the Less Good Idea