We are back in Darling for the third time, this idyllic town located in the West Coast of South Africa. We started The Darling Collection in 2016, with the idea that art could be a binding factor. An interconnection between people as well as a link between daily existence and the beauty of art. A medium that connects without judging even if it is sometimes temporary.
In the last two years we saw: a trapeze circus performance about a moving and historical story of how the war separated South-Africa. We watched a movie about a wooden cross which embodied the suffering of a land that’s getting dryer and dryer every year. We heard a rapper rapping about a proud girl with a pearl.
From this current group I saw ice cubes, melting slowly because of the daily temperature. Heard plans of a vibrating song for deaf people. A performance where dance and karate are being fused. An idea of a clock on the church wall to remind us that time is the only thing that was given to us and we should be careful about the way we use it.
During the edition in 2016, we were absolutely amazed by the duet between a dancer from Darling and a Dutch student. Two years later we are still deeply impressed by it. Then and there we started realising that we are here to show Darling’s own talent. Not only the idea of showing their stories but more the wish of giving them the stage to perform on.
That is how dARTling was born. With a student who joined this project from the beginning; Laura Jonkers, who has since graduated, we developed a plan for a sustainable project which eventually has to be taken over by local talent. It served as a side project during The Darling Collection 2017 but this year it has a more prominent place in the program. Two Laura’s have been working towards the ‘Heal The World’ show since mid February which has been received very well. Certain scenes from this show will be performed during The Darling Collection/dARTling Festival (20-22 April).
The Darling Collection is a convincing project which, for me, started in 2015 while visiting the Voorkamerfest. Over the past few years we tried to contribute to the cultural climate of this town that will host the Voorkamerfest once again this year.
We will do everything we can to come back with the dARTling program and through that, give Darling talents the stage they deserve. Showing children what art can mean. Becoming friends, dreaming about later or just because it’s fun to dance or sing with each other. Or how proud you can be about your own drawing.
Artistic director The Darling Collection.