Author Archives

Robyn Sassen

A freelance arts writer since 1998, I fell in love with the theatre as a toddler, proved rubbish as a ballerina: my starring role was as Mrs Pussy in Noddy as a seven-year-old, and earned my stripes as an academic in Fine Arts and Art History, in subsequent years. I write for a range of online and print publications, including the Sunday Times, the Mail & Guardian and artslink.co.za and was formerly the arts editor of the SA Jewish Report, a weekly newspaper with which I was associated for 16 years. This blog promises you new stories every week, be they reviews, profiles, news stories or features.

The sewing machine that broke the camel’s back

WHAT DO YOU do when your moaning pal slips in a “and might I borrow your revolver for the night?” kind of a question? If you’re Alexei Alexeyevich (Johann Nel), you lend him, instead, your ear. This is the nub of another delicious bit of Chekhov, magicked into […]

Sisters, in love and malice

MORE THAN AN exercise of escapism into the flaws and faux pas of privileged fictional characters, Craig Higginson’s most recent novel, The Book of Gifts, is a yarn about values and the fragility of young sensibilities. It’s a quick read because it is well crafted and the words […]

Portrait of granny, with crows

“YOU ARE THE cause of all the problems in this society, and we are going to kill you.” This is the gist of the kind of letters to which Maia Lekow and Christopher King’s compelling Kenyan documentary The Letter refers. Featured on this year’s Durban International Film Festival, […]

A cupboard full of ideology

DANCE REVIEW: THEMBA MBULI’S MANMADE. WHAT IS AN item of clothing in this world? A swatch of fabric stitched and cut to fit a body? A thing to simply cover your nakedness? A repository of fashion values? Or a thing to define you in a specific way, fraught […]

Pule Kgaratsi, the dancer who taught

TRIBUTE TO PULE KGARATSI, RESEARCHED BY LERATO NTILI. A humble mentor, beautiful dancing talent and gifted educator, Pule Kgaratsi was one of the formative dancers of Moving Into Dance Mophatong. He was killed in a shoot-out South of Johannesburg on 30 July 2017. He was 51. Orphaned at […]