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.

Soil in my suitcase

DANCE REVIEW: ABOMHLABA(THI). SOMETHING REALLY MAGICAL happens when you watch the give and take of three young bodies threading and knotting yarns between each other and the African soil that covers the world in Musa Hlatshwayo’s dance work Abomhlaba(thi), on this year’s Jomba Dance Festival, hosted by the […]

Portrait of Ghana with dreams

FILM REVIEW: SAKAWA. THE ADVENT OF the internet and social media offered the sex work industry interesting avenues of digression. They’re avenues which take the notion of exploitation to a new, international height, as they present an understanding of sex work which doesn’t involve actual physical intimacy, but […]

Amy Biehl and our amputated pride

FILM REVIEW: MOTHER TO MOTHER. WHAT DO YOU say to the woman whose daughter your son has murdered? This is the nub of Sindisiwe Magona’s fictional tale, Mother to Mother, about the murder of Amy Biehl, a young American graduate who came to South Africa, an anti-apartheid activist. […]

My BFF: stolen by a sproglet

PODCAST REVIEW: MEGAN. SO, YOUR BEST friend finds herself “up the duff”. And you, who have decided that you will not have children, need to respond. This is the dilemma of Megan, played by Victoria Emslie, the sixth in the series of monologues, The End of the Line, […]

Love and tenderness in a time of Aleppo

FILM REVIEW: FOR SAMA. SAY THE WORDS ‘Aleppo’ and ‘2016’ and if you have had a quarter of an ear on the news during that period, you will shiver with the memory of appalling atrocities perpetrated against Syrian civilians. In her intimate, multi-award-winning documentary, journalist Waad al-Kateab offers […]

The ecstacy of daily struggle

FILM REVIEW: CUNNINGHAM. HE REFUSED TO be known as ‘avant-garde’, but set fire to every dance cliché and rule that you can think of, in his outstanding and bold repertoire, answerable to no one. This was Merce Cunningham, celebrated in Alla Kovgan’s beautiful film, Cunningham, which features on […]