The Centre for Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies at UCT has evolved out of a merger between the School of Dance and Department of Drama in 2018. Many universities and colleges also negotiate the disciplinary and interdisciplinary connections of the study of Dance, Theatre and Performance.


The Centre is engaged in an ongoing process of reimagining what a study of performance in a contemporary, African university might involve. As we are challenged to strip away old and colonial habits in terms of body, question the issues of such erasure and replacement, what are some of the new directions in choreographic practices and contexts of dance teaching when one of the central concerns of Performance Studies discourse is culturally framed bodies? 



This digital archive was first developed in 2021, with the funding received from the African Digital Humanities grant from WISER. The aim of the African Digital Humanities Programme was to offer financial and technical support of projects of digitisation, course design and research. The CTDPS applied with their proposal of "Archiving Past: Performing Present"; envisioning a digital humanities project that will diversify the existing collections of South African performance research, by collecting, archiving and showcasing the works produced as both pedagogical tools and research outputs for CTDPS, on an open access online repository showcase site. This digital archive received a further two-years of funding from the African Digital Humanities grant (2022 - 2023).


Jayne Batzofin, Digital Archivist and Data Steward, was hired by the Centre to help develop and populate the online repository. They did this with the assistance of Digital Scholarship Specialist, Dr Sanjin Muftić, from the UCT Digital Libraries Services (DLS). Since the pilot project in 2021, where there were only 6 main productions present, in 2022 the site was populated with 49 main productions, 72 sub-productions, 49 posters, 25 programmes and 75 photo albums containing roughly 21 000 images. In 2023, an additional section for academic publications of the CTDPS permanent staff was developed.


Currently, the archive is not fully representative of all the student and lecturer research outputs that have been undertaken since the Centre's inception in 2018. The vision of the archive is to eventually house the work of all the productions developed, presented and staged by CTDPS students and staff. This includes production programmes, photographs, video material, press releases and any other supportive material.


This digital showcase repository tries to uphold the digital preservation and data management practices of FAIR data principles, ensuring that our data is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. This digital archive also works within the ethos of open data science practices, whereby the data and media are made freely available and accessible under the Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


We welcome current student and staff, as well as CTDPS alumni to contribute to this living archive.

If you would like to contribute towards the archive, please feel welcome to contact Jayne Batzofin at jayne.batzofin@uct.ac.za.