Jazzart rebranded

Jazzart Dance Theatre, based at the Artscape Theatre, has rebranded with a new corporate identity, a new vision and new plans for the non-profit organisation. Last week, the organisation held an event unveiling its updated logo and website at the Youngblood Gallery in Bree Street.

Jazzart is a contemporary dance company founded in 1973 that uses dance as a transformation tool to promote social awareness and cultural inclusiveness.

Jazzart’s artistic director, Sifiso Kweyama, who joined the organisation in 2015, said by then they had already decided to gradually implement change. “The first logo had five people in it, and we wanted to simplify it. We changed it many times – first to three figures, but that didn’t work, then to one person, but the board of directors said we shouldn’t have someone gender specific, so we had to go back to the drawing board.”

They then came up with a design that does not show a man or woman, but only a dancer. The new corporate identity material was designed by Christelle Dreyer and the Jazzart team.

A simple design was chosen with only two colours: grey, being neither black nor white but a combination, a transition between the two, to symbolise the maturity of the organisation. The second colour, orange, which was also in the old logo, remains to symbolise continuity.

“Orange, a fusion of the energy and stimulation of red with the cheerfulness of yellow portrays the everyday feeling of our trainees and dancers as they learn and grow in the studio and on stage,” said Mr Kweyama.

He said the logo also emphasises “ZA” in the centre of the name Jazzart. “The new logo speaks to us. The ZA is to emphasise South Africa. Wherever we go, people will know that this brand is proudly South African.”

Mr Kweyama’s vision is to develop an African-Contemporary dance aesthetic that draws inspiration from our historic and cultural past, that interprets and engages with our African present in all its diversity and complexity, to shape, influence and positively affect our African future. While the vision remains the same, he said they have shortened it to make it more to-the-point.

“Jazzart has evolved over the years into a strong identity and it is time for us to develop an image that reflects who we are now. It was an invigorating next step in our evolution as a proudly South African contemporary dance company.”

He said although Jazzart’s courses are not accredited, it is a well-known dance theatre company, and they are lucky to have the relationships that they do.

And with the new identity comes a fresh new theme. Mr Kweyama said as of next year, he will be working to incorporate recycling as a theme.

Up to now, the theme had been “Rememberance” – remembering the history of South Africa – which most of the productions were centred on.

Speaking about the new logo, Malcolm Higgins, the chairperson of the Jazzart board, said: “We believe the figure is non-gender and reflects the new Jazzart language of dance.

The emphasis on ZA depicts our uniquely South African dance philosophy that is rooted in the diversity of the culture and traditions of our country. We would like to thank our staff for their unwavering dedication, our old and new board of directors, Artscape Theatre, funders, teachers, community partners and alumni for their support in our endeavours to positively For more information on how you can get involved, email operations@jazzart.co.za or sifisok@jazzart.co.za

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