Jay Pather was born in Durban, South Africa. He currently lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.
Pather is the Adjunct Curator of Performative Practice, Centre for Performative Practice, Zeitz MOCAA.
He studied a BA Honours in English Literature and Drama at the University of KwaZulu-Natal
(Durban, South Africa), and a Masters in Dance Theatre from the New York University as a Fulbright Scholar (New York, USA).
Pather is director of the Institute for Creative Arts (ICA) at the University of Cape Town where he is an Associate Professor. He is curator for the Infecting the City Festival, the ICA Live Art Festival, the Afrovibes Festival (Amsterdam and UK), co-curator for performance art for Spielart Festival (Munich) and Artistic Director for Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre, now in its twenty-first year. For ICA, Pather has created structures for interdisciplinary collaboration in the form of fellowships, a Postgraduate Programme in Live Art, public lecture programmes and interdisciplinary events on a range of subjects, comprising lectures, panel discussion, exhibitions, and performance.
His research and artistic work deploys site-specific, interdisciplinary and intercultural strategies to
frame postcolonial imaginaries and matters of social justice. Recent work includes Qaphela Caesar, a deconstruction of Julius Caesar, at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in downtown Johannesburg. rite, a re-imagining of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps, choreography for Janni Younge’s the Firebird, and design and direction for Nadia Davids’ What Remains. Recent publications include articles in New Territories: Theatre, Drama, and Performance in Post-Apartheid South Africa edited my Marc Meaufort; Changing Metropolis ll edited by Marie Polli; Rogue Urbanism edited by Edgar Pieterse and Abdul Malik Simone; Performing Cities edited by Nicholas Whybrow and Theater Journal. He serves as a juror for the International Award for Public Art and on the Board of the National Arts Festival of South Africa.
In 2016 he was appointed Fellow at the University of London and made Chevalier des Arts et des
Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.
Notable organisations, conferences and workshops which Pather has presented papers at are: the African Knowledges Workshop, the School for New Dance in Amsterdam, the International Leadership Forum at Aix en Provence, the UNESCO Conference on Art Education in Africa, at the Territoires de la creation Conference in Lille, the Metropolis Conference in Copenhagen, the World Cultural Forum in Brazil, the African Urbanism Colloquium in Cairo and at the International Theatre Institute in London.
Pather has also won several awards which include a Heritage Award, a Brett Kebble Award, the Tunkie Award for Leadership in Dance and a UKZN Convocation Award for leadership in the Arts and Humanities.
Pather joins the team as an Adjunct Curator for Performative Practice in the Performative Practice
Centre at Zeitz MOCAA. The Centre is dedicated to exploring the function of performance within society, acknowledging the implicit role of time, space and the performer’s body.