“Interdisciplinary experimentation using multiple artistic mediums” is one way of describing Kieron Jina’s innovative performance art and dance creations.

Kieron Jina was born in Durban and now lives in Johannesburg. He is one of South Africa’s controversial and proactive choreographers and performance artists, redefining both forms of the art in the country through his innovation within the field.

Jina uses performance art and choreography to tell personal stories that, underpinned by activism, explore societal themes and challenge stereotypes in an effort to captivate, activate and alter audiences’ minds. He has worked in diverse media, including television, film, theatre and dance as a choreographer, activist, dancer and teacher.

Jina works in a rather multi-layered way. He works from project to project and invariably tries to find ways of including audiences, collaborators and the surrounding community into his creations. His point of departure when making a new work is his immediate environment, which acts as a web to capture issues around culture, history and identity. His current interests as an artist are issues of gender dynamics, namely performing the Queer and gender-bender issues.

With a master’s in dramatic arts from Wits University, Jina is a performance artist, dancer, choreographer, teacher, facilitator, director, fashion designer/model, cinematographer and video editor. A co-founder of the artistic collaborative, Stash the Suitcase Collective, he is an artist who is constantly seeking new inspiration, experiences and collaborations — both locally and internationally.

Kieron Jina has recently been awarded top 200 Mail and Guardian Young South Africans of the year in the Arts and Culture Category for performance art. He also completed an International Choreographer’s residency for contemporary dance, which was held at the Total Danse Festival 2013 in Reunion Island (Indian Ocean collaborative connection) “ECUMe” facilitated by Yuval Pick. Jina was also selected as a DanceWeb scholar for 2013 at the ImPulseTanz Festival in Vienna, Austria.