Jay Pather is Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town, Director of the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts and Artistic Director of Siwela Sonke. A Fulbright Scholar, he read for an MA in Dance Theatre at New York University and since then Pather’s work has traveled widely extending across discipline, site and culture. He has collaborated with visual artists, architects and urban planners, since 1984, taking his inter-cultural performances into public spaces and working with the architecture of Johannesburg, Durban, London, Zanzibar, Amsterdam, New York, Barcelona, Mumbai, Muscat, New Delhi, Copenhagen and Cape Town.
Pather has presented papers at amongst others 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 served on the National ACTAG, the Arts and Culture Trust of the President, the Advisory and State Theatre Board and the delegation investigating cultural exchange with Cuba. In 2006, he was appointed onto the National Arts Festival Committee and elected as Chairperson for the Performing Arts Network of South Africa. In 2007 Pather was appointed co-curator for both the Spier Contemporary Exhibition and the Infecting the City Festival.
Awards 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. Following his CityScapes series, he was commissioned to present Body of Evidence at the FNB Dance Umbrella and the National Arts Festival. In 2009 his site specific Blind Spot was commissioned by the Metropolis Biennale. He is currently developing Qaphela Caesar a work that was installed in 14 rooms in the Cape Town City Hall, for Dance Umbrella 2012 at the old Stock Exchange in downtown Johannesburg . Pather has most recently been appointed Chairman of the National Arts Festival Artistic Committee to succeed Sibongile Khumalo and curator for the Infecting the City Public Art Festival for 2012-2014.