Performance Art

by Leán Bakker

Tantra coaching

Dance background:

Leán was one of the founder members of the PACT Contemporary dance company in 1988 - 1992. Later dancing for the Arts Council of Bophuthatswana 1992-1994.
She has performed and choreographed for all the major stages and arts festivals in South Africa. in 2001, her full length dance production "Vlees" won top accolades at the Aartvark Prize.

She continues to dance as a way of life and sporadically creates performance art pieces to give expression to her life.

My sound is too big for this confined space

Performed during 'Infecting the City' 2012 and again in 2019 in Capetown and at Grahamstown National Arts Festival 2012

Endless rows of cars lie between you and your family. A traffic jam, again. Annoyingly, the car next to you begins reverberating with sound. You look over. The driver is contorting themselves into all manner of expressive ways. This is going to be a jam like no other. What looks like simple, impatient finger-tapping, progresses into an expressive,“how-does-she-do-that?!” limb-extending dance across the dashboard and the seats of the car. The next encounter is an impatient cussing driver, her insults to the other road users explodes into a slam of poetry weaving from hate to love to home to work... Then there is this guy in the fancy car with his opera playlist – has he no shame that all can hear his passion bursting from his chest? The performers are responsible drivers, always keeping an eye on the flow of traffic, but they own good sound systems and get carried away by the music. It begins as a fantasy in their heads, but becomes a reality in the confined space of their sedans.

Leán Bakker with Sipho Fubesi, Gita Galina and Jitsvinger


Leán Bakker
Gita Galina

Unfinished at Youngblood

Movement improvisation with the Cape Town Youth Choir at YoungBlood Galley in Cape Town
- 2018

Lean Bakker

A Boat called "Me"

One woman show with 10 paper boats and a rope; expressed with movement, dance and voice.

Première at the Darling Voorkamerfest 2014.

Boat 03
Boat 02
Boat 01
Boat 04

100 Days of movement

In 2017, I created a one minute each day, for 100 consecutive days and posted these on Instagram. The process  took me into a space of focusing on what I love most and stimulated my creativity.
Click here or on the image to watch all 100 videos


Performance with my daughter (age 11) at the Equus Gallery on the Cavalli Estate. September 2015

We are embodying the transfer of fertility. I am on the brink of menopause while she is about to blossom into womanhood. We repeat a cycle of giving and receiving. She slowly opens her umbrella while I slowly close mine and then we exchange. Mine always closing, hers always opening.

Lean Hickey and Juliana Coetzer 04
Lean Hickey and Juliana Coetzer 03

Song of intent

Performance during the Pieces and Puzzles exhibition at the Lovell Gallery in Cape Town. September 2013.

I rhythmically chisel a groove into a plank while singing to the rhythm of my work.

song of intent

I am a Tree

Performance at David Straus' house in Bloubergstrand, Cape Town as part of the 2013 Spier Secret Food and Wine Festival Conference.

i am a tree

The Cape Doctor

Cape Town's "doctor" is loved and loathed. It is the wind that blows from the south-east, clearing the City of smog and pollution, the wind that is a Cape constant, the accompaniment to hot summers. This performance, accompanied by live drums and flute, uses ribbons, dresses, flags, bubbles and balloons to allow the wind to show itself as the star of the dance, revealing itself through all it traverses. The Cape Doctor celebrates the wind as a free and spirited life force that rejuvenates and cleanses the City.

Drummers led by Dingiswayo Juma, Marguerite Hottzhausen on Flute

Dancers from CAPA - Cape Academy of Performing Arts and guest performance by Verna Gower.

The Cape doctor was performed as part of the Infecting the City Public Arts Festival 2012


infecting the city

Rain Dance

Dance at the opening of the Angels exhibition 2011 at Grand Provence Gallery in Franschhoek.

Water sprays like wings to free the being from a crust of dry clay.



While I sing a lullaby, my breasts are emptied out... salt spills onto the table. This work is about giving.



Performance carried out by the participating artists in the one day only, group exhibition at the Mullineux Wine Cellar in Riebeek Kasteel 2010.



I use two red hair dryers to send my hair into a lyrical dance of unpredictable, wild abandon, yet somehow grounded in my stillness.

Performed at the Spier Contemporary exhibition 2010 in Cape Town.

Music: "Lullaby" by Mr.Cat and the Jackel.

Draw a line

I love this work - it is a performance video.

I place myself in 3 frequented areas in my home - The Kitchen, the bedroom and the lounge. Each time I draw a line in my environment that I then cross it with no noticeable consequence.

Lean Hickey Coetzer
Lean Hickey Coetzer

Recycled Tango

You are driving through the pristine countryside, you notice a plastic bag blown against the fence, it  dances as it is teased by the wind. My tango is a response to the unpredictable flutters of my restless dance partner.

Music: "Two to tangle"  by Zim Ngqawana


Catherine Daniels and David McLellan at The Aardklop Festival 2002 in Potchefstroom.

I created this work for all the people at the arts festival that never attend any shows. The show was performed in the street where all the pubs are. A white cube is illuminated to reveal shadow pictures and dancing bodies.

365 Dinners

A site specific dance performance.

365 dinners is about a couple playing the seemingly mundane, yet eccentric  rituals of having dinner together every evening.

Here I am performing with Meinhardt Joubert at his restaurant, Bar-Bar Blacksheep in Riebeek Kasteel,  where he was sheff and owner.

lean hickey coetzer

Performance of 365 dinners in Pretoria with Izac Coetzee

Do the "waiting for the bus" dance

Image on the inside of a bus shelter in Huntly, Scotland.

Created during a residency at Deveron Arts in 2009.

Anybody waiting for the bus can entertain themselves by doing these simple actions that make up the dance.

lean hickey coetzer performance art

Slow Cloud

I danced in slow motion and then speeded up the video 5 times.


An hour long production where animation and dance are so integrated that it seems as though the dancers are part of a film.

Winner of the Beeld Aartvark prize for most most ground breaking production on the Aardklop Arts Festival 2001. Nominated for a FNB Vita award for best production in 2001.



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