Of­fers a feast of lo­cal and world dancers

Weekend Witness - - Money -

THIS year’s JOMBA! Con­tem­po­rary Dance Ex­pe­ri­ence prom­ises to be be a de­light of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional dance theatre.

Run­ning at the El­iz­a­beth Sned­don Theatre at the Univer­sity of KwaZulu-Na­tal’s Howard Col­lege cam­pus from Au­gust 28 to Septem­ber 8, the fes­ti­val, which is now in its 15th year, will show­case the best dance the world has to of­fer.

Dancers from Hol­land, Switzer­land, the U.S., Por­tu­gal and France will be per­form­ing along­side some of South Africa’s most cut­ting-edge dancers, in­clud­ing the 2013 Stan­dard Bank Young Artist award win­ner for dance, Fana Tsha­bal­ala.

His new work, In­dumba, pre­miered at the National Arts Fes­ti­val in Gra­ham­stown to crit­i­cal ac­claim.

Work­ing with Jo­han­nes­burg­based For­got­ten An­gle Theatre Col­lab­o­ra­tive, Tsha­bal­ala’s work is a po­etic en­counter with African rit­ual and con­tem­po­rary sen­si­bil­ity.

Con­sid­ered one of South Africa’s most fluid and el­e­gant dancers, Tsha­bal­ala’s vi­sion is a star­tling re­minder of the con­flu­ence of style, form and African sen­si­bil­ity.

An­other must-see is the col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Dur­ban-based dancer and chore­og­ra­pher De­siré Davids and the French-based Hélène Cathala, in a soul­ful duet called B.L.E.N.D.

The two women artists, one “coloured” and South African, and one white and French, share the stage in a con­fronta­tion of their di­ver­gent his­to­ries. This drives them to re­ally get to know one an­other but also, some­times, drives them both into a void of per­sonal and artis­tic in­com­pre­hen­sion.

JOMBA! is also host­ing, in part­ner­ship with the Amer­i­can Con­sulate in Dur­ban and the United States Depart­ment of State’s arts en­voy pro­gramme, the Chicago-based Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre com­pany. Deeply Rooted will spend two weeks in Dur­ban work­ing with young dancers in JOMBA’s dance ed­u­ca­tion and de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme in Um­lazi, kwaMashu, and Tugela Mouth, run in con­junc­tion with the Flat­foot Dance Com­pany.

The com­pany’s dancers will share their skills and phi­los­o­phy with over 600 KZN dancers in the cul­tural ex­change. Deeply Rooted’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in JOMBA! will cul­mi­nate in two per­for­mances on Septem­ber 7 and Septem­ber 8. In a style that oozes with the jazz his­tory of the AfricanAmer­i­can ex­pe­ri­ence, Deeply Rooted will present chore­og­ra­phy that threads to­gether some of their key sig­na­ture dance works.

The com­pany’s dancers will also part­ner with the six res­i­dent dancers of Flat­foot, fol­low­ing two weeks of learn­ing Deeply Rooted’s reper­toire and shar­ing styles and meth­ods.

Lovers of ballet and neo-clas­si­cal dance can en­joy per­for­mances by Hol­land’s In­tro­dan, who will present a pro­gramme ti­tled Su­per­stars, which fea­tures five chore­ogra­phies by five of Hol­land and Europe’s most in­flu­en­tial dance mak­ers — Anaphase by Ohad Na­harin, Evening Songs by Ji í Kylián, Na­cho Du­ato’s Sin­fonía In­dia, Pas de Danse by Mats Ek and Pol­ish Pieces by the Dutch mae­stro Hans van Manen.

Other per­form­ers headed to Dur­ban in­clude: • Por­tuguese dancer Fran­cisco Ca­ma­cho, who presents The King In Ex­ile, which draws in­spi­ra­tion from Dom Manuel 2, the last king of Por­tu­gal. It is an ex­plo­ration of con­tem­po­rary po­lit­i­cal power that will no doubt speak to Africa; and • Swiss duo T42, made up of dancers Misato Inoue and Félix Duméril, present a work which is a con­fronta­tion with dif­fer­ence, and the old ideas that Euro­pean iden­tity is sin­gu­lar. Known for their tech­ni­cal vir­tu­os­ity and dex­ter­ity as con­tem­po­rary dancers, T42’s work has been sin­gled out for its hu­mour and for al­low­ing space for laugh­ter in bat­tling the mis­un­der­stand­ings be­tween East and West.

This year, JOMBA! is also join­ing forces with artSPACE Dur­ban to present a one-off evening of site-spe­cific dance work at the gallery at 3 Mil­lar Road, Dur­ban, on Septem­ber 2.

The event will in­clude Musa Hlatshwayo and Vusi Makanya’s lat­est lo­cal dance of­fer­ings, and a solo by T42’s Inoue called Swan, which harks back to Swan Lake’s in­fa­mous black and white swans, and to a fe­male body caught in op­po­si­tion.

Also on view at the event is a col­lec­tion of award-win­ning one­minute dance films from around the globe, cu­rated by Jean­nette Ginslov’s ScreenDance Africa.

In ad­di­tion to the main pro­gramme, JOMBA! will host its usual Fringe (Septem­ber 1) and Youth Fringe ( Au­gust 31) pro­grammes. With over 60 en­tries in this year’s Fringe, the se­lec­tion of only 10 works was a dif­fi­cult task.

The JOMBA! Youth Fringe takes place at the Wig­gins Com­mu­nity Hall in Cato Manor/Umkhum­bane, and is a cel­e­bra­tion of over 28 KZN-based youth dance groups.

JOMBA! also of­fers a full pro­gramme of work­shops and mas­ter classes by the par­tic­i­pat­ing dancers and chore­og­ra­phers. For a full list­ing, go to and se­lect the JOMBA! page. Th­ese work­shops and classes are free, but book­ing is es­sen­tial.

Last, but not least, artis­tic di­rec­tor Lliane Loots will host the JOMBA! Talks Dance plat­forms with the dancers and chore­og­ra­phers pre­sent­ing work at the fes­ti­val. They will be held di­rectly af­ter per­for­mances. — Arts Edi­tor. • arts@wit­

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