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South African & African Crossings At 23rd JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience

Flatfoot Dance Company

JOMBA! is proud to be honouring key South African and African dance makers and companies forging new ground in their work. Taking place free and online from the 24 August to the 5 September, the 23rd JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience is presented by the Centre for Creative Arts, UKZN.

Under the platform of South African Crossings, JOMBA! is proud to present three dance programmes: Garage Dance Ensemble (O’okiep, South Africa), Cape Town dancer and choreographer Yaseen Manuel (in collaboration with Durban’s  FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY) and two works presented by the Vrystaat Kunste Vees and New Dance.

In the African Crossings Platform there are four screen dance films created by the talented Marcel Gbeffa (Benin), Gaby Saranouffi (Madagascar), Robert Ssempijja (Uganda)  and Bernardo Guiamba (aka Pak Ndjamena) (Mozambique).

The Garage Dance Ensemble founded by SA dance icons, John Linden and Alfred Hinkel,  who not only birthed a new professional dance company, but have firmly nurtured new young dance voices. The company presents “Gat innie Grond, Wond in My Siel” (Hole in the Ground, Wound in my Soul) choreographed by the remarkable young dance maker, Byron Klassen. The production’s main focus is to facilitate a process of exploring and translating the memories, trauma and current lived experiences of the Khoekhoegowab (South Africa’s first people).

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s School of the Arts, in partnership with the Mellon Foundation’s Artist in Residence programme, welcomes Cape Town dancer and choreographer Yaseen Manuel as this year’s Artist in Residence.  Manuel has been working with Durban’s FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY to create a work, “UNHINGED” – which narrates the four phases of an individual suffering with schizophrenia, set against the backdrop of South Africa. Manuel also presents his own work, “Al-Kitab” which looks at the life of a contemporary South African Islamic dancer that finds himself torn between religion and his art.

The final two resultant films, by Sylvester Thamsanqa Majela (“NEVERLAND”) and Sizakele Mdi (“Dust to Dust”), of a process embarked on last year by the Vrystaat Arts Festival, Georgina Thomson and New Dance Festival, called Crossings, will be presented. The process challenged the artists to work collaboratively with the intention of creating screen dance with facilitators, Vincent Sekwati Mantsoe and Musa Hlatshwayo.

From Benin, Marcel Gbeffa, the founder and artistic director of Centre Choregraphique Multicorps in Cotonou (Benin), and his short film “in my mind”, begins to unravel the oppression of the lockdown and how the human mind finds other escapes, travelling through space and time.

Madagascar’s Gaby Saranouffi presents “FACE(S) OF BASADI” which began as an art installation collaboration with photographer Jodi Bieber. She has turned this installation into a screen dance film. The work explores the important steps that women in Africa take in their cultural or traditional journeys, focusing on various rites of passage as a pillar of identity.

Ugandan Robert Ssempijja, last year’s winner of the JOMBA! pick of the Fringe, is a contemporary dance artist and dance researcher, and has created a politically intense and beautiful film called “ALIENATION”. This dance film takes the viewer on a journey of self-discovery around the decolonial questions around what home is and where we belong.

Finally, Mozambique’s Pak Ndjamena is a multifaceted artist that encompasses multiple crafts including being a dancer, choreographer, cultural promoter, musician and actor. He has collaborated with Mozambic     ean photographer and filmmaker Ivan Barros to present “IN-BOX” – a poetic visual feast, this short film offers the dancing body as it reflects memories of the past and present, the body in search of human resilience – this dance film is a message of evocation to hope!

JOMBA! is free to watch anywhere from 24 August to 5 September – online on Youtube: https://bit.ly/WatchJomba

For the full programme go to : https://bit.ly/JOMBAProg

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