JOMBA! celebrates diverse African cultures as dance festival returns after 2 years

After two years of absence, JOMBA! returns to the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, University of KwaZulu-Natal, KwaZulu-Natal for what is perhaps Africa’s largest and most renowned dance festival.

At the full JOMBAfirst live event! since the Covid epidemic, artists and performers from Mozambique, Switzerland, Reunion, India and, of course, South Africa will exhibit their works at the festival.

Dr Llianna Loots, Artistic Director and Curator, exclaims: “We are delighted and happy to finally be able to present our much-loved festival live and in person, while keeping some works and events online for those who cannot. come.

“One of the things we’ve really missed with Covid is engaging with each other; meeting in the lobby, seeing people you haven’t seen in a while, chatting with other dancers, seeing people interacting, artists connecting with each other, and just a sense of community.

“And hopefully we can revitalize that community spirit of creative dance.”

Under the theme “the (im)possibility of a home”, the 24th annual JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience offers an unparalleled 13-day experience of world-class contemporary dance.

“This year, through the subject, we want to probe a series of dance offerings that negotiate heritage, culture, nostalgia and identity, that explore a sense of belonging and how it endures, changes and evolves. develops through time – and what a time (both local and global) for this exploration!”

Loots discussed some of the challenges faced by the dance and theater community over the past two years.

“Dance is not a type of art that can be stopped and then resumed. As a dancer, you have to work every day. We have seen a lot of devastation, if I may use that term; artists have disappeared and dancers have found other jobs because they could not maintain their profession.

“It’s sometimes quite sad to realize that the artists had to make other decisions. There has been a tangible loss. I hope with the help of the live music event, we can reignite that fire and continue to grow.

Mamela Nyamza, Nelisiwe Xaba and Edna Jaime, South African and Mozambican masters of modern dance, big title festival this year.

Edna Jaime. Photography: John Hogg

Vincent Sekwati Mantsoe, choreographer, performer and dance teacher, will be honored as JOMBA 2022! Heritage Artist.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Mantsoe’s career as a dancer and choreographer, and we can think of no better way to honor this remarkable figure in South African dance history than to celebrate with him.

There will be a live performance of Mantsoe’s new solo piece “Koma”, the screening of his dance short film “CUT (part 1)” created during the lockdown and his two-year process (2021 and 2022) of work with Durban’s Flatfoot Dance Company, as well as the debut of “CUT (part 2)” during the festival.

Fana Tshabalala, JOMBA 2019! Mellon Artist-in-Residence will present “Zann”, his most recent solo piece, which he began creating during his residency.

The festival will feature three new works by Durban choreographers Sandile Mkhize, Tegan Peacock and Pavishen Paideya.

Grants have been awarded to the trio to encourage the development of new local works on the JOMBA! Edge platform.

Sandile Mkhize. Photo: Val Adamson

The festival will also include workshops, post-performance Q&A, panel discussions, virtual screen dancing, and the return of JOMBA! youth dance platform, which continues to help develop Durban’s young dance communities.

Visit the website for the full festival schedule and more information.

JOMBA! 2022 begins on August 30 and ends on September 11.

As the nation prepares to observe Heritage Day on September 24, we take a look at national theater performances that recognize and celebrate our different African traditions.

Individuals Gontse Ntshegang and André Lotter. Photograph of the Market Theater

The Lady with the Parrots (The Market Theatre)

Charles Fourie, South Africa’s greatest contemporary writer and director, is adapting ‘The Parrot Woman’ to bring to life a rarely told piece of history: that many black South Africans were imprisoned in concentration camps during the Anglo-Boer War of 1901.

In a ritual escape game, she is sent to a concentration camp where she is held hostage in a cage and guarded by a reluctant British soldier in search of the truth about the murders.

What is revealed in the moving conclusion shines a light on the devastating effects of war and reveals that the two main characters find solace in each other’s suffering and loss.

Date: Ongoing until September 26.

The authors are Chi Mhende and Paul Slabolepszy. Photograph of Meghan McCabe

Fordsburg’s Finest by Paul Slabolepszy (Theatre On The Bay)

In “Fordsburg’s Finest,” starring Paul Slabolepszy and Chi Mhende, two characters who have long walked on solid ground find they can’t take it for granted.

The drama centers on a New York librarian who decides to return to her South African roots in 1996. When she arrives at 74 Pioneer Street in Fordsburg with an outdated and faded street map in hand, she is disappointed to discover that the house is no longer there. In its place is a ramshackle used-car yard operated by a gregarious middle-aged white South African that is also a former police reserve.

Valid until September 10

Distribution of ‘Hostel Lights’ Photograph by Imameleng Masitha.

Best of Baxter Zabalaza Theater Festival (Baxter)

This year, the Baxter Zabalaza Theater Festival’s Finest of the Fest awards went to “Hostel Lights” and “Back to Ashes.”

Baxter Zabalaza Theater Festival creative director Mdu Kweyama said they were chosen as the best at the 13th annual festival held in April because of their powerful subject matter and brilliance in screenwriting. , acting, staging and general presentation.

“The topics they explore relate to viewers and in many cases reflect the daily lives of many South Africans. “‘Hostel Lights’ is about devotion and camaraderie, while ‘Back to Ashes’ deals with the pervasive problem of gender-based violence,” Kweyama added.

From September 3 to 17

↯↯↯Read more on the subject on TDPel Media ↯↯↯

Comments are closed.