The Centre for Creative Arts (UKZN) and eThekwini Municipality host the 21st JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience at various venues around the City of Durban from 27 August to 8 September 2019. This year’s 21st birthday edition offers a hearty buffet packed full of the world’s best contemporary dance that will titillate, challenge, and entertain audiences of all ages and art inclinations.
The celebrated Cape Town-based Jazzart opens the festival with their JOMBA! debut. In their programme Sifiso Kweyama’s Cape of Ghosts digs deep to find the core of what constitutes the ownership of land in a beautiful and politically evocative work.
Durban’s own Boyzie Cekwana collaborates with Lebanese dance maker Danya Hammoud in an intimate dance theatre experience that offers these two extraordinary dancers in a duet called Bootlegged, that speaks to the interior politics of relationships.
Fana Tshabalala, joins JOMBA! as the UKZN Mellon Foundation Artist-in-residence collaborating with the Flatfoot Dance Company in an explosive premiere. Called amaVendors, Tshabalala and Flatfoot explore the journey of women and men who wake up every day to sell in the streets to provide for themselves and their loved ones. Fusing ritual and performance, Tshabalala takes audiences on a transformative journey. Tshabala also presents his solo MAN inspired by the ideal kind of a “Man” within society and how the roles and responsibilities have changed over the years – as new type of “Man” is emerging..
One of the leading dance companies in Washington, the Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company, which is funded for this season by the US Consulate, presents work that sees the confluence of the ancient Indian style of Bharatha Natyam with the ethos and flow of contemporary modern dance.
From Durban’s twin city of New Orleans comes Leslie Scott’s company Body Art in an intriguing site-responsive work for the Durban Art Gallery, which will take audiences on a journey into the very heart of contemporary popular identity. Scott’s dance work, hymn + them is about the joys of going away, of leaving the greyness and entering the colour. “Over the Rainbow” is, or ought to be, the anthem of all the world’s migrants, all those who go in search of the place where the dreams really do come true.
The DAG event will also see a unique collection of short films guest curated by Brazilian filmmaker Sofía Castro who has been living and working in Argentina and has collected five short dance films by Argentinian filmmakers/choreographers that explore the interior and exterior life of contemporary South American life.
South Africa’s icon of African contemporary dancer, Vincent Sekwati Mantsoe, offers the world premiere of his new work SoliiDad, an abstract journey to oblivion. Mantsoe is considered to be one of the founding fathers of South African contemporary dance and now spends his time between France and South Arica teaching, choreographing and doing masterclasses.
Mantsoe is set in a double bill with Johannesburg-based Lulu Mlangeni – a young dance maker that is taking the country by storm who will present her duet called The Encounter a brave and unflinching contemporary journey into African spirituality and belonging.
‘JOMBA! On The Edge’ grants have been awarded to Sizwe Hlophe and Thulisile Binda. to premier new creations and are given mentorship and the full support of the JOMBA! technical team to realise their work for the stage.
The 2019 JOMBA! FRINGE offers the premier of nine new dance works by JC Zondi (Pietermaritzburg), Carla Mostert (Durban), David April with students of the University of Pretoria, Lethiwe Mzimela (Durban), Nkanyiso Mazibuko (Durban), Vuyo Ndawonde (Pietermaritzburg), Sbonelo Mchunu (Durban), Yaseen Manuel (Cape Town) and Jabu Siphika (Durban).
The festival’s ever-popular JOMBA! Youth Fringe will feature over 18 youth dance groups from eThekwini and KwaZulu Natal.
A series of workshops and masterclasses (all free) are offered in various venues in the eThekwini area and they are open to all – booking is essential.
Tickets are R80 and R60 for Student/scholar/pensioner/group booking of more than x10, and available through Computicket.
For more information go to http://jomba.ukzn.ac.za/