The JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience showcases a number of South African & international choreographers, dancers and dance-makers at this year’s 19th edition which takes place at various venues in Durban from 23 August to 3 September.
Dance-lovers can expect to see a variety of contemporary styles speaking to a myriad issues from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, and then further afield from Holland (INTRODANS), Germany (steptext dance projects) and the West African country of Benin (Marcel Gbeffa).
JOMBA! primarily hosted at the University of UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts will also host its second venue partnership with the KZNSA Gallery for 2017 (Monday 28 August @ 6pm).
The gallery space offers an alternate kind of challenge to dance makers and for those intrepid artists who work outside of the traditions of the proscenium arch. Not only will this event see the outcome of Benin’s Marcel Gbeffa’s JOMBA! residency, but the evening will host 3 new works by some of Durban’s most cutting edge voice. All three of the invited choreographers have opted to make site –specific or in sutu performance work and so this year the JOMBA! @ the KZNSA Gallery is also the JOMBA! KZN ON THE EDGE featuring new works by Sifiso Khumalo, Lorin Sookool and Mdu Mthsali.
Sifiso Khumalo’s “Isifungo” (meaning oath) uses the extremities of the stairs of the gallery space as dancers defy gravity and leap on walls and ceilings in a textual and embodied attempt to look at how often we break the oaths we make in our lives. Dancers find themselves trapped in between the walls of commitment. Khumalo is one of the founding members of FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY and has a long and celebrated Durban career as dancer, choreographer and dance educator.
Lorin Sookool performs her solo “BAD” in the main gallery space and it is a sharp and witty explorations of the notion of post-feminism in an image-obsessed, web-empowered generation. Through the portrayal of iconic sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe, “BAD” investigates the tension between the female body as object and the female body as sacred. Sookool , originally a Durban girl, is presently a company member at the Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative (FATC) based in rural Mpumalanga.
JOMBA!’S KZN ON THE EDGE, finishes off with a duet by veteran Durban dancer Mdu Mtshali called “Alive Kids”. Performed in the courtyard of the gallery, this virtuoso duet offers up the image of two disenfranchised street children finding grace despite so much. Described as a work about personal transformation, this work is danced by the two 2017 ‘poster boys’ for JOMBA! – Nqubeko Ngema and Njabulo Zungu.
The JOMBA Fringe features 10 new works of 10 to 15 minute each on August 29, and the Youth Fringe on August 27. With over 40 entries for a coveted place in this year’s JOMBA! Fringe, the selection of only 10 works was a difficult task but means that the final selection offers a standard of dance theatre that is growing. The JOMBA! Youth Fringe takes place at the UKZN Open Air Theatre (entrance is free!) and is a celebration of over 20 KZN based youth dance groups and the incredible dance work that they are doing.
JOMBA! also offers a full programme of workshops and master classes by all of the participating dancers and choreographers. These workshops and classes are offered free of charge (dancer over 16yrs only) but booking is essential via firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a full listings and the programme go to www.cca.ukzn.ac.za and link to the JOMBA! page. Follow on Facebook (JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience) and Twitter (Twitter@Jomba_dance)
The 19th JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience is under the artistic direction and curatorship of Lliane Loots and is organised and hosted and run by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal), and is supported primarily by the eThekwini Municipality