Choreographer and dancer Sonnyboy Motau lands top arts position at leading dance company

By Edward Tsumele, CITYLIFE/ARTS Editor

One of the country’s most talented dancers and choreographers has just had his solid footprint on the dance scene confirmed by being appointed to a leading arts position as Artistic Director of Moving Into Dance. The Newtown, Johannesburg based dancecompany yesterday, July 17, 2023, announced Motau’s appointment, cementing the dancer and choreographer’s solid contribution to the development of dance, particularly fusion dance in the country.

Motua’s track record in dance and arts leadership speaks for itself, and his recent feat is an example of that.

He is currently enjoying a spotlight as a result of two Naledi Awards for Moving Dance’s Ingress Productionat the Joburg Theatre and State Theatre in 2022 which he directed, having just completed a stint in London as part of a few selected global leaders in the American Express Global Leadership Academy by Common Purpose, and with a new national choreographic commission under his belt; Sunnyboy Motau.

To those that have followed his career and steady climb to the top, will be probably not be surprised by this latest triumph for Motau, as this had been long coming.

 Having been groomed into this position from 2021, the CEO of Moving into Dance, Nadia Virasamy, said, “It almost feels like Sunnyboy was made for this position.  He has embraced it with all the creativity and artistic passion he could muster, and has proven himself as not just an incredible artist but a worthy administrator as well.  This feels a long time in the making but now that we are here we can only smile at a journey that has brought us this gift of leadership, loyalty and creativity.”   

Hailing from Alexandra, Sunnyboy remains invested in the development of his home township through dance, and the belief that dance truly brings hope as he is proof of that fact.  Having joined MID in 2008 as a student, Sunnyboy is now a highly commissioned choreographer and sought after facilitator nationally and internationally.  He has won the ImpAct Award for Choreography in 2016 and was also named among the Mail and Guardians top 100 young people to watch.

He said, “It is an honour to be selected to carry this task and take over as Artistic Director.  This is a massive milestone for a young man from the streets of Alexandra with only the hope of making a positive impact in the community and the world at large through my creative passion.  I am so grateful to this organization that I love, to the many people that have supported me through my dance journey and now am looking to the future with confident expectation.”

Nadia Virasamy, CEO of MID said, “Sunnyboy is the embodiment of the Moving into Dance ethos.  We have always been about nurturing African leaders through dance.  We reminisce the previous associate artistic directors such as Vincent Mantsoe and Gregory Maqoma, groomed at the hands of MID’s founder, Sylvia Glasser, who have since transitioned to great things; and now we stand on the threshold of Sunnyboy Motau and launch his artistic directorship here at MID like many before him.” 

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