By CityLife Arts Writer
Dance in a Digital Age – in Conversation with… is one of the programmes curated within the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience, presented by the Centre for Creative Arts, University of KwaZulu-Natal, as a free online event from 25 August to 6 September 2020.
Four dance-makers from Africa and Europe present works created during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in their various countries. The screenings of their films will be followed by a conversation with facilitator and Artistic Director Lliane Loots, and the viewers will be able to send in questions.
Iconic South African dancer and choreographer Vincent Mantsoe, who is now based in France, presents C u t……Part one a 13-minute online work created in remote collaboration with composer and musician Mpho Molikeng, and filmmaker Frank Pizon in co-production with the Institute Français South Africa and The Market Theatre earlier this year.
This short intense dance film offers Mantsoe at his best; offering the convergence of traditions, modernity and digital technology in an exploration around the power of energy. Mantsoe is the winner of international and national awards in performance and choreography, who has created works for dance companies across the globe.
From Kenya comes Ondiege Matthew and his company Dance Into Space, he will be sharing two works created during lockdown. He features in a solo piece called Generations, which isaccompanied by spoken word performed by Teardrops, at the Kenya National Theatre in Nairobi during lockdown. The other work is titled Essential Services and is a wry depiction of the ordinary Kenyan response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and especially over the lockdown and the strict guidelines that followed. This is the world premiere of this work.
Jürg Koch is a freelance dance artist based in Bern, Switzerland and has been working internationally as a performer, choreographer and dance educator for the past 20 years.He received his MA from the London Contemporary Dance School. Working with Candoco Dance Company integrating disabled and non-disabled performers informs his artistic and pedagogic approach.
He performs The Printer’s Tray, which was produced in self-isolation and filmed in studio Freiform, Bern, May 2020. Taking the ‘printer’s tray’ as a metaphor for a collection of memories, this is a filmed version of six sections from The Printer’s Tray created during the COVID-19 lockdown period and published online.
Themba Mbuli, the 2016 Standard Bank Young Artist Award Recipient for Dance, presents ManMade, a film created in memory of his grandfather. It metaphorically deals with the concept of clothes and the closet; the clothes are seen as thoughts and the closet as the mind that carries the thoughts. The creation was triggered by the lockdown period in which Mbuli found himself clearing his late grandfather’s clothes from his closet. Mbuli trained with Moving into Dance Mophatong (MIDM) in 2007 and has worked with the Theatre Taliipot Company in Reunion Island, is co-founder of arts company Broken Borders Arts Project, together with Fana Tshabalala and Thulani Chauke, and is co-founder and Associate Artistic Director for Unmute Dance Theatre, in Cape Town. ManMade premieres at JOMBA! 2020
Digital JOMBA! 2020 runs from 25 August to 6 September off the website jomba.ukzn.ac.za. All platforms for 2020 are free of charge and a full programme is available via the website.