05 September 2014

Watch with me. Listen with me. Feel with me. Give me a taste.

By Chris Tobo 

Stories and crates are stacked and unstacked in a powerful dance work from choreographers Sonia Radebe and Jennifer Dallas.

03 September 2014

JOMBA!’s open platforms confirm that dance is flourishing in KZN

By Lliane Loots

SIYAKHULA Dance Project
Every year JOMBA! offers two distinct open platforms for the promotion of developing dance and dancers. The first of which, the JOMBA! Youth Fringe, was held on Sunday the 31st August in UKZN’s Open Air Theatre. As I sat in this rather sublime outdoor venue, a type of ancient Greek amphitheatre surrounded by the lush green of Durban’s tropical vegetation, I was hit with how right this space was for such an event. Surrounded by over 800 KZN based young dancers, their teachers/choreographers and their families, I felt like I was part of something really significant.

01 September 2014

Bearing Witness to Love and HOPE

By Samantha Daly

In the interest of full disclosure I have to confess I am a Lliane Loots fan, and have been since I (very naively) walked into my first contemporary dance lecture a few years ago. I have always been drawn to dance, but had never been exposed to contemporary dance before. It wasn’t until I placed my play-dough mind in Loots’ gentle and capable hands while studying contemporary dance during my UKZN days, that my passion and love for contemporary dance was ignited. I was hooked immediately. Since then, I have made it my mission to absorb as much as I can about this performance style which I adore. Fandom aside though, as I don my professional cap, I have to admit there is very little (if anything) to critique about Flatfoot Dance Company’s delicious offering at this year’s JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Festival, HOPE.

HOPE - Loot's Love Song To Her Dancers

By Tammy Ballantyne

A grand piano slouches quietly downstage, lit by a solitary spotlight, as we enter the auditorium of the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. Heavy rain spatters down onto cobblestones and pebbles in a video projection on the back wall. The atmosphere is calm and tranquil.

28 August 2014

JOMBA! Opening Takes the Power Back

By Tammy Ballantyne

The message at last night’s opening of the 16th JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience was loud and clear: if artists in SA are to continue telling stories and to do so without censure, they have to take back the power and liberate themselves.

Lliane Loots, Artistic Director of the festival, cut a lonely but statuesque figure on the Elizabeth Sneddon stage as her war-cry rang out for artists to refuse to be silenced; for companies to work together to realise powerful dance works that carry messages of hope; to keep on finding the dialogue with society in the face of interminable funding cuts, hopeless civil servants and a general disrespect for artists.

25 August 2014

Luyanda Sidiya - Fulfilling an Adventurous Spirit

By Adrienne Sichel (The Ar(t)chive)

Body's whiplash into motion sjamboked by internal rhythms. Then the same limbs and torsos shake the ground with one legged toyi toyi's.

Sitting serenely in the Vuyani Dance Theatre studio, scrutinising each movement at Dance Space in Newtown, is Luyanda Sidiya (31) the perpetrator of this surreptitious action. Political tyranny isn't exactly easy choreographic fodder but that hasn't stopped this dance maker from plunging into this murky territory.

VDT_Dominion 2013_Choreographer Luyanda

18 August 2014

16th annual JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience - Press Release

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts, is proud to present its 16th annual JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience from August 27 to September 7 at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre with one performance at artSpace (Durban) on 4 September. This year’s JOMBA! is an especially focused MSANZI edition of the festival with attention being given to supporting some of South Africa’s top dance companies and dance makers. In an unprecedented move by one of Africa’s biggest and most prestigious contemporary dance platforms, JOMBA! 2014 has decided to give support and offer recognition to 5 of South Africa’s most awarded and cutting edge dance companies with a special invites to Vuyani Dance Theatre (JHB), Moving Into Dance Mophatong (JHB), Flatfoot Dance Company (DBN), First Physical Theatre Company (Grahamstown) and the Floating Outfit Project (DBN).

09 September 2013

Hope is still alive

By: Arno Wagenaar

The audience was left with the dancers’ silhouettes on stage as the curtains closed on a breath-taking performance of The Dance We Dance at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre last night. DEEPLY ROOTED DANCE THEATER (USA) performed a series of works from their repertoire, some featuring Durban’s own FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY, the result of a two-week collaboration between the companies.

06 September 2013


Superstars slightly deflated

By: Sacha Knox

In a first for South Africa, Introdans (Holland) delivered a repertoire of technically brilliant neo-classical ballet performances to the stage of the 15th Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience. This repertoire consisted of: ‘Polish Pieces’ by Hans van Manen, ‘Evening Songs’ by Jiří Kylián, ‘Pas de Danse’ by Mats Ek, ‘Anaphase’ by Ohad Naharin, and ‘Sinfonia India’ by Nacho Duato. There was a real sense of excitement as the audience swelled into the Sneddon; smartly dressed couples, parents with children, groups of women beautifully adorned, their hair in extravagant swoops. I could not help but feel a sense of the magic of the ballet; nostalgia for some of my first theatre experiences, a smudge of that awe able to immediately dissipate stubborn-faced- frown for fancy dress.  

A Technical Pleasure

By: Caitlin Goulding

Holland’s Introdans performed to an almost sold out show last night at the JOMBA! 2013 Contemporary Dance festival, a clear indicator of the reputation which precedes them. As a contemporary dance group made up of highly trained classical dancers, Introdans displays precise technique and training, fusing elements of ballet  with contemporary dance, adding something a little different to this year’s festival line-up.

Highflying Superstars aim to please

By: Christiaan du Plessis

As brightly coloured bodies travelled across the stage as one entity, they brought endless smiles to the faces of the audience. The Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre last night was blessed with extraordinary talent; SUPERSTARS-INTRODANS (Holland) glided across the stage, performing gravity-defying moves. The neoclassical ballet influence makes for precision, immaculate technique and a clear narrative in performance. Their dance work is of the highest technical standard.

05 September 2013

A Collaboration of Promise - United In Dance

By: Caitlin Goulding

The 15th JOMBA! festival will come to an end with the promise of something special: Chicago based dance company Deeply Rooted Dance Theater and Durban’s Flatfoot Dance Company will perform The Dance We Dance. 

Rooted in synergy

By: Princess Biyela

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, founded in 1995 by dancers Kevin Iega Jeff and Gary Abbott, is a Chicago-based that works within an African-American dance aesthetic of contemporary dance by bringing together modern, classical and African-American traditions. In contrast Flatfoot dance company, whose work is often based on memory and history has developed a unique identity as a contemporary South African dance company.

Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience