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.

04 September 2013

Tea for Two and Another Chopsticks Story Photos

Individuality as a sharing entity

By: Christiaan du Plessis

From moving to their own beat, to moving to the beat as one entity, last night the Elizabeth Sneddon stage was blessed to host two brilliantly talented dancers, Misato Inoue and Felix Dumeril, in Another Chopsticks Story at the 2013 JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience. 

One chopstick at a time

By: Arno Wagenaar

Tea  for Two, choreographed and performed by Misato Inoue and Felix Dumeril, had the audience giggling throughout the performance. With their effortless and delicate dance movements, music that sings to the ears and a witty love story, Inoue and Dumeril managed to entertain the audience while also allowing them insight into their identities. 

03 September 2013

JOMBA! Fringe Photos

An exciting space of invention

The fringe is an exciting space. In optics, the term ‘fringe’ points to the visible that is a product of oscillations and interferences- that which is seen carries with it the marks of motion, destabilises clean correlations, creates a critical confusion, prompts the confrontation of contradictions. Appropriately, the Jomba! Fringe provides a place for critical experimentation, for tentative voices to be heard, for the abandonment of momentums of monoculture, for choreographers to kaleidoscopically cut their teeth on other movements. The 15th Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience embodied this through rich and varied offerings, spilling from stage in creation of inadvertently unselfconscious interactions between performers and audience members- spontaneous reactions produced in an atmosphere of loosened playfulness rather than one of stuffy reverence.  Invented (and more, and less) were; subtleties and spectacles, supplements and symposiums, sorrows and celebrations, monsters, monstrations, products and processes, ticks, technologies, banalities, florescences, embarrassments.

JOMBA! @ artSPACE (durban) Photos

JOMBA! @ artSPACE brings art to life

By: Christiaan du Plessis

A site-specific performance gives a different view point to each of its viewers; this then generates what the audience gathers from the experience of the performance.  Musa Hlatshwayo’s ABANGUNI took this challenge and made sure that every person present was a part of the journey, activating all five senses as we saw movement and dance, heard music and singing, touched sticks of sugar cane, smelt the smoke from a fire and tasted fresh fruit corn and beef. If by chance you missed the story Hlatshwayo put across, you could not miss the experience and the journey.

A beautiful and terrifying past

By: Arno Wagenaar

As part of the first ever JOMBA! @artSPACE (Durban) , three live acts at last night’s site-specific performance  at the artSPACE (Durban) ABANGUNI choreographed by Musa Hlatshwayo (Mhayise Productions - Durban), SUICIDE: at six years old choreographed by Vusi Makanya (Dusi Dance Company - Durban), and SWAN, performed and choreographed by Misato Inoue, took the audience through a journey of identities and histories.

Artful tradition

By: Caitlin Goulding

An open fire brings warmth to the Durban evening, as do the smiles on the faces of audience members, dancers and the performers who come around to offer fruit, sugar cane, mielies placed in their husks and traditional beer.  This was the welcoming of Jomba! at artSPACE.

31 August 2013


“Bona la, uyayibona lento?”

By: Mfundiseni Ndwalane

As soon as we entered the theatre we saw the stage had been transformed. The set was minimal; white tape was used to create a box that was open on its side furthest downstage.  Framing the space along the outskirts were six chairs: two evenly spaced on each of the three sides. Lying face down, were the outlines of five bodies. This idea of healing never detached from this journey that was about to commence.

We could have gone on forever

By: Sacha Knox

Sometimes in life, we are fortunate enough to be seized, to be shaken, to be thoroughly rearranged. Fana Tshabalala’s INDUMBA was the fever from Vladislavić’s ‘Double Negative’: “Flaring with light, leaking colour from the raw edges of my hands and feet, I lay in the bath until my temperature broke. At the worst, the water was boiling around me, frothing over the lip of the bath. Afterwards I felt over exposed and paper thin…My hands were dusted with flour: I couldn’t bear the pressure of one fingertip on another”. 

Ritual power moves on the stage

By: Caitlin Goulding

Fana Tshabalala is a choreographer who knows the power of art, and the 2013 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner certainly does not shy away from it.  His work, Indumba is a fantastic piece that interrogates the power of cleansing rituals and the inner voice.

To connect is to heal

By: Princess Biyela

To heal is to give birth to a new state of being. To cleanse is to restore the beauty in a being. Choreographer Fana Tshabalala, working with dancers from The Forgotten Angle Collaborative based in Johannesburg takes us on a journey of rebirth and restoration by using his latest work Indumba to heal and reconnect with the self.

29 August 2013

Photos of JOMBA! 2013 opening night

Hélène Cathala

A call to battle

By: Samantha Daly

Abuzz with excitement, anticipation and creative energy, Durban's Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre last night welcomed dancers, choreographers and contemporary dance junkies from all corners of the globe as this year's JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience kicked off. 2013 marks the festival's 15th year running which, in the face of serious budget cuts and a struggle to secure funding in the international (and especially) local dance scene, is a feat and certainly something to be celebrated.

Unpacking the baggage of identity

By: Princess Biyela

“Our identity as African is not something to ignore” stated Lliane Loots in her opening speech at the opening  of the 15th annual JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience, evoking the memory of our forgotten roots.  The evening’s powerful performances B.L.E.N.D. and The King in Exile both challenged stereotypes around identity.

When bodies and histories collide

By: Mfundiseni Ndwalane

The stage was set, audience members waited in anticipation to be enthralled once again as the 15th annual JOMBA! Contemporary Experience commenced last night. We were treated to two performances, B.L.E.N.D by Desirè Davids (South Africa) and Hélène Cathala (France) followed by Francisco Camacho’s (Portugal) THE KING IN EXILE.

Histories, politics and memories collide on stage

By: Christiaan du Plessis

The 15th JOMBA!  Contemporary Dance Experience opened with a statement on the stance of dance theatre and performance in South Africa, making it clear that cutting funding will motivate artists and critical thinkers to fight against censorship, posing the challenge to the audience: "How will you fight?".

Sharing the struggle for identity

By: Arno Wagenaar
It was a phenomenal opening for the 15th JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience at the Sneddon Theatre last night. From an eye-opening speech from artistic director, Lliane Loots, speaking to and creating awareness around the lack of interest in funding contemporary dance in South Africa, to the two most fascinating performances; B.L.E.N.D – choreographed and performed in collaboration by Desiré Davids (South Africa) and Hélène Cathala (France), and THE KING IN EXILE – choreographed by Francisco Camacho (Portugal).

Lliane Loots' Opening Night Speech

It is always my great joy and delight to stand before you at the opening of UKZN’s  Centre for Creative Arts’s JOMBA! festival. It is always a personal opportunity for me to be reminded of what my theatre guru Jerzy Grotowski called the ‘great service of theatre’ - of being reminded that as  (what Grotowski called) ‘holy’ theatre makers and theatre practitioners our greatest ‘gift’ is to make our work as if it were a service to our community. 

28 August 2013

15th annual JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience - Media Release

The Centre for Creative Arts and the University of KwaZulu-Natal proudly present the

15th annual JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience
28 August – 8 September 2013

Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre: 7.30pm
artSPACE (durban) Monday 2 September: 6.30pm

R50.00 or R35.00 (scholars/students/pensioners)
Booking through computicket (or at venue from one hour before)

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s arts gateway to Africa and the world, the Centre for Creative Arts, is proud to be presenting its 15th annual JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience.  This year’s festival is a delight of local and international dance theatre that has on show the best the world has to offer. Dancer from Holland, Switzerland, America, Portugal and France will be gracing the JOMBA! stages alongside some of South Africa’s most cutting edge dance makers.

Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience