12th Jomba! Contemporary Dance Festival

JOMBA20102501-12 September 2010
Contemporary Dance Festival

For 12 days Durban will play host to a dazzling 12th edition of the international contemporary dance festival, JOMBA! One of four annual festivals hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Centre for Creative Arts, the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience has become synonymous with cutting-edge dance theatre, and with principle funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund capacitating the festival, this bumper event contains a programme of broad scope and appeal.

On the international front, JOMBA! 2010 presents dance works from the Netherlands, Switzerland and Reunion Island, alongside wonderful offerings from both Durban and nationally-based dance companies.  Special guests include Johannesburg's inimitable Moving Into Dance Mophatong who will grace JOMBA! with Sylvia Glasser's award winning “Threads”. This work has been created in collaboration with poet Lebo Mashile and is a rare chance for Durban to witness this poet extraordinaire in action with one of South Africa 's premier contemporary dance companies in a momentous fusion of dance and spoken word. 

Also from Gauteng is choreographer Sello Peso whose Ntsoana Contemporary Dance Theatre Company is known for its conceptually challenging engagement with political and social issues. For JOMBA! he will be performing his recently created “Lime Light on Rites”. This site specific dance work, performed in an outside environment of the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, explores the media exploitation of people's emotions around funeral policies. Peso comments: “Death is big business in this country and there is great social pressure to have big funerals. This pressure is compounded through the advertising strategies that play on the poor and the weak, exploiting their grief”. Peso will also be offering a master choreographic workshop during JOMBA! to all young artists/choreographers interested in creating site-specific theatre work. 

Supporting local dance is one of JOMBA!'s key missions and this year commissions to create new work have been awarded to three of Durban 's top dance makers - Desiré Davids, Vusi Makhanya and Sifiso Majola. All three have a strong dance history behind them and step onto the ‘JOMBA! New Works' platform as seasoned and creative choreographers. The exciting New Works programme featuring these commissioned works will open the12 th edition of JOMBA! on 1st September. 

The 2010 festival also has a strong focus on international collaborations that highlight the great Hip-Hop and Breakdance legacies of Durban. In a city-to- city exchange between the harbour cities of Durban and le Port on Reunion Island, the internationally acclaimed BBoy Kenji presents the African premiere of “A Contre Sud”, a collaborative work with three dancers from Durban and one from Cape Town. Kenji also showcases his Reunionaisse Soul City crew in the red-hot piece “Haine Terre Rieur”. Over and above this, Durban 's incomparable Flatfoot Dance Company will be collaborating with Dutch choreographer Daniel Renner and Dutch BBoy Rodney Kasandikromo, whose unique fusion of Breakdance, Hip-Hop and classical training is sure to impress and inspire local audiences and budding bboyz. Joining Flatfoot Dance Company in this unique JOMBA! collaboration are local Durban breakdancers Preston Kyd and Craig Katts. Renner's unique style has won awards across Europe and it is a privileged delight to have him creating work for JOMBA!

Supported by Pro-Helvetia Arts Council of Switzerland, the witty and somewhat participatory dance theatre work, “ The Making of Spectacles”, by Swiss choreographer Foofwa d'Imobilité, is a wry comment on the art form of choreography. In this dance theatre piece, the audience is invited to collaborate with the artistic team in order to compose a unique once off performance. The elements presented – dance phrases, dramatic scenarios, music, lighting design, and costuming – are carefully crafted in advance and offered as tools to the spectators/audiences for the creation of a dance to their taste. After playful, democratic voting, where humor is invited, the spectators/audiences can enjoy the synthesis of their group decisions. It is sure to have audiences in stitches!

JOMBA! also offers its popular dance development platforms of the Fringe and Youth Fringe. This year's edition of the JOMBA! Fringe has attracted dancers and choreographers from all over South Africa offering a one night (6 September 2010, Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre) kaleidoscope of new and experimental works. Thirteen works have been selected and provide a wide range of short contemporary dance works in the making. JOMBA! will also host a wide range of master classes, open classes and workshops all free of charge to young, training and professional dancers in Durban.

Visit www.cca.ukzn.ac.za for programme details, workshop schedules and venues. Ticket prices range from R45 for adults, R30 for students, scholars and pensioners, and block bookings of more than 10 at R30 a ticket. Booking is through Computicket.