Province / District
Maqoma in dance to resistance
Through his piece Exit/Exist, seasoned choreographer and contemporary dancer Gregory Maqoma revisits his ancestral history and celebrates his heritage.
The performance is on until Sunday at the Market Theatre in Newtown, Joburg.
The well-conceptualised piece premiered in 2012 and was brought back to celebrate Africa month.
Maqoma, who comes from the Rharhabe clan in Eastern Cape, celebrates the likes of his great-grandfather Chief Maqoma, who was arrested after he ordered the English colonisers to return Xhosa land. He died on Robben Island in 1873.
In the performance, Maqoma’s dance is accompanied by four singers and guitarist Giuliano Modarelli who help to tell the story through their harmonious vocals, and with musical composition from Simphiwe Dana.
Maqoma enters the stage wearing a shiny grey suit, and stands in the middle with his back turned to the audience. The dance begins as the audience sits back. Maqoma entertains and thrills with different moves. The amazing music adds more spark to the performance.
In one of the scenes, singers start singing Umaqoma in celebration, and Maqoma then places a plate on top of his head and skilfully dances with it without falling. He sways his hips while fusing umxhenso (Xhosa traditional dance) with modern styles.
According to Maqoma, the core of the piece is memory; rephrasing the notion of existence and of simply existing in order to exist.
“The production takes a moment to pause, to look back, to rewind the tape to the days when the tapestry of South Africa was about the collision of biographies.”
Maqoma’s bigger emphasis is on how a visual element is used to tell this tale, while underpinning the musicality.
In Exit/Exist, he is not only celebrating his people but all traditional chiefs who fought against the colonisers.
Changing the world one dance step at a time
Celebrated dancer and choreographer Gregory Maqoma has been honoured by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) as this year’s World International Dance Day honouree.
Had it not been for the coronavirus outbreak, Maqoma would have made a speech on April 29, a day observed by the whole world as International Dance Day, in Shanghai,
As an honouree, Maqoma was expected to deliver a keynote message that would be translated into different languages, including local sign language. The founder of Vuyani Dance Company says being appointed honouree means that he has worked hard for the dance art.
Maqoma, was born in 1973 in Orlando East, Soweto, says the achievement meant that his resilience and hard work as a dancer has paid off.
He further says the honour might have taken a long time but it properly shows the impact SA has on the world. He says the story the country told through dance comes from its own experience and painful past.
In his speech that is already available on the internet, he says: “I had to look into my journey, and I realised that it was all about purpose and each day presents a new challenge that needs to be confronted, and it is through dance that I try to make sense of the world.
“We are living through unimaginable tragedies, in a time that I could best describe as the post-human era. More than ever, we need to dance with purpose, to remind the world that humanity still exists.
《Dance for the World》video Introduction
2020 is very special year for the world. We are so vulnerable to the sudden spread of viruses around the world. We can fight against the corona-virus together only by working together and encouraging each other. On the day of the “World Dance Day” in 2020, we record this unforgettable memory by dancing, passing hope and love to more people and sharing with the world.
This short dance video is made by teachers and students of the Dance College of Northwest Normal University. During the epidemic, they can’t go back to the campus. Every day, the teachers teach the students online. Under the teacher’s online guidance, the students discuss the creative ideas and create independently offline. At last, they put each parts together, presented the final video. Below are shooting process and their experience.
Shooting process: after discussion, we divided into four groups, and each group shot its own content. During the shooting, I also encountered a variety of problems, such as limited shooting skills, lack of texture in the picture, and various problems of transition. Because it was the first time to make the video, there were many difficulties, but after our efforts and many attempts, we overcame the difficulties and presented this video. It is a challenge and a progress for us, and we have gained a lot.
When we faced the disaster brought by COVID 19, as a college student majoring in dance, what else could we do except to be isolated quietly at home? After discussion and listening to the teacher’s Suggestions, we decided to shoot a short film and use dance to convey positive energy. We hope that we can make a contribution with our meager strength. We believe that in the near future, we will be able to take off our masks like in the video and welcome the spring flowers outside!
Recommended by：Jin Dou
Director by: Guan Yingli
Performer by: Northwest Normal University Dance College China
2018 Dance Performance Class 2
Li Yan Yu Zihan
Xi Yue Li Weiran
Zhang Fan Zhao Rui
Zhang Xinyi Wang Jin
Zhao Heping Ge Meng
Li Zixuan Zhang Tingting
Hu Yujia Liu Yating
Jiao Runan Li Jie
We hope can put on the CID official website or shows to more people to delivery our love and our dance.
I am waiting for someone who can reply me.
Happy World Dance Day
Shandong Cultural Industry Vocational College School of International Dance Industry
Due to the wide spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) globally, everybody needs to stay home and keep social distancing from each other, the following World Dance Day activities organized by Hong Kong Dance Federation (HKDF) will be postponed or cancelled in order to avoid mass gathering:
- “WDD Opening – Ceremony, Performances and Dance Workshops” on 25 April 2020 (Saturday) – cancelled with performances postponed
- “Cross-Strait Performance – Let’s Dance Together” on 26 April 2020 (Sunday) – postponed
- “Folk Dance for Fun” & “Folk Dance Night” on 29 April 2020 (Wednesday) – postponed
- “Dance for all in Hong Kong 2020” from 21 to 30 April 2020 – change to “Dance for all at Home” from 24 to 30 April 2020
In the meantime, HKDF will post various dance videos on our facebook account and Youtube channel starting from 24 to 30 April 2020 so that everyone can follow and dance together at home.
At 19:00 on 29 April 2020, the World Dance Day, everyone has interest is invited to join the “Dance together on Zoom” at Zoom ID: 765 7383 8115
- Date and time of the event:
Dance for all at home: 09:00 & 17:00 from 24 to 30 April 2020, Dance together on Zoom: 19:00 on 29 April 2020 (Hong Kong time)
- Venue: Full address, hints on how to go there: Everybody’s home
- Title of event: Dance at home
- Organizer: Hong Kong Dance Federation
- Participants: Everybody can join
- Description-Program: just follow the video to dance
- Contact details:
Hong Kong Dance Federation
Tel: 852 2967 8253
Youtube channel: Hong Kong Dance Federation