2021 JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience. She Poems - Abismo - Aida Colmenero Diaz
She Poems – Abismo – Aida Colmenero Diaz

The Centre for Creative Arts (UKZN) will present the 2021 JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience in its second digital edition from 24 August to 5 September, 2021.

“The festival takes Border Crossings as its theme which looks at dance-makers, dance companies and performance-based artists who, in some articulated way resonate with the ideas of Border Crossings; be these geographical, emotional, physical, spiritual and performative,” explains Artistic Director Dr Lliane Loots.

There are several platforms at this year’s festival:

Associate Professor and director of the Institute for Creative Arts at the University of Cape Town Jay Pather features as the 2021 JOMBA! 2021 Legacy Artist and opens on 24 August.

To complement this, Durban photographer Val Adamson offers a digital photographic retrospective exhibition of his work with Siwela Sonke featuring over 100 photos.

The South African Crossings platform features two SA dance makers/companies -The Garage Dance Ensemble present Gat innie Grond, Wond in My Siel (Hole in the Ground, Wound in my Soul) choreographed by the remarkable young dance maker Byron Klassen. Cape Town’s Yaseen Manuel is the UKZN’s School of the Arts/Mellon Foundation’s Artist in Residence who will work in conjunction with JOMBA! (and the Drama and Performance Studies Programme) and create two screen dance films with Durban’s Flatfoot Dance Company.

2021 JOMBA! is also collaborating with the Vrystaat Arts Festival, Georgina Thomson and New Dance Festival and presents two films by Sylvester Thamsanqa Majela (NEVERLAND) and Sizakele Mdi (Dust to Dust).

“One of JOMBA!’s key mandates has been, and continues to be, connecting with our continent in offering partnerships and collaborations with some of Africa’s most prominent, cutting edge and inspiring dance makers. In this edition we are delighted to have commissioned four screen dance films in our African Crossings platform from Marcel Gbeffa (Benin), Gaby Saranouffi (Madagascar), Robert Ssempijja (Uganda), and Bernardo Guiamba (aka Pak Ndjamena) from Mozambique,” says Loots.

2021 JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience. Sizakele Mdi - Dust to Dust
Sizakele Mdi – Dust to Dust

The European and American Crossings features the historic New York based Limón Dance Company and from UK the Birmingham based ACE music and dance with their essence of Flamenco, Kathak, Martial Arts and ACE’s inimitable Afro-fusion style. From Germany Hannah Ma (hannahmadance), presents ONDA – into the unknown, a research type performance and art space production.

Sweden’s Cullberg presents a remarkable screen dance film from On Earth I’m Done – Mountains, Part 1 of an archaic-futuristic diptych in which the audience is transported to a place torn out of the conventional space-time continuum. She Poems created by Spanish dancer/choreographer Aïda Colemenero Dïaz is a series of short screen dance films made during her on-going travels in Africa, and these will close the festival.

In the Indian Crossings platform in partnership support from the Durban Indian Consulate’s Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, the Calcutta-based Pickle Factory Dance Foundation will showcase eight curated short dance films that speak to the zeitgeist of contemporary Indian dance making.

The Durban Digital Edge 2021 Commissions feature six Durban based dance makers who are beginning to make waves on the local dance scene – Sabelo Cele, Thobile Maphanga, Nqubeko ‘Cue’ Ngema, Cameron S. Govender, Aphelele Nyawoso, and Snethemba Khuzwayo.

Pak Ndjamena #3. Picture: Mariano Lopes Silva
Pak Ndjamena #3. Picture: Mariano Lopes Silva

The 2021 JOMBA! Open Horizons platform provides an opportunity for dance makers to present their digital/dance film work. Adjudicators David April, Tracey Saunders, Clare Craighead and Shanelle Jewnarain have assessed the 30 submissions from across Africa, for the festival a selection of these  will be screened.

2021 JOMBA! Talks Dance: Conversations that Cross Borders features four live conversations with Jay Pather, Alfred Hinkel from the Garage Dance Ensemble (SA), Hannah Ma (Germany), and Vikram Iyengar and Kunal Chakraborty from Calcutta (India) of the Pickle Factory Dance Foundation.

What: 2021 JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience

Where and when: From 24 August to 5 September 2021. The event can be navigated free of charge via the website, www.jomba.ukzn.ac.za or subscribe to the JOMBA Youtube channel https://www.YouTube.com/Jomba_Dance