Media Release

Cape Town’s Yaseen Manuel wins Pick of the Fringe Award at JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience In Durban

Cape Town dance-maker Yaseen Manuel received the Pick of the Fringe award for his work “Maktub” at this year’s JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience Fringe event at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on Thursday, 4 September.

The prestigious award, providing him with support and a platform to present a new work at next year’s JOMBA!, was awarded by a committee comprising 2018 Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance and well-known South African dance-maker Musa Hlatshwayo, veteran dance writer and critic Adrienne Sichel and Prof Ketu Katrak (Department of Drama, University of California [Irvine] USA).

 

The work “Maktub” (meaning “our destiny” in Arabic ) was inspired by a line from an Islamic reading that one of the very first messages  was revealed through the “necklace of Yemen”.  “I took this idea and directed and choreographed it into a journey of man having no purpose on earth and trying to find what faith could bring us ,” explains Manuel. “Once the message through the necklace is revealed it helps find a pathway, a purpose for religion and understanding God’s intention for man.”

Manuel who only started dancing at 18 years, is a dancer and choreographer who aspires to tell his stories through movement drawing on this own spiritual and personal life’s journey. He currently works independently, but has worked extensively with the Cape Town-based Jazzart Dance Theatre and Unmute Dance Theatre, performing a variety of dance styles.

 

 “I am really grateful and honoured to have received the award, especially as it opens up the opportunity for me to dig further into my exploration of the work. It has also made me realize that if you do things with love and intention as you tell your story, you are able to find who you are as an artist – and great things can come from this,” he says.

 

Next up Manuel will perform at the Baxter Dance Festival opening on 26 September with a collaborative production “Unraveled” and will also perform “Maktub” at the fest with Sifiso Khumalo of the Flatfoot Dance Company on 1 and 2 October.

Yaseen Manuel receives the JOMBAPick of the Fringe award from 018 Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance and well-known South African dance-maker  Musa Hlatswayo

Yaseen Manuel and Sifiso Khumalo in Maktub, at the 2019 Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience Fringe.
 

Yaseen Manuel in Maktub, at the 2019 Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience Fringe.