Dance Workshops at 25th JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience

Media Release

The Centre for Creative Arts and University of KwaZulu-Natal

Dance Workshops at 25th JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience

29 August – 10 September 2023

UnZeit - Of Curious Nature (Helga Letonja) - Photo by Marianne Menke
UnZeit - Of Curious Nature (Helga Letonja) - Photo by Marianne Menke

During the 13-day feast of dance that is on offer at the 25th JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience, dancers and choreographers will have the unique opportunity of connecting with and learning from some of the extensive dance-making talent that will be presenting at the festival during the various workshops and masterclasses taking place from 29 August – 10 September 2023.

These workshops are all free and hosted by festival guests: Mamela Nyamza, Joseph Tebandeke, Unmute Dance Theatre, Pak Ndjamena, Helga Letonja, Hannah Ma, and ACE dance and music. All workshops take place at the Drama and Performance Studies – Dance Studio, at UKZN Howard College Campus.

Mamela Nyamza (South Africa): The main aim of the workshop is to provide expertise, share experience and give guidance to participants on how to use one’s body as a tool to portray “movement politics” – societal issues, personal matters; and humanity ideas, and is informed by Mamela’s own experiences as a South African LGBTQI/queer mother, and as an artist activist. (Wednesday, 30 August 4 – 5.30pm).

Unmute Dance Theatre (South Africa) presents a SIGN DANCE WORKSHOP led by Andile Vellum, interpretation and assistance by Nadine Mckenzie and Yaseen Manuel. Sign dance is a dance technique established by UNMUTE.  Sign language being the language of which many deaf people use to communicate, with one of the company members of UNMUTE being deaf and using sign language daily, this sparked the thought of using the language and finding ways to translate it into dance – what is now known as the company’s signature dance technique. This is an inclusive class and all movements are created for the use of anyone (persons with and without disabilities). (Friday, 1 September 4 – 5.30pm).

Helge Letonja (Germany): The workshop will begin with a warm-up informed by the movement expertise of Kossi Sébastien Aholou-Wokawui, trained in Togo, rooted in West-African traditional and contemporary dance forms and informed by European approaches in contemporary dance. Workshop participants will also learn parts of the company’s repertoire as a movement base, and also play with this movement to manipulate it and find new perspectives. (Thursday, 7 September  4 – 5.30pm)

Hannah Ma (Germany/ Luxembourg) presents a workshop titled: Dying while dancing – transforming inner violence in choreographic processes, “In this workshop, we will analyse our relationship to death as a tool and a state of being in creation,” explains Hannah Ma, “In my work, I refer to the political situation in the world and how we can solve our so-called problems and overcome our prejudices and internalised violence. Besides the political, I want to find out with you what the essential conditions are of being a human – finding out how we can find our roots, our heritage, our ancestors, our true selves.” (Friday, 8 September 4 – 5.30pm)

ACE dance and music (Birmingham, UK) – these professional dancers will taker participants through a high energy and physical dance workshop using ACE’s signature contemporary and afro styles. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn repertoire from ACE’s current touring production ‘UNKNOWN REALMS’.  (Saturday, 9 September 10 – 11.30am)

In addition, Joseph Tebandeke (Uganda) and Pak Ndjamena (Mozambique) will be conducting workshops with DUT and UKZN students during the festival.

These workshops are offered free of charge to participants, but booking is essential as places are limited. The workshops are only open to dancers 16yrs and older. E-mail to book a place at least two days in advance of the workshop. No booking, no participation!

For more information go to


Sharlene Versfeld
Versfeld & Associates
Public Relations and Communications
Mobile: +27 (0) 83 326 3235

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