JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience Launches 25th Anniversary Book

Media Release

The Centre for Creative Arts and University of KwaZulu-Natal

JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience Launches 25th Anniversary Book

2 and 4 September 2023

JOMBA2.2 Proof

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts’ JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and to mark the occasion the festival will launch its special book, in partnership with the University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, supported and sponsored by the French Institute of SA (IFAS) and Business and Arts South Africa (BASA). The book launch takes place on Tuesday 5 September at 6pm at the Wellington Tavern, Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, UKZN, and is a free event.

Provocatively titled, Archiving History and Memory: 25 Years of the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experienceedited by Tammy Ballantyne Webber, the book places emphasis on offering a poetic user-friendly archive of the 25 years of JOMBA!’s history and legacy.

“The book is especially significant in remembering African creative histories in a time when forgotten Southern-based archives are being politicised in decolonial frameworks,” says Dr Lliane Loots, Curator and Artistic Director of JOMBA!. “This book is offered as an archival project that holds an activist agenda and fights for carefully and methodically curated creative African histories to be remembered and honoured.”

“The festival functions as a community of change agents; it is a living, breathing entity embracing activist artists who seek to probe, question, activate and challenge,” says book editor Ballantyne Webber. “It is one of the only SA dance platforms in existence which provides national and international opportunities and exposure for dancers and choreographers. We have tried through the photographic and editorial content to celebrate the 25-year journey, showcasing its rich history and the incredible archive of the South African dance landscape.”

Archiving History and Memory: 25 Years of the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience archives and charts this history, legacy and value of JOMBA!, providing key critical essays by selected scholars/artists who have had a long association with JOMBA! – Dr Gerard Samuel, Thobile Maphanga. Dr Saraleigh Castelyn, Dr Lliane Loots, Clare Craighead, Prof Yvette Hutchison and Tammy Ballantyne Webber.

The book features a photographic essay of carefully selected festival images taken over the years by award-winning photographer Val Adamson (an eThekwini Living Legend), who has documented the festival from the very beginning. There are curated birthday messages from local, African and international choreographers, dance makers and friends of JOMBA!. And it includes a valuable archival overview detailing the programme, choreographers, and performers for every year of the festival.

“We believe this book will find an audience with creative arts-based scholars, researchers and practitioners, academic institutions where performance studies are offered, humanities-based scholarship, and artists and dance practitioners who seek memory/archive of their own practices,” says Ballantyne Webber.

The book will be available to purchase for R150 (cash only) at the launch and during the festival from the Box Office, Sneddon Theatre until 10 September. After this date, contact at The Ar(t)chive for sales and information.


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

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