Jomba! LegacySubs

We have invited nine key dance makers from all over the globe who have had a significant impact on making JOMBA! the premier contemporary dance festival in Africa. All times indicated are local South African time or GMT+2


Wednesday 26 August – 19h00

Thursday 27 August – 12noon (repeat screening)


Premiere: 2017

Choreography: Fana Tshabalala

Originally creating INDUMBA to illuminate the perpetual impact of unresolved apartheid politics in South Africa, Fana Tshabalala, Artistic Director of Broken Borders Arts Project, spent three weeks in residence with Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre in July 2017, to adapt INDUMBA for an American audience. “Indumba” means African healing hut. This is an excerpt.

Parallel Lives

Premiere: 2018

Choreography: Gary Abbott

A contemporary narrative inspired by poor, working women who have shared life-changing events, both beautiful and tragic.

 Dance Revival (GOSHEN Excerpt)

Premiere: 2019

Choreography: Tshediso Kabulu

Music: Donald Lawrence

The Story of the Exodus brings together Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre and Grammy Award-winning producer, songwriter, and gospel artist Donald Lawrence in a collaboration of gospel music, dramatic narrative, and dance theatre, exploring historic biblical themes of power, oppression, and deliverance in a contemporary setting. This is an excerpt.

Gary Abbott (Choreographer)

Nicole Clarke-Springer (Artistic Director)


Tshediso Kabulu (Choreographer)

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (DRDT), under the artistic direction of Nicole Clarke-Springer, re-imagines and diversifies the aesthetics of contemporary dance by uniting modern, classical, American, and African-American traditions in dance and storytelling. Through its uncompromising pursuit of excellence, DRDT demonstrates the transformative power of art and beauty through dance education, performance, and cultural enrichment in Chicago and on the world stage.  They have a long history with JOMBA! and have facilitated many exchanges and collaborations between South African artists and their DRDT home base in Chicago.

(Johannesburg, South Africa)

Exit / Exist – photo supplied

Thursday 27 August – 19h00

Friday 28 August – 12noon (repeat screening)


Choreographed and performed by Gregory Maqima

Premiered at Dance Umbrella 2012, February 17, Market Theatre, Johannesburg

James Ngcobo (Director)

Simphiwe Dana (Music composer)

David Tlale (Costume Designer)

Complete (Acapella quartet)

Giuliano Modarelli (Guitarist)

Ralf Nonn (Lighting)

Mileta Postic (Video animation)

Andile Kentse Mpahlwa (Sound design)

Oliver Hauser (Set design)



In “Exit/Exist”, Maqoma, returns to his ancestral past to re-interpret the complexities of our contemporary world. The narrative centres around the great Xhosa chief and warrior, Maqoma, who, in the late 1800s, clashed with the English over cattle and land and finally met his death on Robben Island. Maqoma reconfigures memory in a transformational and poignant solo performance that fuses storytelling with his own unique contemporary dance vocabulary and spirited live music. Through his signature integration of traditional and contemporary dance, he invites audiences to reflect on who we are, where we come from, and how all of these facets, past and present, inform our personal and collective identities today.

Gregory Maqoma – photo by Alon Skuy

Thursday 27 August – 19h00

Friday 28 August – 12noon (repeat screening)

Gregory Vuyani Maqoma became interested in dance in the late 1980’s as a means to escape the political tensions growing in his place of birth, South Africa – Soweto. He started his formal dance training in 1990 at MOVING INTO DANCE where in 2002 he became the Associate Artistic Director. Maqoma has established himself as an internationally renowned dancer, choreographer, teacher and director. He founded Vuyani Dance Theatre (VDT) in 1999 when he was undertaking a scholarship at the Performing Arts Research and Training School (PARTS) in Belgium under the direction of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.

AYA ASAN – Photo by Val Adamson

 “Aye Asan” (VANITY)

Choreography: Adedayo Liadi

Premier: JOMBA! 2011


Dancers: Frank Konwea, Jabu Siphika, ‘Teekay’ Quvane, Sifiso Khumalo, S’fiso Magesh Ngcobo, Mlondolozi Zondi.

In Nigeria, Yoruba mythology says ‘vanity upon vanity, all is vanity and is just vanity’. This also means we came to the world empty-handed and we must surely go back empty-handed no matter how poor or wealthy we become. Coming to the light is a chance for all human beings to show the kind of person they are. This dance piece is about the good, the bad, and the ugly in all of us – and the choices we make along the way.

Adedayo Liadi – Photo Supplied

IJODEE DANCE COMPANY was established in 1999 through the visionary leadership of Adedayo Liadi. The company focuses on training, high-class performances, promotion of contemporary dance and producing/managing international dance productions in Nigeria. IJODEE is a contributor to the socio-cultural and economic development of Nigeria. It uses dance as a medium of communication and is breaking boundaries of dance illiteracy in Nigeria and the world at large. IJODEE won the first position of the African/Indian Ocean Contemporary Dance Competition in Madagascar in 2003 with ‘ORI’ choreographed by Adedayo Liadi. ‘ORI’ toured the world for five years.

(Chennai, India)

ANITA RATNAM in Stone… once again – photo supplied

Saturday 29 August – 19h00

Sunday 30 August – 12noon (repeat screening)

Stone … once again

Co-choreography and performance: Anita Ratnam

Choreography: Hari Krishnan  

Sound Design: Vedanth Bharadwaj at SAMA studios

Her birth and marriage were not her decisions. Her life was prescribed by loneliness and solitude. Lawless beauty, discarded wife, shunned woman; Ahalya represents the many facets of her gender through centuries of misinterpretation and misogyny. Her enigma endures…her unfinished tale waits to be retold. This work was made after Donald Trump’s election as USA president.


ANITA RATNAM – Lakshmi – photo supplied


Performance and Production: Anita R Ratnam

Choreography: Hari Krishnan

Music and Sound Design: Anil Srinivsan, Darbuka Siva

Voice and Vocals: Revathi Sankkaran, Subhiksha Rangarajan and KSR Aniruddha

Recording Engineer: Vedanth Bharadwaj at SAMA studios

From awesome to ferocious, beautiful, graceful and powerful – all at once. 

She is the God Mother Trinity Supreme.

  • Saraswati: Knowledge Mother. Calling on us to awaken in wisdom.
  • Lakshmi: Prosperity Mother. Her Lotus feet walking through our lives, footprints of Abundance. 
  • Meenakshi: Warrior Mother. Divine Lioness, with her battle-ready Trishul, defends to protect and save us.

Anita Ratnam – Photo by Arun Munoz

Anita Ratnam is highly respected as a performer, writer, speaker, arts entrepreneur and culture mentor. She has been described as an “intersectionist”, whose work weaves the many disciplines of dance, theatre, spoken word, ritual, archaeology, dramaturgy and women’s issues. For over forty years, her distinguished career has witnessed over 1300 performances in 37 countries. Her formal training in Theatre, Bharata Natyam, Mohiniattam, and Kathakali has given Dr Ratnam a distinctive movement vocabulary that she has named NEO BHARATAM – a contemporary Indian kinetic situated on a mature body. Her main area of focus is in the re-interpretation of traditional tropes from myth and legend using a feminist lens.



(Durban, South Africa)

Njabulo Zungu and Snethemba Khuzwayo –

Photo by Val Adamson

Tuesday 1 September – 19h00

Wednesday 2 September – 12noon (repeat screening)


Choreographer: Musa Hlatshwayo

Performers:  Aphelele Nyawose, Snethemba Khuzwayo and Njabulo Zungu

Stage Manager: Mthabiseni Masuku

Premier 2019

Mhayise Productions would like to thank the African Culture Fund for their contribution towards the preparations of staging and presenting ABOMHLABA(THI).

ABOMHLABA(THI) is a full-length dance theatre piece inspired by the late Honourable Credo Mutwa’s stories around the creation of abantu, the earth, land and landless, the displacement of the black bodies and their continuous search for belonging in a land torn by political borders and boundaries.

Musa Hlatshwayo – photo by Val Adamson

Mhayise Productions, led by its Artistic/ Creative Director Musa Hlatshwayo, is an internationally acclaimed performing arts production company based in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Now in its 14th year, the company features full-time dancers and trainees. The company specialises in creating cutting edge and socially conscious contemporary performing arts through the medium of dance, theatre, and multidisciplinary site specific/installation performances campaigns.


Company(New Orleans, USA)

Photo supplied by Body Art

Wednesday 2 September – 19h00

Thursday 3 September – 12noon (repeat screening)

 Dance for Camera Work

legal canvas

Direction: Leslie Scott

Performers: Jonathan Bryant, Kayla Johnson, Heather Raburn

Video + Editing: Heather Rebecca

In Partnership with Beautify Earth – 2017


afternoon gold

Direction + Editing: Leslie Scott

Performer: Rachel Abrahams

Premiere: 2018 – Portland Dance Film Festival



Cinematography + Editing: Jason Bahling

Artistic Direction: Leslie Scott

Music Composition: Benjamin Shelton

Performers:  Megan Krauszer, Andrea Lanzetti, Steph Mas, Erin Okayama, Allison Ploor, Andi Work.

Premiere: Triskelion Film Festival, Brooklyn 2012

Photo supplied by BodyArt

Dance for Stages

Water Story

Direction: Leslie Scott (Premiere 2019)

Performers: Rachel Abrahams, Isabel Umali, Jasmine Sugar, Kristi Tornga and the GSVU students

Video Design: Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh


Irondale Arts Center & Summerhall @ Edinburgh Fringe (co-production) 2014

Direction: Leslie Scott

Video Design: Jesse Garrison & Sofy Yudiskaya

Performers: Rachel Abrahams, Amanda McNussen, Erin Okayama, Kayla Farrish, Allison Ploor

Amy Falls, Andrea Lanzetti, Hee EUn Song

Leslie Scott – photo supplied by BodyArt

Leslie Scott is the founder and Artistic Director of the New Orleans based BODYART Dance Company, and Assistant Professor of Dance and New Media at Tulane University. Scott regularly combines her decades of experience in producing and non-profit development for her multiple teaching and consulting activities across the globe. As a choreographer, working in both traditional and non-traditional spaces, her work has been performed in notable venues and sites from LA, NYC, Dallas, St Louis, New Orleans, Houston, Edinburgh, New Zealand and Durban, South Africa. Scott holds an MFA in Choreography from the California Institute of the Arts and a BFA in Modern Dance, with an emphasis in photography, from Texas Christian University.

(South Africa/Germany)

MIDM in Orlin’s beauty… – photo supplied

Thursday 3 September – 19h00

Friday 4 September – 12noon (repeat screening)

“Beauty remained for just a moment then returned gently to her starting position …”

 A piece by Robyn Orlin (2012)


Muzi Shili / Sunnyboy Motau / Thandi Tshabalala / Teboho Letele / Julia Burnham / Oscar Buthelezi / Sonia Radebe

Choreographer assistant: Nhlanhla Mahlangu

Music:  Yogin Rajoo Sullaphen

Video: Philippe Lainé

Costumes: Marianne Fassler

Light: Denis Hutchinson

Stage Manager: Thabo Pule

Production : City Theater & Dance Group, MIDM, Moving Into Dance Mophatong and Damien Valette Prod, Paris.

Co-production: Tilder, City Theatre & Dance Group, Biennale de la danse de Lyon, MAC-Maison des Arts de Créteil, Maison de la musique de Nanterre

Robyn Orlin photo © Peggy Jarrell Kaplan

robyn orlin hails from jozi/egoli but now lives in berlin/germany with her husband, south african filmmaker oliver schmitz and their daughter ruby nomalanga …

she loves long titles (maintaining that her pieces are never about just one thing and that she hates writing programme notes) …

she has spent a fair share of her career declaring war on the ‘tutu’, but now sees herself more as an accidental choreographer, whose day jobs could consist of making the odd movie, to directing opera, to playing with puppets, or directing theatre, but always making sure she can have a good laugh with the artists, technicians and public involved in her processes …   

but in all honesty she feels that her work is about putting bread on the table, trying to understand the world around her with which she wants to make peace … 

but all that really matters at the end of the day, is that her ducks quack on cue …

(Arnhem, The Netherlands)

Wereldleiders – photo © Introdans Hans Gerritsen

Friday 4 September – 19h00

Saturday 5 September – 12noon (repeat screening)

Wereldleiders (World Leaders)

Choreography by David Middendorp

Animation/technology: Dutch Tilt Studios and David Middendorp

Premier: 2020
World Leaders depicts a debate between two extremely powerful people. Middendorp was inspired by hand movements of politicians, translating them into dance. The dancers move like puppets in a game-like setting where the real and virtual reality influence each other. To make this possible, seventeen cameras are hidden in the decor and the wings are full of computers.

Face Machine – photo © Introdans Hans Gerritsen

Face Machine

Choreography David Middendorp

Audiovisual design and lighting design: David Middendorp

Premier: 2015 (INTRODANS premier: 2020)

Middendorp’s Face Machine is inspired by the now familiar phenomenon of the ‘selfie’. The face (of a constantly changing dancer) is projected in huge format on the backdrop of the stage, and so it seems as if the other dancer’s dance, roll and walk across this face … often with hilarious consequences.  

Blue Journey – photo © Introdans Hans Gerritsen

Blue Journey

Choreography David Middendorp

Music: Radiohead, Street Spirit, Videotape, Like Spinning Plates

Animation and set design: David Middendorp

Premier: 2008

David Middendorp created Blue Journey especially for Introdans in 2008. A revised version of the piece reached the semi-final of America’s Got Talent and enchanted millions of television viewers. After the performance, jury member Howard Stern said: “I believe we have been ‘Middendorfed’. It is the best dance ever in the show.” The choreography is a prime showcase for Middendorp’s exceptional ability to combine expressive live dance and video animations into magical and poetic images.

Swingle Sisters – photo © Introdans Hans Gerrtisen

Swingle Sisters

Choreography Alexander Ekman 
“Swingle Sisters” is one of Ekman’s early works, with which he immediately won two awards at the International Competition for Choreographers in Hanover. This work, in which three female dancers ‘sit’ at a table on wheels and cough aloud in a tight and infectious rhythm, immediately revealed his major talents: a fantastic sense of humour and masterful timing.

Roel Voorintholt – photo ® Eva Broekema (Artistic Director)

Ton Wiggers – photo © Hans Withoos Ton Wiggers (General Director)

INTRODANS, frequent guests to JOMBA! over the past 21 years, takes a contemporary approach to ballet: one that’s creative and surprising. Offering dance work that is dynamic, dazzling and gravity-defying, they captivate in a total dance experience.  INTRODANS believes that the language of dance is universal and so it can bring together and move entire generations. They achieve this by appealing to a broad public and actively connecting with them. They perform for the young and the old(er) and organise activities and projects for a wide spectrum of target groups.

Founded in 1971 by Hans Focking and Ton Wiggers

Artistic Director:  Roel Voorintholt.  General Director: Ton Wiggers

Patroness: H.R.H. Princess Margriet of The Netherlands


(Ecole des Sables, Senegal)

Somewhere at the beginning – photo © Thomas Dorn

 Saturday 5 September – 19h00

Sunday 6 September – 12noon (repeat screening)


Somewhere at the beginning


Concept & Direction: Mikael Serre

Choreography: Germaine Acogny

Assistant Choreography: Patrick Acogny

Music composed and performed live: Fabrice Bouillon «LaForest»

Video: Sébastien Dupouey

Text by: Togoun Servais Acogny, Aloopho, Germaine Acogny, Euripides (Medea)

Adaptation: by Mikaël Serre 

Production: JANT-BI, Senegal Co-Production: Les Théâtres de la Ville du Luxembourg / Théâtre de la Ville, Paris / Institut Français, Paris Residency and Co-production: La Ferme du Buisson, scène nationale de Marne-la-Vallée Residency : Le Centquatre, Paris  

Germaine Acogny – photo © Antoine Tempé

Germaine Acogny is considered as the “mother of Contemporary African dance”. She created her own Technique of Modern African Dance, and with her husband Helmut Vogt she created the ECOLE DES SABLES in Senegal, International Centre for traditional and contemporary African Dances. She teaches, dances and choreographs for her company JANT-BI and also performs solo pieces, touring worldwide. She directed the MUDRA school in Dakar created by Béjart and the president Senghor.  In 2008, the magazine “Jeune Afrique” selected Germaine as part of the one hundred personalities who “make” Africa.   In 2016, Germaine received the distinction of “Officier de la Légion d’Honneur” of the French Republic. She received two New York BESSIE AWARDS for the creations of “Fagaala” (2007) and for her performance in “Mon élue noire-Sacre # 2” (2018).