Media Release

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts and the


JOMBA! 2021 Masihambisane Dialogues

2 – 4 June 2021

Keynote Speakers: Boyzie Cekwana, Nelisiwe Xaba and PJ Sabbagha
Keynote Speakers: Boyzie Cekwana, Nelisiwe Xaba and PJ Sabbagha

An open three-day dance colloquium hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts and the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Festival with support funding from the NIHSS, on Youtube, will focus on new ways of engaging dance/performance scholarship, practice, and practice-led research in innovative, provocative and interesting ways from 2 to 4 June 2021. 


JOMBA! Masihambisane Dialogues aims to support South African and African (and Diaspora) dance and performance scholarship and research in an accessible and community-driven manner. An international community of dance/performance scholars have curated what promises to be an engaging dialogue around dance.


This year’s curatorial committee include Mr. David Thatanelo April – University of Pretoria (SA)Ms. Clare Craighead – Durban University of Technology (SA)Mr. Gift Marovatsanga – University of Zululand (SA)Dr. Lliane Loots – University of KwaZulu-Natal CCA (SA) [chair and organiser]Dr. Sarahleigh Castelyn – University of East London (UK), Ms. Thobile Maphanga – Centre for Creative Arts (UKZN – SA)[postgraduate student representative and colloquium administrator] and Dr. Yvette Hutchison – Warwick University (UK).


Keynote speakers include award-winning and prolific South African choreographers Boyzie Cekwana, Nelisiwe Xaba and PJ Sabbagha. Sessions includes prepared papers as well as conversations, a workshop and performances. 


A panel entitled BOXED and Its Inspirations for the Future, based on Dr. Anita Ratnam (Chennai, India) 2020 work Boxed, which was created during COVID and has become a template of how an existing crisis can inspire original dance art. Panelists include  Dr. Ratnam, Producer/Presenter, Chitra Sundaram MBE, Series Consultant .

Choreographing violence and intimacies: exploring choreography, screendance and scenography as artistic mediums for choreographing intimacies through a performance lecture titled In the shadow of his fist,is the paper to be presented by Kamogelo Molobye, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, SA)

Tammy Ballantyne Webber (Johannesburg, SA), Ntshadi Mofokeng (Johannesburg, SA), Thobile Maphanga (Durban, SA); with contribution from Kivithra Naicker (Seoul/Durban, KOREA/SA) join a conversation around the role of the dance writer as dance goes digital”.

Dr. Sarahleigh Castelyn, University of East London, United Kingdom presents a paper entitled Intimacy as a Political Act: Contemporary Dance in South Africa 

[DE]TACH presented by Lucky Karabo Moeketsi (Gauteng, SA), explores the environmental habits that became a Black society’s norm against the spectre of the COVID pandemic and the required social distancing. 

Hannah Ma (Luxembourg, Germany)  presents Why intimacy is the sphere where embodiment and integration becomes evident in the evolution of humankind in a globalised, capitalist world with contributions by respondents Nai Ni Chen (New Jersey, USA) and Nora Amin (Cairo, Egypt).

Digital Dance and domesticity: the work of female East African choreographers in a time of COVID is the paper presented by Charlie Ely (University of Leeds, UK) which looks at how the new realities of the pandemic have shaped the work of female East African choreographers, including Diana Gaya, Catherine Nakawesa and Pili Maguzo.

Mlondiwethu Dubazane (Cape Town, SA) and Nomcebisi Moyikwa (Durban, SA – University of KwaZulu-Natal) present Language is a breathable place: “that words must get out of the way for something else to come through’’ (Klonaris, 2011) in which they re-think ideas around language and the embodied self. 


A workshop and paper entitled ‘When I slam my body into a wall, I know that it’s there’ authored and facilitated by  Kristina Johnstone (University of Pretoria & WITS, Gauteng, SA) reflects on the facilitation of embodied practice in a virtual space of teaching, learning and creation, specifically looking at ways of facilitating touch and the importance of creating moments of synchronicity (shared time). 

JC Zondi (China/South Africa) and Simphiwe “Fiddy” Ngcobo (Durban, SA) present Performing Uncertainties which open discussion around the relationship of film to dance making and, significantly the role of the audience/viewer in all of this. 

Lorin Sookool (Cape Town, SA) in conversation with Thobile Maphanga (Durban, SA) speaks around her experience of creating her work Prayer Room (2020). She will discuss the processes and possibilities of engagement in art making during the times of COVID-19 in a session titled De-Snubbing the ‘Jack of All Trades’.

The full programme can be accessed on this link:

It will be livestreamed to the JOMBA! YouTube Chanel and can be accessed free of charge on  

The Dialogues will also have a closed ZOOM link for direct participants and for those who wish to apply to join and be present in the “room”.  Access to this is limited and participants need to apply to Thobile Maphanga on





Sharlene Versfeld
Versfeld & Associates
Public Relations and Communications
Mobile: +27 (0) 83 326 3235
Tel: +27 (0) 31 811 5628
Twitter: sharlvers

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