KEYNOTE PANEL #2: “Embodied archives and the transferring of dancing knowledges – the divergent heritages of Moving into Dance Mophatong”

Dialogue facilitator: Lliane Loots


Vincent Mantsoe

Gregory Maqoma

David April

Thandazile Sonia Radebe


Vincent Sekwati Koko Mantsoe - Keynote Panelist

Vincent Sekwati Koko Mantsoe was born and raised in Soweto. A descendant of a long line of Sangomas, Mantsoe participated in traditional rituals involving the use of song, dance and drumming. Mantsoe`s family is a combination of collective cultural diversity being mainly, Southern Sotho, Ndebele, Xhosa and Pedi. In the early and mid-1990s he began his training in Moving Into Dance Mophatong, under the artistic direction and mentorship of Sylvia Glasser. The philosophical approach in Mantsoe’s work is based on the transformation or progressive preservation of cultures in the 21st century and the balance of different forces between African, Contemporary, and Asian movements. Apart from his choreographic works, his development of an intracultural contemporary African training and performing dance technique (GOBA) is his ongoing legacy to dance.

Gregory Vuyani Maqoma - Keynote Panelist

Gregory Vuyani Maqoma became interested in dance to escape the growing political tensions in Soweto, South Africa. His formal dance training began in 1990 at Moving into Dance, where he, in 2002, became the Associate Artistic Director. He founded Vuyani Dance Theatre (VDT) in 1999 while on scholarship at the Performing Arts Research and Training School (PARTS) in Belgium, under the direction of Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker. Maqoma has established himself as an internationally renowned dancer, choreographer, teacher, and director. In 2002, Maqoma received the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for dance and was a finalist in the Daimler Chrysler Choreography Award. His works have won him international acclaim, including the Tunkie Award for Leadership in Dance (2012), and a “Bessie”, New York City’s premier dance award for Exit/Exist’s original music composition (2014). He’s served as a nominator in the 2016-2017 Rolex Arts Initiative and curator of the 2017 National Arts Festival Main Dance Programme. The French government honoured Maqoma with the Chevalier de L’Ordre des Artes et des Lettres (Knight of the Arts & Literature) Award in 2017. In 2018, Maqoma collaborated with William Kentridge in “The Head and the Load,” which premiered at London’s Tate Modern Gallery, and is touring Europe, and the USA. He’s recently created dance works with Ballet De Lyon and Ballet Black and will be collaborating with Shadrack Bokaba in a new Jazz Opera, premiering at Joburg Theatre in September 2022.

David Thatanelo April - Steering Committee

David Thatanelo April is a director, teacher, choreographer, and lobbyist in the realm of South African dance and performance.  With over two decades of experience in the Creative and Cultural industries he has filled a diverse collection of roles and imparts his longstanding knowledge of the performing arts as a dedicated mentor and advisor to arts practitioners and internationally acclaimed choreographers. April became the first recipient of the prestigious Tunkie Memorial Award for “Outstanding Dedication and Leadership in Dance” (2003). He’s received the “Management and Leadership in Cultural Economy” award from Wits School of Arts in Partnership with Business Arts South Africa. He is a graduate of Moving into Dance’s Community Dance Teachers Training Course, completed a BA at the University of South Africa and is skilled and qualified in Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Arts Management from institutions such as Raizcorp and IMM Graduate School of Marketing. He completed an MA in Cultural Policy and Management at Wits University and is currently employed at the University of Pretoria’s School of the Arts involved in Production Logistics alongside lecturing Arts Administration & Management as well as Movement Studies.

Thandazile Sonia Radebe - Keynote Panelist

Thandazile ‘Sonia’ Radebe is an award winning contemporary African dancer with a diploma in Theory and Practice of Dance Teaching, NQF level 6 facilitator and Moderator. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, her extraordinary work and passion for collaborations and residency programs has been seen in Africa, USA, and Europe. Her work deals with universal socio-economic issues as well as advocating for African narrative sharing of oral history in a witty yet emotionally charged way. The performance platforms as well as institutions that have benefited from her skill include Dance Umbrella Africa, NAF, International, Detours Festival, Tanzhauz-Dusseldof, Germany, ICW-Netherlands, Afrovibes, Shiefting Realities-Ecole de Sable-Shifting Realities, Wits-Dept. of Theatre and Performance (sessional lecturer), SANCTA, Oakfield College, University of Pretoria, Jhb Correctional Services, MID, Jomba Festival,  Open La (ICA), Hillbrow Theatre, William Kentridge’s Centre for the less good idea, The Madea Project-San Francisco- USA.

Currently, she sits in an adjudication panel for dance for the Naledi Theatre Awards. Radebe is also a re-ocurring adjudicator for Department of Arts and Culture Ishashalazi, SANCTA Theatre Awards Festival and Market Theatre’s Zwakala festival. She is also a co-director at Song and Dance Works.