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JOMBA! (article first published : 2000-04-1)

In the same vein as its two highly-successful predecessors, the JOMBA! 2000 contemporary dance festival promises to be a national dance highlight of the year. Hosted by the University of Natal's Centre for Creative Arts and supported by FNB Vita, it will run at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from August 21 to 27, offering a local, national and international line-up of world class contemporary dance for Durban audiences.

A major attraction will be the critically-acclaimed London-based Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, appearing courtesy of the British Council. Shobana Jeyasingh, who has been heralded as one of Britain's "great and gifted dancemakers" (London Evening Standard), creates languages that express her own mix of British and Indian identity through the Indian classical form of Bharatha Natyam.

Sponsored by the French Institute of South Africa, Kafig is a vibrant Algerian French-based street dance company. Working with Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre they will workshop their funky street smart style of dance with pantsula, hip-hop and kwaito, to produce an up-beat groovy street dance especially for JOMBA!

JOMBA! will also feature the best of local contemporary dance. The Centre for Creative Arts has awarded artistic grants to both the Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company and to the University-based Flatfoot Dance Company. These grants are seen as vital to the spirit of JOMBA! which sees the need to support dance financially and give it a platform to perform new works.

The JOMBA!/FNB Vita partnership will include the commissioning of six young Durban-based choreographers to premiere a new work on a programme called New Moves as well as two FNB Vita Choreographers Grants for the more established choreographers to present their works during the festival (see separate story).




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