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JOMBA! 2000 (article first published : 2000-07-23)

Following two highly-successful festivals, JOMBA! 2000 is set once again to be the national dance event of the year. Hosted by the University of Natal's Centre for Creative Arts, JOMBA! 2000 offers a local, national and international line-up of world class contemporary dance for Durban audiences.

A major attraction this year is the critically-acclaimed London-based Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, appearing with generous sponsorship of the British Council. Artistic director Shobana Jeyasingh has been heralded as one of Britain's "great and gifted dancemakers" (London Evening Standard), creating unique dance languages that express her own personal mix of British and Indian identity. Using the Indian classical form of Bharatha Natyam as a starting point, she produces thought-provoking dance work which challenges entrenched and narrow views of cultural boundaries.

KAFIG, a vibrant Algerian French-based street dance company, appears through the support of the French Institute of South Africa. This company's funky street smart style of dance makes them perfect partners for Durban's own streetwise Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre. Working with the local styles of pantsula, hip-hop and kwaito, KAFIG and Siwela will workshop an up-beat groovy street dance especially for JOMBA!

The Centre for Creative Arts has awarded artistic grants to both the Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company and 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 create a platform for new works.

In partnership with FNB Vita, JOMBA! and the Centre for Creative Arts will introduce two specific programmes. The first is FNB Vita New Moves on August 27 which features up-and-coming Durban choreographers Thulebona Mzizi, Ntombi Gasa, Garth Naudé, Claire Angelique Bezuidenhout, Quinton Ribbonaar and Eric Shabalala. Each choreographer has been given a grant by FNB Vita to create a new work for JOMBA! 2000 and established Durban choreographers Jay Pather, Lliane Loots and David Gouldie have monitored their creative process.

FNB Vita have also introduced major awards to two established South African choreographers to create dance work for JOMBA! festivals. Recipients this year are Jay Pather (Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre) and Boyzie Cekwana (Floating Outfit Project), both of whom have made a significant impact on the lexicon of emerging contemporary dance in South Africa.

JOMBA! 2000 runs from August 21 to 27 at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre at 19h00. There will be a matinee on August 26 at 14h30.




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