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The 2017 JOMBA! Eric Shabalala Dance Champion Award

Well-known KwaZulu-Natal choreographer and dancer Sifiso ‘Magesh’ Ngcobo received the 2017 JOMBA! Eric Shabalala Dance Champion Award at the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre in Durban last night (Thursday, August 31).

Now in its 7th year, JOMBA! Eric Shabalala Dance Champion Award, honours of the memory of Eric Mshengu Shabalala who tragically passed away in 2011; he was a local dancer, choreographer, teacher and one of the founding dancers of the Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre in Durban. In a fitting tribute, the Centre for Creative Arts and the Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience Dance Festival has set up this annual award to honour some of KwaZulu-Natal’s stalwart dancers and dance teachers.

“The award is given not only in recognition of performance or choreographic excellence, but also more profoundly and more importantly it is given in recognition of dance practitioners who have worked tirelessly to help grow a culture of dance and dance training in Durban – who have supported the growth of dance as an art form at both community and regional level,” said Lliane Loots, Artistic Director of JOMBA! at the award ceremony.

“In selecting recipients, the committee look for those gifted individuals who have gone above and beyond – often without funding – to dedicate themselves to the cultural industry and to put KZN dancers and dance on the national and international map,” she said. “So we honour Sifiso because of his bold initiative, for not sitting back waiting for funding and for hand-outs but for getting up and making a difference by using his skill as a dancer and as an educator.”

Ngcobo, who currently teaches dance and isiZulu at St Nicholas Diocesan School in the Pietermaritzburg, also runs a scholar dance company within the school called “St Nics Dance Company. He was born in Umthwalume, and has a degree in Drama and Performance Studies and an Honours degree in Community Development, from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Before joining the Flatfoot Dance Company in 2003 he performed and toured the world in the celebrated dance show African Footprint.  As one of Flatfoot’s founding members he was instrumental in setting up their now 15 year history of dance education and community engagement.

“This award is given primarily for the work he is doing his own education and community project in Imbali Township at Sukuma Comprehensive School,” explained Lliane Loots. “He works with young school going learners and in dance programme called the Umsunduzi Youth Development Project and uses both drama and dance to address social, economic issues, life orientation as well as community child and gender abuse.”

Past recipients of this prestigious award include Jarryd Watson (2011), Sifiso Khumalo (2012), Byron ‘Bizzo’ Tifflin and Preston ‘Kayzo’ Kyd (2013), Jabu Siphika, Julia Wilson (2014) and Zinhle Nzama, Ntombi Gasa  (2015) and Musa Hlatshwayo (2016)

"I am so excited about this award,” enthused Ngcobo accepting the award. “Credit must go to Jomba, the Centre for Creative Arts, the St Nicholas Dance Company, Umsunduzi Youth Development Project, and of course the Flatfoot Dance Company, for grooming me to be what I am today. I have been doing this kind of work for a very long time and it is good to be finally recognized. We work without funding and support from the government but the passion and fire within us keeps us going because our goal is to make an impact in different communities and give hope to the hopeless through dance. The projects I run in Pietermaritzburg have made a significant impact in the learners' lives and that makes me happy. We are not yet done!" 

For more information about JOMBA! go to www.cca.ukzn.ac.za

DGLFF postpones festival to 28 September 2017 whilst 'INXEBA' ('THE WOUND') to screen as planned

Due to last minute technical issues raised by the Film & Publications Board (FPB) about the broader programme, only the South African feature film 'INXEBA' ('THE WOUND') went ahead  as scheduled. As the film has already received a 16 SL classification, it has been allowed exhibition. However the rest of the programme will be postponed to start 28 September 2017, in order to bring films in compliance with FPB regulations.

 "It is with great regret that I have to announce the postponement of the DGLFF programme for a month so as to comply with technical issues raised only this week by the FPB. Previously we had sincerely not been made aware of certain technical requirements, and on learning what was needed, I ensured very quickly that the FPB was provided with what they needed. Unfortunately timing is an issue with the process and this led to a mutual decision that in order for the Festival to be fully in alignment with FPB requirements, we should postpone to achieve this".

 'INXEBA' was screened  on Friday 25 August at the Waterfront Hotel, Point, with an additional screening on Saturday 26 August, and then Thursday 31 August 2017 at 8pm at Tina's Hotel in Kloof. The community screening of the film on Saturday 2 September at 12pm will be in a venue as yet to be confirmed.

 The critically acclaimed and award winning 'INXEBA' stars musician and novelist Nakhane Touré as Xolani, a lonely factory worker who joins the men of his community in the mountains of the Eastern Cape to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood. Amidst sporadic calls for boycott, and some reports of threats to cast members, Fiddler is pragmatic: "The country is still very naive when it comes to our rights to freedom of expression, of protection against discrimination. The Constitution is there for a very good reason: to work against hegemony, hatred and homophobia. Whilst I'm deeply concerned that the intolerance and aggression displayed by some is very real, I also expect that many detractors haven't actually seen this powerful piece of cinema. We must have the space to express our creativity, artistry and views frankly and without intimidation."

 "The programme will remain largely intact and we simply commence from the end of September" assures Fiddler. The revised DGLFF programme will be available online within the coming week and all screening information relating to 'INXEBA' can found at the Festival website www.dglff.org.za

Flatfoot Dance Company and INTRODANS collaborate with Downs Syndrome Dancers

Durban-based, Flatfoot Dance Company and Adriaan Luteijn from the Netherlands-based  INTRODANS Dance Company, together with four dancers with Downs Syndrome, are blazing a new trail for dance in South Africa, with their performance  of “Cardiac Output” at this year’s 19th JOMBA! Contemporary Dance on Sunday, September 3 at 6pm.

The four young adult dancers with Downs Syndrome, Kevin Govender  and Michaela Munro (both from Queensburgh), Charles Phillips (from Westville) Karl Hebbelmann (from Pinetown), who auditioned earlier this year have been working regularly over the last 5 months with Flatfoot dancers Thobile Maphanga, Sifiso Khumalo, Zihle Nzama and Jabu Siphika, and then intensely for the last three weeks with Luteijn.

‘We have been working with the Durban Downs Syndrome Society to initially audition dancers for this work, but also in an endeavour to develop a relationship with dancers who are wanting to perform and create,” says Lliane Loots, Artistic Director of JOMBA! and the Flatfoot Dance Company. “This is art project, not a therapy project. It is a project in which these dancers have made a commitment to making a profound piece of art. A meaningful work of art that can make a difference to us all. One that challenges the societal norms of who has access to create and who does not. We are all deeply excited about the work. It has been life-changing for us all, and we look forward to seeing it performed in front of an audience on Sunday.”

Choreography is by Adriaan Luteijn, artistic manager of INTRODANS’s educational department, Introdans Interactie. He is known for his work that explores and extends the usual expectations of art by working with elderly dancers, autistic dancers and others in an effort to “involve as many people as possible to the art of modern dance, not only for people who can find their way easily to the theatre, but for those that cannot.”

Luteijn says that professional dancers learn so much about themselves and their artform by dancing with people who are differently abled, and vice versa. “It is amazing to see how our guest dancers grow stronger in their self confidence, and, of course, the audience applause does the rest.”

The medical term “cardiac output” is used for the amount of blood pumped through the heart per minute. The choreography is about matters of the human heart which can influence the cardiac output. The first version of “Cardiac Output” premiered in March last year in Amsterdam.

“Cardiac Output” will close this year’s JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience on Sunday, September 3 at 6pm at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, UKZN.

Tickets are available at Computicket or at the door. 

 

Exciting opportunities for Choreographers and Dancers in JOMBA!'s Fringe and Youth Fringe programmes

The 19th JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience, which opens tonight  (Wednesday, August 23) and runs until Sunday, September 3, 2017 includes the much-loved JOMBA! Fringe programme featuring 10 new works by South African choreographers and dancers, and the delightful Youth Fringe,  with works by professional dance-makers performed by youth groups.

The Fringe, which takes place on Tuesday, August 29 at 7.30pm at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, is an open performance platform that provides an opportunity for choreographers (some new to choreography and some professional dancers) to present their work in a professional environment with the support of a full technical team.

“This is one of the ways in which the JOMBA! festival offers assistance in developing dance and choreographic talent by offering open professional performance spaces,” explains Lliane Loots Artistic Director of festival.

The JOMBA! Fringe features works by Jabu Siphika and Flatfoot Dance Company’s Advanced Dance Development Programme (ADD FLATFOOT) (Durban), Bonwa Mbontsi (Pietermaritzburg), Jarryd Watson andDANCE MOVMENT (Durban), JC Zondi (Pietermaritzburg), Kristi-Leigh Jean Gresse (Durban), Lucia Walker(Johannesburg), Qiniso Zamandla Zungu (Johannesburg), Thobi Maphanga and Shelby Strange, Kirsty Ndawo and Horror Collective (Durban), Yaseen Manuel (Cape Town) and Vusi Makhanya KwaMashu School of Dance/Dusi Dance Company ( Durban).

The JOMBA! Youth Fringe, which takes place on Sunday, August 27 at 2.30pm at the Open Air Theatre at UKZN, is a celebration of over 20 KZN based youth dance groups and the incredible dance work that they are doing.

The line-up for this year’s JOMBA include Birthmark Dancers - Choreographer: Lerato Maphumulo (Umlazi E-Section, DBN), Tuck n' Tumble - Choreographer:  Thobi Maphanga (Glenwood, Durban), Super Troupers - Choreographer:  Bonwa Mbontsi (Slangspruit Primary School, PMB), LiveArt -  Choreographer:  Bonwa Mbontsi (Epworth, PMB), Phakama Youth Company - Choreographers:  Sandile Mkhize and Nkhanyiso Kunene (Durban Central, DBN), Break-Thru Junior Elite Dance Company -  Choreographer:  Gabriel Masango (Durban), Junior KwaMashu School of Dance Theatre - Choreographers:  Thandeka Maqebula, Sabelo Gumbi and Tebogo Mncwabe (KwaMashu) , KweSethu Project. Choreographers:  Thandeka Maqebula, Sabelo Gumbi and Tebogo Mncwabe (Ntuzuma), Mtapo Project - Choreographers:  Thandeka Maqebula, Sabelo Gumbi and Tebogo Mncwabe (Inanda), Mofu Project - Choreographers:  Thandeka Maqebula, Sabelo Gumbi and Tebogo Mncwabe (Endwedwe), Amagugu (Danville Girls' High Dance Development Programme) - Choreographer:  Musa Hlatshwayo (Durban North), Mzansi Arts Development Ensemble - Choreographer:  Lucky Nonhlanhla Cele (KwaMashu), Siyakhula Dance Project (Flatfoot Dance Company) - Choreographer: Sifiso Khumalo (KwaMahsu),Project Hheshe Nsizwa (Flatfoot Dance Company) Choreographer: Jabu Siphika (Umlazi), Project Dudlu Ntombi (Flatfoot Dance Company) Choreographer - Zinhle Nzama and Thuli Khumalo (Umlazi), Waterloo Dance Programme (Flatfoot Dance Company) - Choreographer: Jabu Siphika (Waterloo), LeftFeetFIRST! (Flatfoot Dance Company) - Choreographer: Sifiso Khumalo (in partnership with the Open Air School), and William Clarke Gardens Dance Programme  (Flatfoot Dance Company) - Choreographer: Thobi Maphanga and Gcina Shange (Sherwood).

Tickets for the Fringe are through Computicket or at the door from one hour beforehand.  Entrance to the Youth Fringe is free. For the full programme go to www.cca.ukzn.ac.za and click on JOMBA.

7th annual Durban Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

Now in its 7th year, this annual cinematic celebration of independent queer cinema, the Durban Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (DGLFF), is expanding its reach within the Ethekwini region with screening venues that will include Durban's Outer West LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & intersex) communities. From both a practical and demand-driven perspective, #DGLFF2017 has recognised that for many, the journey to "town" is both expensive and often far. Therefore festival director Jason Fiddler has successfully negotiated with Tina's Hotel in Kloof, home to Roland Stansell's branch of Rhumbelow Theatre, to host two evening screenings of films on Thursday 31 August and Friday 1 September.

The Festival runs from 25 August to 3 September 2017 and includes the aha Waterfront Hotel & Spa in Point, Alliance Francaise and the Durban Lesbian & Gay Centre in Morningside, and the KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood as screening venues over its 10 day run.

Securing 'INXEBA' as the Opening Night Film for Friday 25 August at The Waterfront Hotel & Spa in Point, for the city's LGBTIQ community audience, festival director Fiddler couldn't be prouder or happier: "I've known about 'THE WOUND' ('INXEBA') as a project since the 2014 Durban FilmMart, when producer Elias Ribeiro was pitching it as a project for financing. I told him there and then I wanted it for DGLFF one day. Our audiences deserved to see a great locally made film that spoke to their own experiences, that shared their own stories. Elias' earlier gay short films had been included in our previous festivals, so I knew that he would be keen to maintain that relationship. I just never anticipated what an insanely huge deal this would be!" Growing social media attention of the film has led to some very strong calls for protest, as some in the Xhosa community and elsewhere have deemed the film a serious issue for them, bordering on cultural exploitation.

Described by Variety magazine as “a milestone in South African cinema”, 'INXEBA' stars musician and novelist Nakhane Touré as Xolani, a lonely factory worker who joins the men of his community in the mountains of the Eastern Cape to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood. Amidst sporadic calls for boycott, and some reports of threats to cast members, Fiddler is pragmatic: "The country is still very naive when it comes to our rights to freedom of expression, of protection against discrimination. The Constitution is there for a very good reason: to work against hegemony, hatred and homophobia. Whilst I'm deeply concerned that the intolerance and aggression displayed by some is very real, I also expect that many detractors haven't actually seen this powerful piece of cinema. We must have the space to express our creativity, artistry and views frankly and without intimidation."

The DGLFF line up this year also includes as Closing Night Film young filmmaker Thishiwe Ziqubu's ' SINA NOMAKOTSHANA' ('Dance with the Maiden'), a 24 minute short film about a girl falling in love with her contemporary dance partner and coming out of the closet during her traditional Zulu initiation. Other South African content includes Allan McDonald's moving documentary 'LOCKED IN'  about transgender people within the Xhosa and Muslim communities, including their very real struggles for acceptance. DGLFF will also host the world premiere of Durban filmmaker Dayakar Padayachee's 40 minute gay short 'SHADOW', a psychological horror following a gay Indian teen's decent into darkness during his parent's growingly ugly divorce, as a malevolent force takes hold.

Included in the two-night Tina's Hotel line up on Thursday 31 August and Friday 1 September are the Argentinean drama 'BROMANCE' (a feature film about three friends who realise they've grown as young men and their relationship is devolving on a weekend getaway at the beach), 'INXEBA', 'BOYS FOR SALE' (an adults-only feature documentary that takes a candid journey with Urisen, mainly straight gay-for-pay escorts, in Japan's oldest red light district) and 'SOMETHING LIKE SUMMER' (a surprisingly complex comedy-musical-romance that follows two high school guys who's whirlwind romance goes awry, and who find one another very different people years later; expect some really original vocal performances by some known TV talent).

Further, Fiddler has curated two sets of short films for outer west audiences. Running at 67 minutes, Lesbian Shorts includes three beautiful short films ('LILY' from Ireland; 'THE MASTERFUL HERMIT' from Wales; and 'THE PRETTY THINGS ARE GOING TO HELL' from Denmark) that explore tender relationships, old flames that turn up unexpectedly and the pain of parting. Spanish Gay Shorts (running 54 minutes) includes a trio of Spanish-language short films that explore the bisexual feelings of a man between his girlfriend and his best friend ('GOLDFISH' from Mexico), the very real matter of a couple who need to frankly discuss their sex life having been involved for some time ('VERSATILE' from Spain) and how little white lies can make for hilarious complications with grandma on your wedding day ('THE MARRIAGE' from Spain)!

With 7 feature films, 11 documentaries and almost 30 short films from 14 countries globally, including South Africa, the DGLFF expects to speak to the interests of many different audiences. Fiddler encourages mainstream audiences who love good cinema to participate: "Ours is an inclusive Festival. You don't have to be gay, or lesbian, or otherwise to appreciate these well made films. You just need to be open minded, and make the effort to discover new stories."

Further information is available on the Festival Website: www.dglff.org.za

 

Classy Run for Kesa Molotsane at Maritzburg SPAR Women's 10km Challenge - August 20

MEDIA RELEASE

CLASSY RUN FOR KESA MOLOTSANE AT MARITZBURG SPAR WOMEN’S 10 KM CHALLENGE

 

Kesa Molotsane (KPMG) had a classy run in the inaugural Grand Prix series of the Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge on Sunday, August 20 winning in a convincing time of 34.21, followed by Rutendo Nyahora (Nedbank) in 34.34 and Irvette van Zyl (Nedbank) in 34.37.

 

In the penultimate race on the SPAR Grand Prix, the leading lady extended her domination over the log. Out of the starting blocks, Irvette van Zyl (Nedbank) edged to the front of the pack, leading marginally for majority of the race, with Lebogang Phalula (Boxer) and Rutendo Nyahora (Nedbank) tailing her closely on her shoulder.

 

Out of nowhere, the star runner started her assault to the front with about 4km remaining. Looking strong, she charged her way through the runners, joining the top three, matching their pace for the last few kilometres of the run. Striding away from van Zyl as they wound their way to the stadium, she secured her position on the top step of the podium, cementing her first spot on the log. Having started the 2017 series with a first in Cape Town, a first in Port Elizabeth, a second in Durban and third in Pretoria, she went into the Pietermaritzburg race with a decent 19 point lead ahead of van Zyl.

 

“I really enjoyed the run today, it was a really nice route. I love the hills, I grew up in a hilly area, so they don’t bother me. It was cold, and I took a while to warm up but I am really glad that I ran. It was a good test before I take on the 5,000m in World Student Games in Taipei this week. I am the only South African running the 5,000m and I want to do my country proud, so today has motivated me and given me the opportunity to challenge myself.”

 

Molotsane departed directly after the race, heading straight to the airport to go compete in Taiwan with her first 5,000m heat taking place on 25th August and the finals on 27th August. “I needed special permission to run in Pietermaritzburg from the Federation, but I think it was good for me ahead of running against the top international athletes. I wanted to retain my position in the Grand Prix to stay on top of the leaderboard, so needed to compete today.”

 

The class act said she didn’t have issues changing from track to road, or vice versa. “A lot of people find it challenging and demanding to handle both track and road, but it is easier for me, it isn’t so much of a shock. I think it is because I concentrate on the longer distances.”

 

Second on the leaderboard, van Zyl said, “I gave it my best but my best wasn’t good enough. I needed to push it as I find myself in a difficult situation with points on the Grand Prix log, I needed to win and get bonus points to stay in the game.”

 

“I am an impatient runner, so I tend to break early and take up the pace. It usually works for me but I just couldn’t hang in there. Kesa ran really well. I have had a tough year, with the injury that forced me out of the Durban race, I have been working hard to have a fighting chance. But I am glad it was a pain free run. I also like hilly courses, so enjoyed the my first time on the Maritzburg course.”

 

Second on the day, the petite Zimbabwean, Rutendo Nyahora overtook van Zyl, leaving her behind on the final stretch of road leading into the stadium. “I am feeling fine on the back of running a marathon. My running was down, so I had to kick hard and my plan worked.”

 

Molotsane shaved off 20seconds from the previous winning time of 34.41 that Lebogang Phalula clocked in 2016.

 

A total of 4,500 took to the two distances in a chilly 3 degrees. Peter Deeb, Marketing Director of SPAR KZN said, “Having the Maritzburg race being included in the Grand Prix has certainly raised the profile of the race. Everyone had a fantastic time, and we were full to capacity. It was a chilly morning to start off with, and the course had a lot of hills. We are very pleased with the numbers, and it is always wonderful to give back to our community as road running has a huge following here in Pietermaritzburg.”

 

Results

Open

1 Kesa Molotsane (KPMG) 34.21, 2 Rutendo Nyahora (Nedbank) 34.34, 3 Irvette van Zyl (Nedbank) 34.37, 4 Lebogang Phalula (Boxer) 34.50, 5 Betha Chikanga 34.58, 6 Maria Shai (Boxer) 35.02, 7 Glenrose Xaba (Boxer) 35.05, 8 Nolene Conrad (KPMG) 35.11, 9 Nicole Louw (KPMG) 35.23, 10 Rudo Mhonderwa (Nedbank) 35.32

 

35- 39

1 Janie Grundling (Boxer) 37.22, 2 Makhosi Mhlongo (32Gi) 37.41, 3 Fikile Mbuthuma (Nedbank) 39.02

 

40-49

1 Tanith Maxwell (Boxer) 37.56, 2 Janene Carey (Boxer) 39.55, 3 Delia Jay (Dolphin Coast Striders) 44.40

 

50-59

1 Judy Bird (KPMG) 39.54, 2 Grace de Oliveira (Boxer) 44.10, 3 Gail Babich (Savages) 46.47

 

60-69

1 Blanche Moila (Savages) 49.19, 2 Sonja Laxton (RAC) 50.34, 3 Jenny Taylor (Saints Athletics) 51.13

 

70 plus

1 Gill Tregenna (Westville) 59.22

 

Juniors

1 Nicole Louw (KPMG) 35.23, 2 Shanley Koekemoer (KPMG) 37.27, 3 Cherry Lee Schoeman (Boxer) 39.53

 

-ends

SPAR Women's Race - Pietermaritzburg: The Oval - Sunday 20 August

The race is on for this weekend’s SPAR Women’s main event that takes place around Alexandra Park on Sunday morning.

Back to defend her title is Gauteng’s Lebogang Phalula. Having completed the race last year in a dazzling time of 34.41, the second fastest time clocked in recent times, Phalula is hoping to improve on her Grand Prix standing where she is sitting in fourth place currently.

Sporting the number 1 this weekend is Irvette van Zyl running in the colours of Nedbank. Van Zyl has had mixed fortunes on the road this year, with two second places, and a first in the last SPAR Grand Prix event held in Pretoria. The three time Grand Prix winner had one glitch when she was forced to retire in Durban due to her niggling back injury. She is currently second on the GP log.

Leading the pack is the hard-working KPMG athlete, Kesa Molotsane. Molotsane has accumulated 107 points in the four races held prior to the Pietermaritzburg 10km. In all of her races, she has an impressive presence on the podium with two firsts kicking off her GP year, followed by a second in the Durban race and a third in the Pretoria race. She is 19 points clear of Olympic runner, van Zyl.

Waving the KZN flag, Jenna Challenor will be back. Having had a quiet year plagued with injuries, it will be interesting seeing the one-time winner flying around the familiar route, but this time with many more elite athletes in the front pack. Back from training in Scotland, Durban athlete Tanith Maxwell, also a one-time winner and a regular feature in the Pietermaritzburg race, has turned her focus on the gruelling longer distances, will be stretching her legs around the picturesque setting.

Pietermaritzburg running fans will also be pleased to know that the Comrades darling, Caroline Wostmann is pencilled down as an entry running for KPMG. 

The running club, KPMG is creaming the points with all of their representative athletes performing well. The club has 441 points in total, with the ever-present impressive team of Nedbank sitting on 350 points currently.

A maximum capacity field of 4,500 runners is expected to be taking to the tarmac around Alexandra Park in the two race distances, with the route being described as an out and back. Both fields having an all-in start at 8am. The predicted weather looks to be a chilly 9 degrees with clear, sunny skies at the start time, and warming up to 21 degrees during the course of the day.

Entries are still available at Race Registration at The Oval Cricket Stadium, Alexandra Park on Friday 18 August (10am to 5pm) and Saturday 19 August (10am to 3pm) or until the maximum 4500 are reached. 

 Entries are open to all from ages of 14 years and up in the 10km event and 9 years in the 5km races. Entry fees are R100 for the 10km licensed athletes and for the 5km runners. R110 is the entry fee for the non-licensed athletes; the extra R10 includes a temporary licence for the day.  

Kesa Molotsane will be taking to the roads this weekend in Pietermaritzburg for the upcoming SPAR Women’s Challenge on Sunday.

 Previous winners:

2016: Lebogang Phalula (Boxer) 34.41

2015: Tebogo Masehla (Boxer) 36.10

2014: Rene Kalmer (Modern Athlete) 34.13

Free Workshops for dancers and dance-makers at JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience

23 August – 3 September 2017

 JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience will host four open workshops at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Dance Studio (Howard College Campus) between 23 August and 3 September, as part of the festival’s efforts to share knowledge and skills to local dancers, choreographers and dance teachers.

The 19th annual JOMBA! festival, which is hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts (within the College of Humanities),  includes a packed line up of local and international guests, who will in assist in facilitating workshops, that are open to the public.

The first workshop is facilitated by Kossi Sebastien Aholou-Wokawui from steptext dance project in Germany. Kossi is a dancer and dance teacher from Togo and he will take dancers into the world of ‘AFRO-AFRICAN’ technique. He defines ‘AFRO-AFRICAN’ technique as an African dance of modern expression, it is a synthesis of traditional dances of West Africa, Western contemporary dance and Caribbean dance (Haiti/Cuba). He says that this technique is an ongoing dialogue with the cosmos and nature and works mainly on rooting, breathing and the mobility of the spine, giving special importance to improvisation and musical accompaniment, all styles/techniques and abilities are welcome. This workshop takes place on Thursday 24 August, from 4 to 6pm.

Memela Nyamze from Cape Town will facilitate a workshop drawing on the politics of the “BODY” on Saturday 26 August from 10am to 12 noon. Nyamza radically deconstructs the normative expectations of who qualifies to be a dancer. In this workshop dancers will explore dynamic ways of communicating with your bodies by simply using physical techniques, the mind, the soul, and the past and the presence in the most symbolic way. Dancers of all abilities and levels, and who are 18 years and older may attend this.

On Tuesday 29 August from 5 to 7pm,  Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance 2017, Thandazile “Sonia” Radebe from Johannesburg, will facilitate an open level workshop combined technique class that will explore some of Radebe’s working methods in her creation of SABELA, all abilities and levels welcome.

Finally on Saturday 2 September from 10am-12noon, Adriaan Lutijn teacher/ artistic manager  of INTRODANS – from Arnhem in Holland will take participants through the daily routine of this modern ballet company, in a practical way. He will use the repertoire of the performance of INTRODANS on the festival as an inspiration. Dancers of all backgrounds in dance are welcome at this workshop.

These workshops are offered free of charge to participants but booking is essential as places are limited. The workshops are open to dancers 16 years and older (unless otherwise specified) .

Bookings can be done on 082 875 6065 (during office hours only) or e-mailjombafestival@gmail.com at least 2 days in advance of the workshop

For more information contact Lliane Loots on lootsl@ukzn.ac.za

Road Closures for the Maritzburg SPAR Women's 10/5 km Challenge

Pietermaritzburg: Sunday 20 August

Runners and walkers are gearing up for the Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10/5km Challenge, which takes place in and around The Oval in the picturesque Alexandra Park on Sunday 20 August.

An expected 4,500 participants will be taking to the streets with both the 5km and 10km beginning at 8am. As this year is the first time that the race has been included in the national SPAR Grand Prix Series, there will be much interest in watching the elite athletes pounding the road in an endeavour to improve their log standings.

“We urge entrants to take note of the road closures and ensure that you plan to arrive well before the race as main access roads start closing from 07:30,” says race director Brad Glasspoole. “We also encourage residents to note the closures which should only have a minimal impact on the City for a short time.”

The road closures and opening times are as follows:

Sunday, August 20

Balmoral – closed from 03:00 – 11:00

Princess Margaret– closed from 03:00 – 11: 00

Park Drive between Princess Margaret and Princess Elizabeth – closed from 03:00 – 11:00

Princess Elizabeth – closed from 03:00 – 11:00

Park Drive from College Rd to Princess Elizabeth – closed from 07:00 – 11:00

Alexandra Road from Cross Rd to Alan Paton Ave – closed (inbound only) from 07:00 – 10:00

Alan Paton Ave from Alexandra Rd to Burger St – closed (inbound only) from 07:00 – 08:30

Alexandra Road – closed in both directions from 07:30 until approximately 08:45 (to accommodate the large field)

Entries for the challenge are still open, with two options to enter. Enter online paying with credit card at www.sparwomensrace.co.za/maritzburguntil August 14. Entering using a manual entry form can be done at race registration which is on Friday 18 August (10:00 to 17:00) and Saturday 19 August (10:00 to 15:00) at The Oval Cricket Stadium, Park Drive, Alexandra Park.

Entries are open to all from ages of 14 years and up in the 10km event and 9 years in the 5km races. Entry fees are R100 for the 10km licensed athletes and for the 5km runners. R110 is the entry fee for the non-licensed athletes; the extra R10 includes a temporary licence for the day. 

For more info contact the race organisers on maritzburg@sparwomensrace.co.za or visit the official race on www.sparwomensrace.co.za or like the Facebook page.

 

Red Bull Kas’Lami rocks Kwa-Mashu, KZN

South Africa / Kwa-Zulu Natal / Culture / Music / Red Bull Kas’Lami

The fourth edition of Red Bull Kas’Lami rocks Kwa-Mashu

The fourth edition of Red Bull Kas’Lami took over KwaMashu this weekend and, according to the organisers, was a resounding success. The three-day programme celebrated local township heroes, while embracing the wider cultural landscape of KZN’s second largest township.

It was not only the township dwellers that attended the event, but people came from around KZN to enjoy the mind blowing line up performers. 

The Kas’Lami event, meaning “My Hood”, aims to showcase local performing artists that have emerged from South African townships: paying tribute to their humble beginnings and their epic, inspirational journeys to success.

The festival started on Friday, 4 August 2017 at Artizen lounge with the screening of a film, featuring success stories of Durban-born talents.  The screening, which was open to the public was, followed by a Q&A session. On Saturday 5 August 2017, an info session was held by Rude Boyz and SoKool at Big Box Park, who engaged with upcoming talent and shared insights about the colourful South African music industry.

Sunday turned out to be the highlight of the festival, with a music concert at Artizen Lounge,  attended by hundreds of people.

“This years Red Bull Kas’Lami was one of the best productions of any event I have seen in Ekasi,” said Gagasi personality, DJ Mario Munday, who was afeatured DJ.

The concert boasted a killer lineup, which included remixer DJ and Metro FM award winner – Culoe de Song! Durban’s Gqom kings –  Distruction Boyz, and performances by DJ Kabila, EM Ex, DJ SoKool, Bhunu Brill, Snapbvck, Menace, Malusi, Urban Angel and DJ Lag.

This was the fourth year that the festival travelled to different South African townships. Red Bull Kas’Lami started in Tembisa in 2014, before moving on to Umlazi in 2015, featuring Umlazi-born international DJ superstar, Black Coffee. Polokwane had a taste of the Kas’Lami magic in December 2016 where Da Capo and King Monada were headline artists at Polokwane Shisanyama.  

 

Varsity College Awards Two Hockey Bursaries at SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey  Challenge Grand Finals

Caption to photo by Jonathan Burton: 

Phiwokuhle Myeza (Left) from Amanzimtoti High School and Brady Wiseman (second from right) from St. Anne’s DCG with Carole Adam, National Sports Manager for Varsity College and Max Oliva, MD of SPAR KZN. Myeza and Wiseman were recently awarded bursaries at the Grand Finals of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge, to study at Varsity College in KZN.

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Red Bull Kas'Lami returns to KwaZulu-Natal (KwaMashu) for its fourth edition

(eThekwini, South Africa) Celebrating township culture, Red Bull Kas’Lami, returns to KwaZulu-Natal for a three day creative explosion from Friday, 4 August till Sunday, 6 August 2017. 

Kas’Lami, meaning “My Hood” aims to showcase local performing artists that have emerged from South African townships: paying tribute to their humble beginnings, their power in overcoming struggles along the way and their epic journeys to success.

The three-day programme not only celebrates local township heroes. It embraces the wider cultural landscape of music, fashion and art, which are featured in a variety of pop-up happenings.

This is the fourth year that the festival is travelling to a different South African township. Kas’Lami started in Tembisa in 2014, before moving on to Umlazi in 2015, featuring Umlazi-born international DJing superstar, Black Coffee. Polokwane had a taste of the Kas’Lami magic in December 2016 where Da Capo and King Monada were headline artists at Polokwane Shisanyama.  

This year’s three day event will kick-start on Friday, 4 August with film screenings of success stories of Durban-born talents followed by a Q&A which will take place on Friday at Artizen Lounge in KwaMashu from 6pm . Saturday features an info session by Rude Boyz and SoKool at Bix Box Park from 6pm. Both events are free and open to the general public. Kas’Lami wraps up in true Red Bull style on Sunday, 6 August with a foot-stomping concert at the Artizen Lounge in KwaMashu starting at 12 noon. The power line-up of entertainers includes producer, remixer DJ and Metro FM award winner – Culoe de Song! Durban’s Gqom kings –  Distruction Boyz, with performances by DJ Kabila, EM Ex, DJ SoKool, Bhunu Brill, Snapbvck, Menace, Malusi, Urban Angel and DJ Lag.

Red Bull Kas’Lami gives people a platform to celebrate greatness in their own neighbourhoods. The KwaMashu version promises an action-packed weekend, which will showcase the very best of one of KZN’s liveliest townships.

“I am delighted to be coming to perform in KwaZulu Natal, and looking forward to exposing the people of KwaMashu to this lifestyle,” says musician, Culoe De Song. “These events have proved to be so popular within “the hoods” as people can look within to see the incredible talents that emerges to make great successes. We hope that this year’s event proves even more inspirational for local talent, and that it not only provides an opportunity for good fun, but also a reminder that fabulous things can emerge from one’s “hood.”

Tickets for the concert on August 6 are available from Computicket at R100 and R150 for VIP or online www.computicket.co.za. No tickets will be available at the gate. For more information go to www.redbull.com/za or follow on Instagram: @RedBullZA;  Twitter: @RedBullZA, Facebook: Red Bull.

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SPAR KZN School Girls' Hockey Challenge

Interview with Captain, Phiwo Myeza

Amanzimtoti High School are indeed lucky to have the gorgeous Phiwo Myeza leading their team at this year’s SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Grand Finals.

The focused utility player has been in the first hockey team since Grade 8, notching up her third Grand Finals tournament appearance, she stated, “We only have five players, including myself who were at the Grand Finals from last year, so we will be calling on the senior players for their experience. But I have the utmost confidence in all of my girls stepping onto the field this weekend.”

Asked what she is hoping to achieve this weekend, she shares, “We are hoping to achieve a better result from last year. Both appearances we have finished tenth and I would love for us to finish higher.” 

Myeza, a multi-talented sports woman, is hoping to study Sports Management next year, but hasn’t heard back with any good news from the varsities that she has applied to. Her skills are honed in on ball sports, where she has had great success and fun playing in the first team Soccer and Waterpolo teams. Her sports CV also includes a cap as goalie for the KZN U19 polo team that had a home-based tournament last year at Kings Park pool, and a cap in the KZN U18B hockey team that toured to the Bloemfontein last year. 

“I didn’t go to KZN Hockey trials this year as I have been purely keeping my eyes on matric. I intend to continue playing club and varsity hockey next year, I am really enjoying my club hockey with Toti, it has helped tremendously, and upped my playing at school level.”

Led by Shanna Hughes, the team with the bright pink socks have been training hard, “Coach is super, and makes us work hard. She is so good at building us up as individuals, and keeps us all humble. If I score a goal, and get a bit boisterous she calms me down and keeps me focused. A fantastic hockey role model, and I am lucky to have her inspire me!” 

Being proudly Durban south, growing up in Isipingo Rail and attending Athlone Park Primary, the star in the making says her mother has had the greatest impact on her life, “She has taught me about kindness, about fairness. She always encourages my older sister and I in everything we do, she is a really loving women. Simply, a very good Mom and I am indeed lucky to have her.”

On Saturday, Amanzimtoti will be taking on hockey giants, Durban Girls’ College – the only team to have made it to every Grand Final, giant slayers King Edward High School travelling from Matatiele, Grantleigh from Richards Bay and newcomers St John’s DSG. Following the pool games on Saturday, the teams will then play in cross pool games followed by positional games on Sunday. 

Playing her final six games for her beloved team with the funkiest bright pink socks, Matric first team hockey star, Phiwo Myeza is hoping to make a splash as she leads Amanzimtoti High School in her final school hockey tournament this weekend at St Mary’s DSG Kloof.

JOMBA! announces International Guests for this year's fest: 23 Aug - 3 Sept

JOMBA! announces International Guests for this year’s fest: 23 Aug-3 Sept

The annual JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience presented by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts (within the College of Humanities) has announced its international guests for this year’s 19th edition which takes place in various venues around Durban from 23 August to 3 September.

 

This year’s festival promises a feast for dance and theatre lovers over 12 days with a programme featuring some of the world’s most innovative dance theatre work from South Africa, Africa and abroad, that promises to provoke, entertain, delight and challenge audiences. International companies featured include Germany’s steptext dance projects, Benin dancer and choreographer Marcel Gbeffa and INTRODANS from the Netherlands, who will also perform at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town in September following their JOMBA! season.

 

The Festival opens with a stellar international partnership with the Johannesburg-based Vuyani Dance Theatre and Germany’s steptext dance projects. In a profound meeting of Europe and Africa, choreographers Gregory Maqoma and Helge Letonja (Bremen, Germany) join forces to create “Out of Joint”. Six dancers meet in a furious game of difference where the dance is a Babylon of physical co-existence with dancers exploding into centrifugal power, paralysis, fear and the rebellion of both the individual and the social body.

 

JOMBA!’s long term vision to honour the African continent and to continue to make artistic connection with the rest of Africa, manifests in this year’s hosting of Benin dancer and choreographer Marcel Gbeffa.  With support from the Alliance Française (Durban), the Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud, Gbeffa makes his first trip to South Africa and will perform his acclaimed solo work “Et Si ...”.

 

Gbeffa uses a repetition of animal movements, which he then adapts to his human dancing body before transforming the dance into involuntary and spontaneous animalistic reflexes. It is a bold and masculine work whose origins lie in the zeitgeist of West Africa. Gbeffa will also be conducting the annual festival residency with five KZN dancers: Bonwa Mbontsi, Tegan Peacock, Steven Banzoulu, Sibonelo “China” Mchunu, and Kim McCusker-Bartlett. The culmination of the residency will be given a showing at the KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood.

 

Dutch favourites, INTRODANS, join JOMBA! on a third festival visit to offer a programme (3 performances) of dance works from their award-winning repertoire. Considered one of Europe’s leading touring companies, INTRODANS works in a neo-classical ballet idiom that will delight both ballet and contemporary dance-lovers alike. They have titled their JOMBA! 2017 programme “WONDERLAND” which features a ‘wonderland’ of works by choreographers Hans van Manen, Ton Wiggers, Cayetano Soto and Alvin Ailey’s new artistic director, Robert Battle. Their work is always witty, technically supreme and full of beauty.

 

INTRODANS collaborates with Durban’s FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY in a special work that premiers at the festival. JOMBA! has taken on the mandate to support disability dance practices in KZN and has done so in a bid toward inclusivity around dance. INTRODANS’s artistic manager, and celebrated choreographer, Adriaan Luteijn will be spending 3 weeks in Durban working with FLATFOOT and four specially auditioned dancers with Down Syndrome to create the Durban version of “Cardiac Output”.

 

The medical term “cardiac output” is used for the amount of blood pumped through the heart per minute. This choreography is about matters of the human heart which can influence the cardiac output. The first version of “Cardiac Output” premiered in March 2016 in Amsterdam. Lutejin has become world famous for his choreographic works that team up professional dancers with dancers who are often denied access to dance due tointellectual or physical disability.

 

Once again the KZNSA Gallery features in the programme, offering an alternate challenge to dance makers and for those intrepid artists who work outside of the traditions of the proscenium arch. Not only will this event see the outcome of Benin’s Marcel Gbeffa’s JOMBA! residency, but the evening will host 3 new works by some of Durban’s most cutting edge voices to be announced at a later stage.

 

JOMBA! hosts its usual platforms of the Fringe (August 29) with 10 new works of about 15 minute each, and the Youth Fringe (August 27), and a full programme of workshops and master classes by all of the participating dancers and choreographers.

 

The festival will take place at different venues around Durban: Pieter Scholtz Open Air Theatre on August 27 at 2:30pm (free entry), KZNSA Gallery on August 28 from 6pm (R50) and the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on all other days with tickets on sale at Computicket or one hour before the performance (R60 or R45 forscholars/students/pensioners).

 

For a full listing of the programme and workshops go to www.cca.ukzn.ac.za and go to the JOMBA! page.  Workshops and classes are offered free of charge (dancer over 16yrs only), booking is essential viajombafestival@gmail.com. Facebook (JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience) and Twitter (Twitter@Jomba_dance).

 The 19th JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience is under the artistic direction and curatorship of Lliane Loots and is organised and hosted and run by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal), and is supported primarily by the eThekwini Municipality.

 

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CAPTIONS TO PHOTOS

Et Si - photo credit Andreia Salame:

Benin dancer and choreographer Marcel Gbeffa, with support from the Alliance Française (Durban), the Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud, Gbeffa makes his first trip to South Africa and will perform his acclaimed solo work “Et Si ...” at this year’s JOMBA! festival in Durban.

 

Out of Joint - photo credit M. Menke:  In a profound meeting of Europe and Africa, choreographers Gregory Maqoma and Helge Letonja (Bremen, Germany) join forces to create “Out of Joint” - to be performed at this year’s JOMBA! 

festival in Durban.

 

Malasangre - photo credit Hans Gerritsen: INTRODANS from the Netherlands will feature a ‘wonderland’ of works by choreographers Hans van Manen, Ton Wiggers, Cayetano Soto and Alvin Ailey’s new artistic director, Robert Battle at this year’s JOMBA!  festival in Durban.

 

Black Cake - photo credit Hans Gerritsen: INTRODANS from the Netherlands will feature a ‘wonderland’ of works by choreographers Hans van Manen, Ton Wiggers, Cayetano Soto and Alvin Ailey’s new artistic director, Robert Battle at this year’s JOMBA!  festival in Durban.

GEARING UP TO BLOW THE WHISTLE AT THE GRAND FINALS - Haylea Heyns

The winners of the annual SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge are about to be crowned, and 18-year-old umpire from Wartburg, Kevin Engelbrecht, prepares to blow the whistle at the Grand Finals taking place in Kloof later this month.

The tournament is in its seventh year and kicked off in Pongola in February this year, travelling to 10 regions around KZN and seeing almost 80 high school girls’ first teams battle it out on the turf. At each of the regionals an up-and-coming young umpire was selected, and Engelbrecht was one of the “Most Promising Umpires” to be invited to referee at the Grand Finals, where he represents the Umvoti, uThukela and Umzinyathi Region.

Engelbrecht comes from a long lineage of hockey players and many of his relatives belong to the Wartburg first team and have played in the tournament’s finals for a number of years. Engelbrecht has been umpiring for 4 years and likes hockey for its “necessity of skill and hand-eye coordination as opposed to physical strength required in rugby or athletics.” He attributes his umpiring talents to the numerous leadership positions held throughout his schooling career together with his calm demeanour on the field. 

Engelbrecht is studying a BCom through Unisa and plans to join his family retailing business on completion of his studies. Items on his bucket list include umpiring a Tuks / Maties hockey match at Stellenbosch, travelling throughout South Africa as well as visiting his favourite football team, Liverpool, at their home stadium - Anfield.

Engelbrecht attended Wartburg Kirchdorf School and says the best thing about living in Wartburg is the peacefulness; “Everything is just very relaxed with no bustling traffic, and most people know each other so there are good community relationships.” If he could meet anybody in the world, dead or alive, Engelbrecht says he would like to meet his great-great-great-grandfather who came to South Africa as a missionary from Germany. 

The SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Grand Finals take place at St Mary’s DSG on the 29 and 30 July 2017.

 

QUEUEING UP TO BLOW THE WHISTLE AT THE GRAND FINALS - Haylea Heyns

Queuing up to umpire at the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Tournament in Kloof later this month, 23-year-old Dundee High School old boy, Qiniso "Que" Mdletshe,prepares himself to blow the whistle at the Grand Finals. 

The tournament, which is in its seventh year, travelled to 10 regions around KZN and saw almost 80 high school girls’ first teams battle it out on the astro. At each of the regionals an up-and-coming young umpire was selected, and Mdletshe, representing Northern KZN, was one of the “Most Promising Umpires” to be invited to referee at the Grand Finals. 

Mdletshe’s passion for hockey ignited at Uelzen Primary when he first started playing mini hockey in Grade one.  He went on to play in the first team at Dundee High School, and then at Varsity College Durban North where he was awarded Second Team Player of the Year. This was the last time he was on the field as a player. He has since been umpiring for over two years. This is his debut at the Spar KZN School Girls’ Tournament. Mdletshe says that he “misses playing hockey, and that it is unfortunate that we don't have enough teams in our area to form a league because it is a beautiful sport.”

As an umpire, Mdletshe likes to encourage fair play and a good game flow, being sure to only interfere and disrupt play when absolutely necessary and striving for his refereeing decisions to be thorough and consistent. He maintains his physical fitness by jogging almost everyday (except Sundays). 

Off the field, Mdletshe likes reading books about “success stories” and playing social soccer, cricket and table tennis. He wants to complete his Diploma in Sports Management and dreams of perhaps oneday studying further – this time it would be teaching at either UKZN, UCT, or NWU Pukke. 

Catch Que Mdletshe umpiring at the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Grand Finals taking place at St Mary’s DSG on the 29 and 30 July 2017.