When JOMBA! and powerful women collide

When JOMBA! and powerful women collide

The JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience – the twelve day exhilarating feast of dance takes place from 24 August to 4 September at the University of KwaZulu Natal Howard College’s Sneddon Theatre and KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood.

This year’s festival hosts dancers and dance companies from Switzerland, Austria, India, Madagascar, Mozambique, Reunion Island, France and South Africa. Honouring the long term vision of JOMBA! to shine a light on the African continent and to make artistic connection with the rest of Africa, and in time Women’s Month in August, Jomba! premieres a collaboration between three exceptional African female dance-makers. South Africa’s Desiré Davids, Gabi Saranouffi from Madagascar and Edna Jaime of Mozambique come together to share their vision in a dance piece called “Lady, Lady”, an idea that was conceived when they met and worked together at residences over 2015/16.

Born in Paarl, Desiré graduated from the University of Cape Town School of Dance and is an internationally recognised contemporary dancer and choreographer. She is the co-founder together with Boyzie Cekwana of the Floating Outfit Project which was formed in 1997. The company has received International recognition as one of Africa’s ground breaking and cutting edge performance companies and has toured extensively in Europe, Africa as well as the USA. In 1999 she received the award for “Most Outstanding Female Performer” for her performance in “Rona” which won first prize at the 3rd International African and Indian Ocean Choreography Competition in Madagascar. Desiré’s first appearance on the JOMBA! stage was in 2010 with a premiere of her work titled “Who Is This...Beneath My Skin” on which she collaborated with French photographer Pascale Berouion.

Gaby, the second of the women trio is one of the most prominent female artists in the history of dance in Madagascar. She founded the I'Trôtra festival  which is a platform for the Malagasy art form, becoming a unifying structure of talents and artists of all kinds but also for all people working in the field of performing arts. The last fit of the trio is Maputo based Mozambican Edna Jaime, an independent dancer and choreographer. She began her dance career in 1996 with traditional dance in The House of Culture of Maputo. Her work is a mesmerising mash-up between traditional and contemporary dance.

These artists share, explore and exchange their realities in order to give voice to various commonalities, challenges and images as they move towards a commentary on current issues facing women in the African context. Full of wit, irony and spirited dance this is sure to be a talking point of the festival.

Other dance companies that will feature at Jomba! include France’s Company Ex Nihilo, Mamaza, Swiss company that is winning awards throughout the world, Reunion Island’sSoul City which best known for the innovative ways in which it uses Hip Hop to confluence into contemporary dance. Hip-Hop and the power of the urban dance Bboyz and BGirlz is further highlighted at the festival with the collaboration between Austrian choreographer Daniel Renner and Durban’s inimitable Flatfoot Dance Company.  The acclaimed South African born dancer and choreographer Vincent Mantsoe is also on the line-up with an African premiere of his new solo work titled “KonKoriti”.

Tickets are R60.00 or R45.00 (scholars/students/pensioners) for the Sneddon Theatre and bookings can be done via Computicket (or at venue from one hour before). Tickets for the KZNSA Gallery are R50 (no concessions) and available at venue only – from one hour before the performance.

 For more information and the programme, please go to and join us on Facebook (JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience) and Twitter (Twitter@Jomba_dance).