Sello Pesa is a Soweto born choreographer and dancer interested in the changes and challenges that arise from living in South Africa and is greatly respected locally and overseas. He has been inspired by diverse South African choreographers and spent four years touring South Africa and Europe with the late Jackie Mbuyisela Semela’s Soweto Dance Theatre.
After receiving a 2 year scholarship to study at the Northern Contemporary Dance School in Leeds he was commissioned by Yorkshire Dance to create Scars which was performed at the Riley Theatre, Chapeltown, and then by the American Dance Festival to create Scars II. Sello co-founded Inzalo Dance Theatre with Moeketsi Koena in 1999 and was co-Artistic director until the beginning of 2002.
In 2001 Sello’s work Same But Different won first prize at the Sanga II African Contemporary biennial in Madagascar –the work was toured to Europe and Africa. As winner of Sanga II, Same But Different was invited to participate in Movement ®evolution In and Out of Africa in the United States, 2004.
Sello spent four years collaborating with French choreographer, Valerie Berger, and has performed extensively overseas in countries such as Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar, Reunion Island, India, Europe, Russia, America and Africa and is and a great exponent of African Dance. Locally, Sello is greatly respected and is regularly commissioned to create works for festivals such as the Arts Alive Festival and the Dance Umbrella.
In 2006 Sello formally registered Ntsoana Contemporary Dance Theatre as a Non – Profit Organisation and was invited to the Small World Festival in Russia where he conducted master classes, choreographed and performed.
As Artistic Director of Ntsoana, Sello was instrumental in starting the Training and Development Programme which aims to train and develop young dance practitioners into well rounded artists. He has conducted choreographic workshops on behalf of the Dance Umbrella and the Gauteng Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture.
During 2008, 2009 and 2010 Sello and Belgium based Carlos Pez collaborated on the SharpSharp Activities which included Cross Currents and was developed in South Africa and Germany - in 2010 wit as extended to the Townships in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
In 2009 and again in 2011 he was invited to teach contemporary and African dance master classes at the Tanzfabrik – Berlin and in 2011 Sello was the South African representative at the Choreographic laboratory held as part of the Attakkalari Biennial in India.
Sello’s aspiration to make dance and arts accessible to a wide and diverse audience was realised in 2010 with the In House Project which placed performances in houses and public spaces in Jo’burg and its surrounding Townships. The project was then invited to be performed as part of the Colloquium, Emerging Modernities, which was held at the University of Cape Town in 2011.
Sello enjoys exploring new ways of working and pushing his boundaries; this has led to collaborations with Peter van Heerden in the creation of the controversial Time of the Small Berries in 2010 and the award winning Inhabitant, Tshwene ga ipone makopo, Amagwinya and Teka Munyika with Vaughn SAdie in 2011.
Along with 2 Ethiopian choreographers, Sello was involved with the creation of a site specific work for the Goethe Institute Addis Abeba’s 50th Anniversary in 2012.
2009: Living Yoga, Teachers Course, Johannesburg
2004: Studied Ashtanga yoga in Mysore, India, with B.N.S Iyenga
1999: Participated in the International Choreography Residency Course held by the American Dance Festival in Northern Carolina
1997-1998: Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, K. Received a B Tech Diploma in Performance Arts, Contemporary Dance.
2013: Taught African and Contemporary classes at the Tanzfabrik- Berlin
2012: Facilitator for Inhabitant workshops
Facilitator for the Drama For Life Sex Actually Festival
Conducted choreographic workshops in Madagascar
Conducted workshops on behalf of the Goethe Institut – Addis Abeba, Ethiopia
2011: Part of the Choreographic Lab at the Attakkalari Biennal in India.
Conducted Workshops on behalf of the Stepping Stones Development
Taught African and Contemporary classes at the Tanzfabrik- Berlin
Conducted workshops at the iDans Festival – Istanbul, Turkey
Conducted Workshops on behalf of the Goethe Institut – Addis Abeba, Ethiopia
2010: Conducted Workshops on behalf of the Stepping Stones Development
Programme Choreoraphic Workshop programme in Sebokeng
Sharp/sharp workshops with Carlos Pez in Cape Town and Johannesburg
2009: Conducted Workshops on behalf of the Stepping Stones Development
On going training and Development of Unomthandazo Dance Company
Taught African and Contemporary classes at the Tanzfabrik- Berlin
Cross Currents workshops with Carlos Pez in Johannesburg and Berlin
2008:Facilitator for the Best of Stepping Stones (Motjeko Dance) performances at
the National Arts Festival 2008
Year long Training and Development programme
2006/ 2007: invited to conduct the “Young Choreographers Workshop” as part of
Dance Umbrella 2006 and 2007
Invited to teach Contemporary and African Dance Classes at the “Small world
Festival in Russia”
2002-2005: conducted ongoing workshops in contemporary and African dance in
2000-2001: Taught improvisation in Mozambique, Reunion Island and Mauritius
1998: International Choreography Residency at the American Dance Festival.
1997: Community projects and outreach programmes in Soweto Othandweni Children’s home and the Soweto Dance Project at Bapedi Hall.
1996: Taught and performed at Phuteng Nest School, Johannesburg Civic Centre, and the former Open School in Johannesburg and COSAC Music Academy outreach.
1994-1995: Eastside College N4 Ballet Course with Dianne Sparks and Ken Yeatman
1991-1993: Soweto Dance Theatre, trained by Mbuyiselwa Jackie Semela in African Dance
Winner of the Critical Endeavour Award – iDAns Festival, Istanbul 2011
Winner of the French biennial of African and Contemporary dance in Madagascar – 2001
Recipient of an Ovation Award for Same But Not Different - NAF 2010
Nominated for the FNB Vita Awards for Most Promising Male Dancer – 1992, 1993
Nominated for the FNB Vita Awards for Most Outstanding Male Dancer – 1994, 1995
Nominated for MEC Award for outstanding Presentation of Contemporary Dance work for Totems - 2008
Commissioned to create work for the Goethe Institute Addis Abeba’s 50th Anniversary – 2012
Commissioned by Dance Umbrella to create works – 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013
Commissioned to create work for Unomthandazo Dance Company – 2008
Commissioned to create a work for the Dance Factory Youth – 2006
Commissioned for the Jomba Festival – 2002
Commissioned by Yorkshire Dance in Leeds, UK - 1998 & 1999
Commissioned by the Pretoria Technikon to create a work in 1997
In 2006 Sello formally registered Ntsoana Contemporary Dance Theatre as a registered Non – Profit Organisation and was invited to the Small World Festival in Russia where he conducted master classes, choreographed and performed.
As Artistic Director of Ntsoana, Sello was instrumental in starting the Training and Development Programme which aims to train and develop young dance practitioners into well rounded artists. Part of this training programme involved an on going relationship between Ntsoana and Unomthandazo Dance Company from Sebokeng which included a 2 year training of their dancers in various dance techniques and choreography.
Sello Pesa is the Artist Director and founder of Ntsoana Contempoary Dance Theatre.
Activity 2013 :
DisplacementPowerlines – directed performances for the Dance Umbrella Gala
Connexion Kin – Invited to participate in the Shared Space Programme held in Kinshasa which connects artists, curators, directors and programmers.
Latest update : September 2013