Set up in 1992, the Via Katlehong Dance company, led by Buru Mohlabane, Vusi Mdoyi and Steven Faleni, takes its name from the township of Katlehong in the East Rand, one of the deprived neighbourhoods where South African protest culture was born. Gregory Maqoma, a recognised choreographer, wished to choreograph for the Via Katlehong, returning to the bases of Pantsula, a highly energetic dance form practiced with rubber boots. Old dancers and newcomers come together to repeat these gestures of anti-apartheid daily life that enabled an entire population to rise up. “The world is not, is no longer, the one we dreamt of. We are all victims, we are all overshadowed by fear” explains Gregory Maqoma. “This work wishes to be a breakthrough in the midst of black clouds by bringing us light and hope, by telling us that the human part is always present in us, even during the darkest periods, in order to call out to life.” All this while singing.
Source : Maison de la Danse, program
Maqoma, Gregory Vuyani
Born in Soweto in 1973 (October 16), Gregory Vuyani Maqoma discovered dance at a youth club. He began his training in 1990 with Moving Into Dance, the famous dance school founded by Sylvia Glasser and based in Johannesburg, from which he joined the company as a dancer. In 1994, his first creation for the company won the FNB Vita Pick of the Fringe prize; one year later, he was a prizewinner again, this time in the Stepping Stones category. In 1998, he received a grant to create “Layers of Time”, his last work with the Moving Into Dance Company.
In 1999, another grant allowed him to study at P.A.R.T.S for one year, and it was in Brussels that he founded the Vuyani Dance Theater Project, for which he created “Rhythm 1.2.3”, presented at the Amsterdam Festival. This piece earned him the choreographer of the year 2000 award at the Dance Umbrella Festival Johannesburg. The same year, he choreographed “Rhythm Blues”, collaborated with Faustin Linyekula on the project “Tales of the Mud Wall”, which was presented at the ImpulsTanz Festival Vienna and participated in the “New directions” project for the Standard Bank National Arts Festival.
From the repertoire of the company, “Moving Cities” (2001), “Révolution” (2001) and “Southern Comfort” (2001) all enjoyed considerable success.
In France, Gregory Maqoma presented “Southern Comfort” in 2002 at the Centre national de la danse, “Miss Thandi” in 2003 and “Beautiful” in 2005, the first part in a trilogy which concludes with “Beautiful Me”. In 2006, he and the London Sinfonietta performed “Variations for vibes, strings & pianos”, choreographed by Akram Khan, at the Cité de Musique, to mark the 70th birthday of the American composer Steve Reich. In 2010, he performed the piece “Southern Bound Comfort” by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui with his former dancer Shanell Winlock. In 2013 he created “Kudu” with the French musician Erik Truffaz, presented at the Festival of Marseilles.
Dancer, choreographer and teacher, Gregory Maqoma is regarded as one of the most talented new generation artists in South Africa. Head of one of the rare contemporary dance companies supported by the South African government, he lives and works in Johannesburg.
Further information https://vuyani.co.za/
Born in 1977, Fabien Plasson is a video director specialized in the field of performing arts (dance , music, etc).
During his studies at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Lyon (joined in 1995) Fabien discovered video art. He was trained by various video artists (Joel Bartoloméo Pascal Nottoli , Eric Duyckaerts , etc).
He first experimented with the creation of installations and cinematic objects.
From 2001 to 2011, he was in charge of Ginger & Fred video Bar’s programming at La Maison de la Danse in Lyon. He discovered the choreographic field and the importance of this medium in the dissemination, mediation and pedagogical approach to dance alongside Charles Picq, who was a brilliant video director and the director of the video department at that time.
Today, Fabien Plasson is the video director at La Maison de la Danse and in charge of the video section of Numeridanse.tv, an online international video library, and continues his creative activities, making videos of concerts, performances and also creating video sets for live performances.
Sources: Maison de la Danse ; Fabien Plasson website
More information: fabione.fr
Via Katlehong Dance
Created in 1992, the Via Katlehong Dance company, led by Vusi Mdoyi, Steven Faleni and Buru Mohlabane, borrows its name of the township of Katlehong in East Rand, a deprived district which produced the pantsula counter-culture, born in the townships in the 1960s and 1970s, under the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Like hip hop in the United States and Europe, pantsula culture is an entire lifestyle, covering fashion, music, dance, gestural and spoken codes. And like hip hop, this culture finds its place of expression in the street.
In the 1990s, as a multiracial South Africa slowly emerged, the company continued to fight for the young people of the poor districts. The company's shows and performances mix several dances: pantsula (non-acrobatic but virtuosic kind of hip hop), tap dance (percussive taps with metal-tipped shoes), stepping (similar to the American time step) and the gumboot dance (miners' dance, done in Wellingtons, or gumboots).
In combining these traditions, the South African company produces an energetic, festive and cheeky dance.
Sustained by a strong communal identity, Via Katlehong Dance pursues its educational, cultural and social mission to help the young people of South Africa. The company has won several international prizes (FNB Vita Dance Umbrella, Gauteng Dance Showcase, KTV Most Brilliant Achievement, Gauteng MEC Development Award, etc.) for its creations, with its new mix of pantsula and other community dances of South Africa, like the gumboot dance and stepping.
Vernay, Marie-Christine. “Danser contre la violence, les malfaiteurs et la drogue”, Libération, 21 March 2011
Vernay, Marie-Christine. “Via Katlehong fait son tapage à Paris”, Libération, 21 March, 2011
Last updated: December 2013
Choreography : Gregory Maqoma
Choreography assistance : Buru Mohlabane
Interpretation : Tshepo Nchabeleng, Tshepo Mohlabane, Thato Qofela, Abel Vilakazi, Teboho Molelekeng, Andile Nhlapo, Lenela Lenallo, Julia Burnham
Video conception : Olivier Hauser, Jurgen Meekel
Lights : Olivier Hauser, Jurgen Meekel
Other collaborations : David Hlatshwayo (régie générale)
Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Via Katlehong Dance, Maison de la Danse - Lyon, Théâtre Paris-Villette, Scène Nationale de Châteauvallon - Ollioules. Merci à The Centre for the Less Good Idea, un espace incubateur pour les arts à Maboneng, Johannesburg, fondé par William Kentridge.
Production / Coproduction of the video work : Maison de la Danse
Dance out loud
DANCE AND DIGITAL ARTS
Modern Dance and Its American Roots [1900-1930] From Free Dance to Modern Dance
At the dawn of the 20th century, in a rapidly changing West, a new dance appeared: Modern Dance. In the United States as in Europe, modern trends emerge simultaneously and intertwine in thier development. Let's dive into the beginnings of American modern dance!
Amala Dianor: dance to let people see
The national choreographic centres
[1970-2018] Neoclassical developments: They spread worldwide, as well as having multiple repertoires and dialogues with contemporary dance.
les ballets C de la B and the aesthetic of reality
Meeting with literature
Collaboration between a choreographer and a writer can lead to the emergence of a large number of combinations. If sometimes the choreographer creates his dance around the work of an author, the writer can also choose dance as the subject of his text.
When reality breaks in
On 24th May 1959, Tatsumi Hijikata portrayed the character of the "Man" in the first presentation of a play called Kinjiki (Forbidden Colours).
The Ankoku Butoh was born,
Do you mean Folklores?
Presentation of how choreographers are revisiting Folklore in contemporary creations.
Dance in Quebec: Untamed Bodies
First part of the Parcours about dance in Quebec, these extracts present how bodies are being used in a very physical way.
The Dance Biennale
Maison de la danse
Focus on the variety of bodies offered by contemporary dance and how to show these bodies: from complete nudity to the body completely hidden or covered.
Dance and percussion
Découvrez de quelles manières ont collaboré chorégraphes et éléments percussifs.