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Mamela Nyamza et les Soweto Kids

Maison de la Danse de Lyon 2013 - Director : Plasson, Fabien

Choreographer(s) : Nyamza, Mamela (South Africa)

Present in collection(s): Maison de la Danse de Lyon , Saisons 2010 > 2019

en fr

Mamela Nyamza et les Soweto Kids

Maison de la Danse de Lyon 2013 - Director : Plasson, Fabien

Choreographer(s) : Nyamza, Mamela (South Africa)

Present in collection(s): Maison de la Danse de Lyon , Saisons 2010 > 2019

en fr

Mamela Nyamza et les Soweto Kids

Behind this unique creation, bringing together contemporary dance and the urban dances from the Johannesburg townships, was the meeting between Mamela Nyamza, a South African female performer, and the kids of Soweto's Finest. The meeting of an artist, who in her work tackles the different images, paradoxes and pressures but also the fighting spirit of women in this society, and of a group of young dancers, interpreters of “Ishbuja”, a movement symptomatic of the creative effervescence of the post-apartheid generation. Expressive and narrative, engaging the entire body, “Ishbuja” embodies the capacity of dance to delimit the boundaries of an experience, and to embody, without dissociating them, the energy and violence, the hope, expectations and dead-ends of a youth confronted with inequalities, unemployment and the precariousness of living conditions. Rhythmic, explosive, their bodies become the crossroads of varying influences – African traditional dance, fragments of hip-hop – giving this form a scope that outreaches the context that witnessed its birth. This meeting of street and stage is an opportunity to extend their respective practices: their show alternates moments of pure dance, deploying all the aspects of “Ishbuja”, and the positioning of the tension of the problems affecting South African society, of which the role of women and the social disparities are doubtless the most worrying symptoms. Mamela Nyamza’s body becomes a surface of multiple projections, a “totem” filled with desires, repulsions and fascinations. Together, they form a prism intermingling jubilant dance and revelations of the darkest areas.  


Source: Maison de la Danse

Nyamza, Mamela

Born in Gugulethu in Cape Town, Mamela Nyamza trained as a dancer at the Zama Dance School and later at the Pretoria Dance Technikon where she received a National Diploma in Ballet. In 1998 she received a scholarship to further her studies in dance at the Alvin Ailey American Dance centre. After her graduation Mamela joined the State Theatre Dance Company where she performed nationally and internationally.

Whilst appearing as a dancer in major international musicals, such as The Lion King, We Will Rock You and African Footprints, Mamela Nyamza simultaneously started to develop her own artistic practice, developing choreographies which deal with important political and social issues of today’s South Africa.

Since 2006 she has dedicated her career to her own choreography which brought about autobiographical works such as "Hatch", "Kutheni", "Shift" and "Hatched". All of these works have been part of the Johannesburg’s Dance Umbrella. "Hatched" was also part of the Dance Umbrella in London at The Place in 2011.

Mamela Nyamza has appeared at The Bates Dance Festival and in Slovenia, in Italy and Switzerland, running workshops and performances. In 2012, she directed a hip hop dance theatre - the fi rst of its kind in South Africa. Her most recent work "Okuya Phantsi Kwempumlo" was awarded The Standard Bank Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival in 2012.

In 2013, at the Festival of Avignon, for subjects to live, on the plateau of the Garden of the Virgin, she invites Faniswa Yisa, actress also originating from Cape Town for a committed duo.

In her most recent project, Mamela Nyamza collaborated with the UK-based artist Mojisola Adebayo in "I Stand corrected" which was premiered in South Africa and ran at the Oval House in London for three weeks.

Sources: Maison de la Danse de Lyon show program ; Johannesburg International Mozart Festival 's website

Plasson, Fabien

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

Soweto's Finest

The sbuja is the new urban dance from South Africa that everyone is starting to talk about thanks to its ambassadors, the dancers of Soweto's Finest. Emerging in the townships at the end of the 1990s, sbuja (from the French word "bourgeois") mixes at top speed and with considerable invention, the South African traditional and hip-hop codes against a background of Zulu shouts and rhythms. With laughs, boos and grimaces, it is an extremely joyful and terribly catching physical offensive that makes everyone feel good. Soweto's Finest, discovered in 2013, has been led by Thomas Bonganu Gumede since its creation in 2006. The group has performed in numerous commercial shows, thanks to which it has made its name, while also choreographing more personal shows and giving classes to the young people of Soweto. A good attitude, tremendous energy, watch this space!


Source : Telerama

Mamela Nyamza et les Soweto Kids

Choreography : Mamela Nyamza et Thomas Bongani Gumede

Interpretation : Mamela Nyamza et les danseurs du Soweto's Finest : Thomas Bongani Gumede, Neo Chokoe, Prince Nqobile Masondo, Njabulo Mahlaba, Kagiso Mashiane

Artistic consultancy / Dramaturgy : Jacques Blanc

Lights : Emmanuel Journoud

Technical direction : Emmanuel Journoud

Sound : Sylvain Fayot

Other collaborations : Amin Jakfar (accompagnateur de tournée)

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Maison de la Danse

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