As we move into 2021, and into our 2nd digital iteration of JOMBA!, we are happy to announce that the platform that used to be known as the JOMBA! FRINGE is undergoing a makeover and will now be called “JOMBA! OPEN HORIZONS”. It remains an open access platform for any and all contemporary dance makers to apply and show case their work at the festival. Application for consideration is done via this application form and selection is mediated by a panel of dance experts from across Africa. For 2021, this platform remains open for DIGITAL DANCE/SCREEN DANCE submissions only.


Mantsoe performs his “SoliDaD” at JOMBA! in 2019

NguKivithra Naicker (Umbhali Wezivakashi) / Kuhunyushwe nguLisa Goldstone

Uma ngicabanga ngezinganekwane zokudansa eNingizimu Afrika, ngicabanga ngoVincent Mantsoe: umdwebi ongavamile ngempela oveza umusa, ukuthobeka futhi ngaphezu kwakho konke, isizathu esiyinhloko sokuthi ngithatha itiyetha njengethempeli lami, ukuphana. Ungumuntu ophanayo futhi lokhu kuhumusha esikrinini nasolwandle kwifilimu yakhe yakamuva yomdanso i-CUT (eyenziwe ngoJuni 2020). Ingxoxo eyandulela ukuhlolwa phakathi komqondisi wezobuciko wakwaJomba, uLliane Loots (waseThekwini, iNingizimu Afrika) noMantsoe (waseFrance) yangishiya ngifikelwa wuvalo lokuba nalezi zinganekwane (cishe) ekhaya lami eKorea. Njengoba ngibhala, ngiyazi ukuthi ingxenye yami enengqondo ithathwa yimizwa nemibono ‘yasekhaya’ — ngoba kithina esinonyawo olulodwa ezweni elilodwa nakwezinye emhlabeni jikelele, i-”CUT” kaMantsoe isililo sokwesaba nethemba.

Nami nginqunyelwe kulokho engikubiza ngokuhlekisa nangokuba necala ‘njengokudingiswa…

Germaine Acogny presents a powerful meeting of past and present in her “Somewhere at the beginning” which streamed as part of Digital JOMBA! 2020

By Georgia Kingsman

Germaine Acogny: Senegalese dancer, choreographer and artist. A Yoruba priestess’ rebirth.

Acogny tells her incredibly intense and emotional story, through a documentary solo which articulates the rage, confusion and wrath from the misogynistic and power-driven patriarchy that she grew up in. With her use of speech, she responds to extracts from her father’s memoir which are projected onto the stage’s curtain. She uses her body to speak, to reply to these excerpts. Using intense, fast and repeated movements, she slaps her body, she signals to her head and then to the sky above, pulling apart her clothes and touching her…

INTRODANS’s “Blue Journey” mesmerises through its interplay between ‘live’ and ‘technology’ (photograph supplied)

By Alexandru (Sasha) Bora

Blue Journey(2020) uses shadows and silhouettes on a screen, accompanying the dancers in their journey of self-discovery and finding their identity. Most of the shadows are grey, lacking in individual features, but one blue silhouette appears, jumping and turning, and stands out from the others. The performers run and twist along the shapes behind them, creating duets that follow in canons. The synchronisation between the lead female dancer and the blue shadow, the cause-effect relationship between their arms extensions, their turns and winged feet, this is almost surreal.

Themba Mbuli’s “ManMade” premiered on the Digital JOMBA! “Dance in the Digital Age” platform on the closing day of the festival

By Julia Wilson (Guest Writer)

Themba Mbuli, winner of the 2016 Standard Bank Young Artist’s Award, cofounder of Broken Borders Arts Project, and cofounder and Associate Artistic Director of Unmute Dance Company, brings to JOMBA! this year his first digital work, ManMade. Yesterday saw Mbuli release the work for the first time, and it seems fitting that it should be released on this platform, at this time. ManMade tackles legacy, inheritance, masculinity, Blackness, and the gender-based violence which has been exposed to the nation in all its horror during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The work is inspired by Mbuli’s grandfather, who, having passed a year ago…

“Revel in your Body” is part of the USA Dance on Screen package alongside “subMERGE”, pictured here (photograph supplied)

By Sergey Kundik

As a concept that emerged from trampolining in wheelchairs; dancers Alice Sheppard and Laurel Lawson, and director Katherine Helen Fisher, set off their audience on an adventure into the slowed-down world of their own in their dance film Revel in your Body. Reveling in the sunlight at an urban car park setting, we embark on their journey with an image of linked arms supporting one another as they gaze into each other’s eyes, and rotate in wheelchairs both balancing on one wheel. From this point on the wheelchairs signify the potential of enabling bodies defying the societal…

Germaine Acogny’s “Somewhere at the beginning” closes the Digital JOMBA! Legacy Platform

By Langi Ramashia

The Digital JOMBA! Legacy programme comes to a close at the hands of acclaimed choreographer and creator, Germaine Acogny’s Somewhere at the beginning. The Senegalese icon and co-founder of ECOLE DES SABLES presents more than a mere dance piece in her introspective take on her father’s war with religion.

She forefronts their matriarch Aloopho, a Yoruba high priestess who bore her father Togoun through a sacrifice when she was over sixty. Her grandmother’s utmost belief in Voodoo made the taboo of her father’s conversion to catholism painfully conflicting — a phenomenon he spoke to in his autobiography. Through the aid…

Themba Mbuli performs on the Digital JOMBA! platform, in his “Manmade” created under lockdown in South Africa

By Sophie Barker (a free verse response to Themba Mbuli’s “Manmade”)

One man made this

thought provoking and creative.

In one space

the whispers echoed the room naked.

The burden of clothes

upon shelves

upon those

that waved the truth into the air.

Between the walls

there lied thoughts and questions that only the body and voice mentioned.

There was so much beauty within his extensions.

How his hands told a story

you felt it.

How he was honest with every stretch

as he stepped and rolled into spaces around the wooden floor

and when his eyes saw mine

it was felt in the core.

Thrown around vulnerability

with many colours…

Acogny performs in her “Somewhere at the Beginning” as part of the JOMBA! Legacy platform (photograph supplied)

By Thobile Maphanga

The JOMBA! Legacy Platform closed with Germaine Acogny’s Somewhere at the Beginning, directed by Mikaël Serre which premiered in 2015. This is a work that deals in oppositions as it traverses the violent schisms of Africanity and Westernisation. With the use of a book, a pillow, a smoking bowl, and an armchair; a story of our history unfolds layered with projections of her soldier father, grandmother, children, machetes and a magical forest on a fringed curtain that separates the vivid outer world from a more obscure inner world.

Acogny who is considered the “Mother of Contemporary Dance in Africa” moves…

Jürg Koch performs in his lockdown creation and embodied archive of his own work “The Printer’s Tray”

By Julia Wilson (Guest Writer)

Jürg Koch’s latest offering to the JOMBA! platform is one that looks back over a choreographic career of over 20 years, and simultaneously takes inventory of the body: it’s potential, the space it takes, and the qualities it can bear. It is also a sentimental look at the artist in isolation: how does one perform a canon alone?

A printer’s tray is designed to hold the individual block letters that are transformed by the printer into words, and sentences, that create meaning. It can also be used to keep memorabilia and items of significant personal…

JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience

23rd annual JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience 24 August – 5 September 2021 (digital festival)

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