Maqoma to dance into history with SA’s best

2015-11-30 16:10

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It’s been 25 years since South African contemporary dance legend Gregory Maqoma took to the stage.

To celebrate this moment, some of South Africa’s biggest names in entertainment will join forces to create what a prominent editor has termed “The dance celebration of the year”: Greg Maqoma & Friends.

Maqoma will be joined at The Lyric theatre in Johannesburg next week by members of the Vuyani Dance Theatre, singer Sibongile Khumalo, vocal harmony group the Complete Quartet, fashion designer David Tlale and entertainer Somizi Mhlongo.

Mhlongo refers to Maqoma as his “homeboy” and said at a rehearsal for the show this week that they were flying the flag for Orlando East, where they grew up. “I love Greg. Doing this show with him was a no-brainer,” he said.

Tlale, who is not just doing the costumes but will also appear in the show, has been a creative collaborator in Maqoma’s performances for the past eight years. “We’ve been working together since 2007. The rest is history,” he said.

Khumalo said that along with other important creative people in the country, Maqoma’s work was breaking important ground for black children growing up in South Africa.

“With his work, he makes sure they can see excellence coming from their own country by a black person. I couldn’t be prouder of him,” she said.

Besides the likes of Khumalo and Tlale, Maqoma will be joined on stage by more than 200 children from Vuyani Dance Company’s outreach projects, an organisation founded by him in 1990.

“For me, the main thing is that I am able to celebrate my journey with people who have been resilient in their artistry and, through them, be able to create more spaces for young people to discover their own talents,” said Maqoma.

* Greg Maqoma & Friends can be seen at The Lyric at Gold Reef City on Thursday, December 3, and Friday, December 4.

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