What to expect at the online Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience

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Ondiege Matthew will present 'Essential Services' and 'Generations' as a part of the online Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience. (Supplied)
Ondiege Matthew will present 'Essential Services' and 'Generations' as a part of the online Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience. (Supplied)
  • Jomba! is an annual contemporary dance festival. 
  • While it usually takes place in KwaZulu-Natal, this year the event takes place free of charge online.
  • The virtual event consists of archival pieces of work and performances created under lockdown. 


Presented by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts, the Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience is a two week festival centred around connecting contemporary dance practitioners from across the world together.  

While it usually takes place in KwaZulu-Natal, this year the event takes place free of charge online.  

Speaking about the virtual run of the festival, the artistic director of Jomba! Dr. Lliane Loots said: 

The somatic, visceral body is absent right now but… the JOMBA! team believes – as a holding block for future embodied work – that we can still offer dance makers and audiences space to engage serious and important new art and dance making via a re-visioned JOMBA! 2020.

Here are 10 offerings from the festival to look forward: 

C U T … Part I: Made in collaboration with composer Mpho Molikeng and filmmaker Frank Pizon, this intense short dance film by Vincent Mantsoe sees the award winning performer using his body to illustrate the power of energy.  

Generations: In this solo dance piece Ondiege Matthew performs to a piece of spoken word at the Kenya National Theatre in Nairobi.  

Essential Services: Featuring Ondiege Matthew alongside his company Dance Into Space, this work comments on Kenya’s response to Covid-19 while under lockdown 

The Printer’s Tray: Created in self isolation in the dance artist’s studio in Bern, this performance sees Jürg Koch dissecting the role of memories. 

ManMade: The 2016 Standard Bank Young Artist Award recipient for Dance, Themba Mbuli presents a film around inherited ideas around manhood through recalling the memory of his grandfather.  

Aye Asan (Vanity): After premiering at Jomba! in 2011 Nigerian dancer and choreographer, Adebayo Liadi revisits this dance piece about self-servitude with the Ijodee Dance Company  

Stone… Once again: Hailing from Chennai in India, Anita Ratnam’s work weaves together dance, theatre, spoken word, archaeology and dramaturgy. In this work she tells the everyday story of women who are shunned for not fitting patriarchal molds.   

Somewhere at the Beginning: Germaine Acogny from Senegal takes the viewer on her personal journey of negotiating her identities of black, African femmehood.  

Abomhlaba(Thi): Alongside Mhayise Productions, Musa Hlatshwayo (South Africa) presents a theatre piece inspired by Credo Mutwa’s stories around the creation of abantu, the earth, the displacement of black folk and their continued journey toward an intangible home.  

Exit/Exist: Gregory Maqoma and Vuyani Dance Theatre offer a piece that made its premier at the 2012 Dance Umbrella. In revisiting the story of the Xhosa chief and warrior, Maqoma, the piece examines parts of our contemporary world’s foundation.    

Digital JOMBA! 2020 runs online from 25 August to 6 September 2020. All content is free of charge. To access the content from 25 August or to view the festival’s full programme visit jomba.ukzn.ac.za 

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