Celebrated SA choreographer Jay Pather features as Legacy Artist at JOMBA!

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Associate Professor, curator and Knight of Arts and Letters, Jay Pather is the 2021 JOMBA! festival’s legacy artist. (Photo: Michael Hammond/UCT)
Associate Professor, curator and Knight of Arts and Letters, Jay Pather is the 2021 JOMBA! festival’s legacy artist. (Photo: Michael Hammond/UCT)
  • JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience is an annual festival honouring performance artists working in the dance space.
  • Taking place under the title Border Crossings, this year’s festival interrogates physical, spiritual and performative boundaries.
  • After presenting numerous works to the festival with the Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre group, Jay Pather will headline this year.  


Like they did in 2020, the Centre for Creative Arts is gearing itself up for its second digital iteration of the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience. For the last 23 years, this festival has offered performance artists working in the dance space support by creating a platform for engagement. Taking place under the title Border Crossings, this year’s festival interrogates geographical, emotional, physical, spiritual and performative boundaries.

Featured as the 2021 Legacy Artist, celebrated South African choreographer Jay Pather will open this year’s festival.  For years, Pather has presented numerous dance works at JOMBA! as the founder and director of the Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre group.  

Now living in Cape Town, Pather is an Associate Professor and directs the Institute for Creative Arts at the University of Cape Town. He also curates the city’s public art festival, Infecting the City.  He has recently been appointed Fellow at the University of London and was recently made Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of Arts and Letters) by the French Government. 

Parallel to Pather’s performance, the festival will exhibit the work that award-winning dance photographer, Val Adamson has created with Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre over the years. Titled Through The Lens: Adamson in Photographic Conversation with Jay Pather, the photographic series comprises over 100 images. Together they work to illustrate Pather’s legacy as well as the connection between Adamson’s evocative photography and Pather’s dance vision. 

The JOMBA! Festival runs from 24 August to 5 September 2021 and can be viewed here. Parallel to this, Through The Lens: Val Adamson in Photographic Conversation with Jay Pather can be accessed on the JOMBA! Website here.

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