This year’s JOMBA! is a carefully curated explosion of dance and conversions about dance-making. Picture: John Hogg
This year’s JOMBA! is a carefully curated explosion of dance and conversions about dance-making. Picture: John Hogg

JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience goes digital and global in 2020

By Entertainment Writer Time of article published Jul 24, 2020

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South Africa’s benchmark dance festival, the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience celebrates its 22nd year with its first-ever digital edition, which will go online, and be available free to a global audience from August 25 to September 6, 2020.

“It is clear that we will not be able to deliver a festival in the same manner as previous years,” said Artistic Director Dr Lliane Loots.

“Covid-19 has shifted the art world very significantly and in this fragile environment, dance - still defined as a full-contact ‘sport’ – remains separated from rehearsal spaces, from theatre venues, and various sites.

“The somatic, visceral body is absent right now we believe - as a holding block for future embodied work – that they can still offer dance-makers, dance-lovers, and audiences space to engage serious, beautiful, and important new dance making via a re-visioned JOMBA! 2020.”

This year’s JOMBA! is a carefully curated explosion of dance and conversions about dance-making, offering both a look back at some iconic dance works and dance makers, but it also significantly looks forward to exploring what dance can be in a digital space and digital time.

2020 JOMBA! offers 7 vibrant platforms for audiences to engage:

The JOMBA! Legacy (celebrating 21years of JOMBA!) programme features nine key dance-makers from all over the globe who have had a significant impact on making JOMBA! the premier contemporary dance festival in Africa.

This is a rare opportunity to look back for a moment and to celebrate some of the world’s most iconic dance-makers who have shared their work on JOMBA! stages:

From South Africa Gregory Maqoma and Musa Hlatshwayo are featured; dissenting and remarkable Robyn Orlin shares work she has made with Johannesburg- based Moving into Dance Mophatong; Africa’s two most illustrious voices Nigeria’s Adedayo Liadi and Senegal's Germaine Acogny who is often quoted as the ‘Mother of African contemporary dance’ shares an incredible and definitive solo work (“somewhere at the beginning”) danced at the age of 73. And the exquisite feminist artistry of India’s Anita Ratnam is featured in her challenging revision of Indian mythology.

Digital JOMBA! 2020 runs from 25 August to 6 September off the website, jomba.ukzn.ac.za. All platforms for 2020 are free of charge and a full programme is available via the website.

For more information and updates on the programme visit Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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