Vuyani breathes new life into signature pieces

Vuyani Dance Theatre is well known for staging beautiful works during their annual showcase and their upcoming showcase is going to be no exception. This year, the Vuyani Week programme will be bigger and better than ever thanks to a grant received by the National Lotteries Commission. It’s fantastic to see that the National Lotteries Commission is providing much-needed support to develop new emerging dancers and choreographers, as well as providing a platform for these dancers and choreographers to perform their works.


The showcase – staged at the John Kani Theatre at the Market Theatre – will feature both professional and young, emerging dancers bringing re-imagined works to life with a new, distinctive flair; hence this year’s theme “Signatures”. Community outreach is a big part of Vuyani Dance Theatre and this year’s season brings together professionals, as well as the dancers they mentor at various schools, giving them the opportunity to showcase what they have taught the children this year.


Among the items to look forward to is Vincent Mantsoe’s “Gula” which is being re-interpreted by a stunning young dancer and choreographer, Phumlani Nyanga, who has just finished performing the piece at a festival in Burkina Faso. Also on show is Rhythm Colour – a signature piece of Gregory Maqoma’s with a theme built around the 1976 Soweto student uprising. It has been 40 years since this historic occasion so it will be quite poignant to watch it being brought to life through dance by a new generation of dancers.


Julia Burnham offers up a new work, “Something Black and Yellow” which will be performed by Lulu Mlangeni and Sinazo Bokolo. The piece was inspired by Burnham’s personal experiences, including relationships, and how that has influenced who she is today. Lulu Mlangeni’s “Page 27”, which premiered at the Market Theatre last year, will be performed by trainee dancers from Vuyani’s in-house training programme. It will be great to see these up and coming talents perform a piece that deals with such pressing issues as gender inequality.

And last but certainly not lease, there is Phumlani Nyanga’s “Beyond” which features themes about understanding a relationship we are unable to comprehend physically but that affects our daily lives. This will be performed by four male Vuyani dancers: Xolisile Bongwana, Kwazi Madlala, Otto Nhlapo and Phumlani Mndebele. The final day of the programme features performances by the young dancers who are mentored by the company’s many wonderful dancers/choreographers.

Vuyani Week is great family-oriented entertainment that gives dancers the opportunity to perform on stages and affords us, the audience, to discover amazing new talent in the process.

The showcase is running from 2 to 4 December 2016 at the John Kani Theatre at the Market Theatre. Tickets for each performance are R120 and are available via Webtickets or at the door.


The full programme is listed below:

Vuyani “Signatures” Programme:

Programme 1

Friday, 2 December 2016 and Saturday, and 3 December 2016 at 20:00.

– Gula

– Beyond

– Something Black and Yellow

– Page 27

Programme 2

Sunday, 4 December 2016 at 14:30.

– Rhythm Colour

– Page 27


Author: Samantha Aria Cerasoli

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