JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience announces International Guests for this year’s edition

23 August – 3 September 2017

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photo credit Hans Gerritsen: INTRODANS from the Netherlands will feature a ‘wonderland’ of works by choreographers Hans van Manen, Ton Wiggers, Cayetano Soto and Alvin Ailey’s new artistic director, Robert Battle at this year’s JOMBA!  festival in Durban.


The annual JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience presented by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts (within the College of Humanities) has announced its international guests for this year’s 19th edition which takes place in various venues around Durban from 23 August to 3 September.

This year’s festival promises a feast for dance and theatre lovers over 12 days with a programme featuring some of the world’s most innovative dance theatre work from South Africa, Africa and abroad, that promises to provoke, entertain, delight and challenge audiences. International companies featured include Germany’s steptext dance projects, Benin dancer and choreographer Marcel Gbeffa and INTRODANS from the Netherlands, who will also perform at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town in September following their JOMBA! season.

The Festival opens with a stellar international partnership with the Johannesburg-based Vuyani Dance Theatre and Germany’s steptext dance projects. In a profound meeting of Europe and Africa, choreographers Gregory Maqoma and Helge Letonja (Bremen, Germany) join forces to create “Out of Joint”. Six dancers meet in a furious game of difference where the dance is a Babylon of physical co-existence with dancers exploding into centrifugal power, paralysis, fear and the rebellion of both the individual and the social body. 

JOMBA!’s long term vision to honour the African continent and to continue to make artistic connection with the rest of Africa, manifests in this year’s hosting of Benin dancer and choreographer Marcel Gbeffa.  With support from the Alliance Française (Durban), the Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud, Gbeffa makes his first trip to South Africa and will perform his acclaimed solo work “Et Si ...”. 

  1. Gbeffa uses a repetition of animal movements, which he then adapts to his human dancing body before transforming the dance into involuntary and spontaneous animalistic reflexes. It is a bold and masculine work whose origins lie in the zeitgeist of West Africa. Gbeffa will also be conducting the annual festival residency with five KZN dancers: Bonwa Mbontsi, Tegan Peacock, Steven Banzoulu, Sibonelo “China” Mchunu, and Kim McCusker-Bartlett. The culmination of the residency will be given a showing at the KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood.

Dutch favourites, INTRODANS, join JOMBA! on a third festival visit to offer a programme (3 performances) of dance works from their award-winning repertoire. Considered one of Europe’s leading touring companies, INTRODANS works in a neo-classical ballet idiom that will delight both ballet and contemporary dance-lovers alike. They have titled their JOMBA! 2017 programme “WONDERLAND” which features a ‘wonderland’ of works by choreographers Hans van Manen, Ton Wiggers, Cayetano Soto and Alvin Ailey’s new artistic director, Robert Battle. Their work is always witty, technically supreme and full of beauty. 

INTRODANS collaborates with Durban’s FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY in a special work that premiers at the festival. JOMBA! has taken on the mandate to support disability dance practices in KZN and has done so in a bid toward inclusivity around dance. INTRODANS’s artistic manager, and celebrated choreographer, Adriaan Luteijn will be spending 3 weeks in Durban working with FLATFOOT and four specially auditioned dancers with Down Syndrome to create the Durban version of “Cardiac Output”. 

The medical term “cardiac output” is used for the amount of blood pumped through the heart per minute. This choreography is about matters of the human heart which can influence the cardiac output. The first version of “Cardiac Output” premiered in March 2016 in Amsterdam. Lutejin has become world famous for his choreographic works that team up professional dancers with dancers who are often denied access to dance due to  intellectual or physical disability. 

Once again the KZNSA Gallery features in the programme, offering an alternate challenge to dance makers and for those intrepid artists who work outside of the traditions of the proscenium arch. Not only will this event see the outcome of Benin’s Marcel Gbeffa’s JOMBA! residency, but the evening will host 3 new works by some of Durban’s most cutting edge voices to be announced at a later stage.

JOMBA! hosts its usual platforms of the Fringe (August 29) with 10 new works of about 15 minute each, and the Youth Fringe (August 27), and a full programme of workshops and master classes by all of the participating dancers and choreographers.

The festival will take place at different venues around Durban: Pieter Scholtz Open Air Theatre on August 27 at 2:30pm (free entry), KZNSA Gallery on August 28 from 6pm (R50) and the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on all other days with tickets on sale at Computicket or one hour before the performance (R60 or R45 for scholars/students/pensioners).

For a full listing of the programme and workshops go to and go to the JOMBA! page.  Workshops and classes are offered free of charge (dancer over 16yrs only), booking is essential via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Facebook (JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience) and Twitter (Twitter@Jomba_dance).

The 19th JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience is under the artistic direction and curatorship of Lliane Loots and is organised and hosted and run by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal), and is supported primarily by the eThekwini Municipality.



Issued on behalf of JOMBA! by 

Sharlene Versfeld/Nolwazi Magwaza

Versfeld & Associates

Public Relations and Communications
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