This Year’s Message Authors
Gregory Vuyani MAQOMA
Dancer, Choreographer, Actor, Dance Educator
Gregory Vuyani Maqoma became interested in dance in the late 1980s as a means to escape the political tensions growing in his place of birth. He started his formal dance training in 1990 at Moving Into Dance wherein 2002 he became the Associate Artistic Director. Maqoma has established himself as an internationally renowned dancer, choreographer, teacher and director. He founded Vuyani Dance Theatre (VDT) in 1999 when he was undertaking a scholarship at the Performing Arts Research and Training School (PARTS) in Belgium under the direction of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.
Maqoma is respected for his collaborations with artists of his generation like Akram Khan, Vincent Mantsoe, Faustin Linyekula, Dada Masilo, Shanell Winlock, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Nhlanhla Mahlangu and Theatre Director James Ngcobo.
Several works in his repertoire have won him accolades and international acclaim. This includes FNB Vita Choreographer of the Year in 1999, 2001 and 2002 for Rhythm 1.2.3, Rhythm Blues and Southern Comfort respectively. He received the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Dance in 2002. Maqoma was a finalist in the Daimler Chrysler Choreography Award in 2002 and in the Rolex Mentorship Programme in 2003. He is the recipient of the 2012 Tunkie Award for Leadership in Dance. In 2014 he received a “Bessie”, New York City’s premier dance award for Exit/Exist for original music composition. He served as a nominator in the 2016–2017 Rolex Arts Initiative as well as curating the 2017 Main Dance Program for The National Arts Festival. His current works ‘Via Kanana’ and ‘Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Bolero’ are currently touring in Africa and Europe.
In 2017 Maqoma was honoured by the French Government with the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Arts & Literature) Award. In 2018 was honoured by the South African Department of Arts & Culture with the inaugural Usiba Award for dedication to dance teaching. In 2018 Maqoma is one of the selected visiting artists at the Virginia Commonwealth University Dance Department as well as a visiting teacher at Ecole De Sables - Toubab Dialaw - Senegal. Maqoma is part of the selection committee for Dance Biennale Afrique Festival to take place in Marrakech in 2020.
In 2018 Maqoma collaborated with William Kentridge as a choreographer and performing in Kentridge’s opera ‘The Head And The Load’ which premiered at The Tate Modern Gallery in London in July and toured to Germany, Austria, Holland and New York.
In 2019 Maqoma Collaborated with Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah in the production “Tree” produced by Manchester International Festival and the Young Vic.
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Gregory Vuyani MAQOMA Message 2020