Profile: Gregory Maqoma

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ExitExist_rockstoriesSoweto-born Gregory Vuyani Maqoma took up dance in the late 1980s as a refuge from the political tensions in the township, and quickly began excelling. He embarked on his formal dance training at Moving Into Dance Mophatong in 1990 where, in 2002, he would return to serve a five-year stint as associate artistic director.

Today, Maqoma is an internationally renowned dancer, choreographer, teacher, director and scriptwriter. He has also distinguished himself for his artistic collaborations, including working with British-based choreographer Akram Khan and the London Sinfonietta, as well as South African fashion designer David Tlale, singer-songwriter Simphiwe Dana and theatre maker Brett Bailey.

He counts director James Ngcobo among his frequent collaborators, creating the choreography for award-winning theatre productions such as The Lion and the Jewel, The Hill, Crazy for Jazz, Thirst, Master Harold and the Boys, Sunjata, and Songs of Migration with Hugh Masekela. Maqoma also worked with Ngcobo on the ANC centenary celebration musical Tshihumbudzo in Bloemfontein.

An inspirational leader and teacher as well as a creative force, Maqoma has served as associate artistic director of Moving Into Dance Mophatong, the Dance Umbrella festival and the Afro-Vibes Festival in the Netherlands and the UK. He is currently serving on the dance committee of the National Arts Festival.

Maqoma teaches at various universities in Africa, America and Europe, including the University of California. He has created repertoire for Moving Into Dance Mophatong, Jazzart Contemporary Dance Theatre, the South African Ballet Theatre and the Cape Academy of Performing Arts, among others.

Genre: African Contemporary

Repertoire: 

  • Full Moon (2014)
  • Blood – A Trilogy (2010)
  • Four Seasons (2010)
  • Skeleton dry (2009)
  • Beauty Trilogy (2006)

Places to see them in Cape Town: Artscape Theatre and Baxter Theatre

Awards:

  • 1999 – FNB VITA Choreographer of the Year for Rhythm 1.2.3.
  • 2000 – FNB VITA Most Outstanding Presentation of an Original Contemporary Work for Rhythm Blues
  • 2001 – FNB VITA Best Choreography for Southern Comfort
  • 2002 – FNB VITA Choreographer of The Year for Southern Comfort and Ek se…Hola
  • 2002 – Standard Bank Young Artist Award
  • 2002 – Finalist in the Daimler Chrysler Choreography Award
  • 2003 – Finalist in the Rolex Mentorship Programme
  • 2005 – Gauteng MEC Award: Choreographer of the Year for Beautiful Us
  • 2006 – Gauteng MEC Award for Beautiful Trilogy
  • 2007 – Gauteng MEC Award: Best Choreography in a Contemporary Style
  • 2007 – Gauteng MEC Award: Most Outstanding Presentation of a New Work
  • 2010 – Head choreographer for the FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Concert
  • 2011 –  Dance Manyano Choreographer of the Decade Dance Award
  • 2012 – Tunkie Award for elevating the standard and visibility of dance in South Africa.

Website:  www.vuyani.co.za
Facebook: VuyaniDanceCompany
Twitter: @VuyaniDanceCo

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