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Vuyani Dance Theatre celebrates 2012 Tunkie Award recipient

Published: 22 November 2012

Vuyani Dance Theatre (VDT) celebrates Gregory Vuyani Maqoma’s victory as the 2012 Tunkie Award recipient.

The audience at the UJ’s Con Cowan Theatre was treated to a rare episode of witnessing Maqoma at work with his Artistic assistant Luyanda Sidiya directing the troupe of amazing VDT dancers, simultaneously arousing wonder and inquisitiveness at what the Vuyani secret basket holds.

The Tunkie Award, established by the late Dr Ivan May in memory of Xolani Nettleton “Tunkie” Dyusha, is presented annually to a South African who has elevated the standard and visibility of dance in South Africa.

For VDT, the award is a reflection of the developmental transformation and excellence that hopes to sustain the visibility of dance over the next decade and beyond. The celebrations come as Maqoma prepares for the long awaited French tour, where one of the many Vuyani flags, Beautiful Me continues to fly up high.

Beautiful Me has been invited as part of the festival de danse – INSTANCES taking place at the Espace Des Arts in Chalon, France to be performed on Thursday, 22 November 20:30 by Maqoma and the musicians, Isaac Molelekoa (violin), Mandla Nhlapo (percussion), Joseph Makhanza (Kora) and Bongani Kunene (Cello).

In this internationally acclaimed and eclectic master piece Maqoma challenges the notion of dance through a collaboration with three dance legends, Akram Khan, Faustin Linyekula and Vincent Sekwati Mantsoe, inspired by each of their very profound and human choreographic language, connection to tradition and style.

If you are a local VDT fan don’t despair as The Mzansi Fela Festival promises another magic experience just for you. After the phenomenal success of Mayhem at the Baxter Festival, Cape Town in October this year, and rated among “the mother city's top guest performers”, the production returns to home ground with another bang. Mayhem won the 2012 Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival, which has been the major propellant as the production prepares to take the world by storm.

Mayhem performances run from Friday, 7 to Sunday, 9 December: Friday night at 19:00, followed by two matinee shows on Saturday and Sunday, both at 15:00. The Annual Festival will take place at the South African State Theatre in Pretoria. Since its inception in 2007, the festival is the training ground for local artists and is said to be “the testimony to the festive spirit of Tshwane”.

Vuyani Dance Theatre is funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF). VDT’s patrons are Judge Edwin Cameron, Advocate Pinky Mokhatla, and Mr Paul Mees.

For more information about Vuyani Dance Theatre call 011 838 7666 or visit www.vuyani.co.za.

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