Dancer Gregory Maqoma was born in Soweto during apartheid—the policy of segregation as well as economic and political discrimination against Black South Africans and other non-Europeans in South Africa. Out of this tumultuous time, and against many odds, Maqoma began to create dance in a youth club in Johannesburg.
Eventually, his formal training took him to the city’s Moving Into Dance Mophatong company and later received a scholarship to study at P.A.R.T.S (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios) in Brussels under the direction of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. It was during his time in Brussels that Maqoma formed the Vuyani Dance Theatre Project in 1999.
Maqoma began a five-night engagement at REDCAT last night—Los Angeles being the first stop on his first extensive tour of the U.S.--with his solo show Beautiful Me. The choreography blends ancestral dance, modern movement and Indian classical influence to live ensemble music.
His work, however, is better appreciated seen (rather than talked about) in the video above: a snippet from Beautiful Me.
Gregory Maqoma and the Vuyani Dance Theatre Project
631 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles
Oct. 21-24 at 8:30 pm
Oct. 25 at 3 pm
Tickets: $20-$25, $26-$20 for students and $10-$12 for the CalArts community