On the occasion of the International Dance Day 2020, the Institute of Music and Dance in cooperation with the Polish Centre of the International Theatre Institute (PO ITI) announce the world message by Gregory Vuyani Maqoma – a South African dancer, choreographer and pedagogue.
We invite you to share the Message!
Message for International Dance Day 2020 by Gregory Vuyani Maqoma:
It was during an interview I had recently that I had to think deeply about dance, what does it mean to me? In my response, I had to look into my journey, and I realized that it was all about purpose and each day presents a new challenge that needs to be confronted, and it is through dance that I try to make sense of the world.
We are leaving through unimaginable tragedies, in a time that I could best describe as the posthuman era. More than ever, we need to dance with purpose, to remind the world that humanity still exists. Purpose and empathy need to prevail over years and years of undeniable virtual landscape of dissolution that has given rise to a catharsis of universal grief conquering the sadness, the hard reality that continues to permeate the living confronted by death, rejection and poverty. Our dance must more than ever give a strong signal to the world leaders and those entrusted with safeguarding and improving human conditions that we are an army of furious thinkers, and our purpose is one that strives to change the world one step at a time. Dance is freedom, and through our found freedom, we must free others from the entrapments they face in different corners of the world. Dance is not political but becomes political because it caries in its fibre a human connection and therefore responds to circumstances in its attempt to restore human dignity.
As we dance with our bodies, tumbling in space and tangling together, we become a force of movement weaving hearts, touching souls and providing healing that is so desperately needed. And purpose becomes a single hydra-headed, invincible and indivisible dance. All we need now is to dance some more!!!!
Gregory Vuyani MAQOMA, South Africa
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.
International Dance Day (IDD)
In 1982 the Dance Committee of the ITI founded the International Dance Day to be celebrated every year on 29 April, marking the anniversary of the baptism of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), the creator of modern ballet.
The intention of the «International Dance Day Message» is to celebrate Dance, to revel in the universality of this art form, to cross all political, cultural and ethnic barriers and bring people together with a common language – Dance. Every year a message from an outstanding choreographer or dancer is circulated throughout the world. The personality is selected by the founding entity of the International Dance Day – the International Dance Committee of the ITI, which collaborates with World Dance Alliance, a Cooperating Member of the ITI.
In Poland, The International Dance Day Message is promoted the Polish Centre of the International Theatre Institute (PO ITI) cooperation with the Institute of Music and Dance (IMiT).