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Gregory Maqoma/Vuyani Dance Theatre

Gregory Vuyani Maqoma, internationally renowned dancer, choreographer, director, and scriptwriter, started his dance training in 1990 at Moving into Dance. While studying under the direction of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker at Performing Arts Research and Training School (PARTS) in Belgium in 1999, Maqoma founded Vuyani Dance Theatre (VDT). Vuyani Dance Theatre is marked by a fusion of African contemporary urban styles, music and culture with those produced by contemporary European counterparts. VDT creates work that questions and challenges social values while, simultaneously, exploiting history as a launch pad for (material) research and development. The Vuyani Dance Theatre approach embraces - in a dynamic and theatrical way - the many tastes, motivations, and cultures that shape the uniqueness of the South African society.

Maqoma's work has garnered him several awards including 1994 FNB Vita Pick of the Fringe Award; 1995 FNB Vita Pick of the Stepping Stones Award; 1998 FNB Vita Young Choreographers Grant; 1999 and 2000 FNB Vita Choreographer of the Year; 2001 FNB Vita Best Choreography Award; and 2002 Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year for Dance. In 2002, he was nominated for the prestigious DaimlerChrysler Award, and in 2004 was among the finalists for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. In 2006 and 2007 Maqoma won the Gauteng MEC Award for his work Beautiful US and Beautiful Me respectively. He collaborated with the British based Choreographer Akram Khan with the London Symphonietta to the music of Steve Reich. He also created Neon Flight for South African Ballet Theatre, which premiered in Moscow in 2006.

Maqoma's work has been seen in Africa, Europe, USA and South America. He was Associate Artistic Director for FNB Dance Umbrella Festival 2010 and The Artistic Director of the Afro- Vibes Festival based in Holland. In 2009, Maqoma was selected as the head choreographer for the Fourth World Summit of Arts & Culture, held in South Africa, and presented 3 Colours with Brett Bailey. He also acted as head choreographer for the FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Concert held in Johannesburg, Soweto, his birth place, in June 2010. His ongoing collaboration with theatre director James Ngcobo began in 2008 with The Lion and the Jewel; The Hill by Zakes Mda; Crazy for Jazz; and Thirst. This collaboration grew with the adaptation of Master Harold and the Boys produced by Theatre on the Square and Sunjata produced by the Market Theatre in 2011. In 2010 he was choreographer for a Hugh Masekela project Songs of Migration also produced by the Market Theatre and in 2011 toured extensively with Southern Bound Comfort, a double bill choreographed by Maqoma and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. In addition to his own choreography, Maqoma has taught and created repertoire for Moving into Dance, Jazzart Company, South African Ballet Theatre, and Cape Performing Arts, among others.