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Gregory Maqoma in Beautiful Me. Photo by John Hogg.^44 Gregory Maqoma in Beautiful Me. Photo by John Hogg.^44 Gregory Maqoma in Beautiful Me. Photo by John Hogg.^44 Gregory Maqoma in Beautiful Me. Photo by John Hogg.^44 Bongani Kunene (cello) and Gregory Maqoma in Beautiful Me. Photo by John Hogg.^44 Gregory Maqoma in Beautiful Me. Photo by John Hogg.^44 Gregory Maqoma in Beautiful Me. Photo by John Hogg.^44

Gregory Maqoma/Vuyani Dance Theatre

Beautiful Me is Gregory Maqoma and Vuyani Dance Theater's investigation of identity in relationship to history, humanity and nature. Maqoma, one of South Africa's leading choreographers, began with movement, text and music contributed by three master choreographers who have had great influence on him: Akram Khan's Contemporary Kathak; Faustin Linyekula's visual dance-theater; and Vincent Mantsoe's Afro-fusion. By layering these distinct and diverse styles with his own unique lightness and humor, he re-imagined the definition of post-modern African choreographer. Beautiful Me speaks honestly and directly about the process of finding one's authentic voice.


The music for Beautiful Me was developed collaboratively with four exceptional South African musicians who also accompanied Maqoma on stage: Poorvi Bhana (sitar), Bongani Kunene (violin), Isaac Molelekoa (cello), and Mandienkosi Nhlapo (percussion).

 

The debut North American Tour of Gregory Maqoma's Beautiful Me was produced by MAPP International Productions in association with The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium. In October and November 2009 Beautiful Me traveled to Bates College (Lewiston, ME); REDCAT (Los Angeles, CA); VSA Arts New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM); Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco, CA); Seattle Theater Group (Seattle, WA); and Miami Dade College (Miami, FL).  

 

Beautiful Me was co-produced by Centre National de la Dance (France) with the support of Tilder and Vuyani Dance Theatre (South Africa), with the support of Akram Khan Charity Trust (AKCT) Ltd. Lead commissioning support was provided by The FNB Dance Umbrella, Johannesburg, South Africa.