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French Urban Contemporary Dance to hit South Africa

 31 August – 1 September, 13th Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience, Durban
4 September, Arts Alive, Joburg Theatre / The Fringe, Johannesburg

During September which marks the annual Heritage month, South Africa will hosts two vibrant arts festivals: Arts Alive in Johannesburg and the 13th Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience Festival. Amongst the international guests, two French urban contemporary dance companies will present solos which deals with the question of identity and origins: French B-Boy Junior’s Buanattitude revisits his African roots and particularly the culture of Zaïre, his native country. Company Stylistik’s Entre Deux (In between) stages a French-Senegalese performer who explores how to deal with a “dual” culture.

 

Buanattitude by B-Boy Junior

On his arm, on his elbow, in push ups position without touching the ground with his feet, in "ninety-nine" position with strength and ease, B-Boy Junior (also known as Buana) is an outlandish dance breaker! Yet, if he is one of the ten best breakers in the world, if he has known for a long time where he is heading, it is vital for him today to know where he comes from. “My difference, I have accepted it for the better and for the worse. The worst part is when people would like me to believe that I should be like everyone else.” Choreographed and performed by B-Boy Junior, Buanattitude is his first creation which looks back at his roots in Zaire and its history, with the artistic collaboration of Olivier Lefrançois. This complex solo is also an initiatory journey which confronts our conceptions of a fantasised Africa and its multiple realities, faced during Junior’s artistic residency in Kinshasa. Junior joined the Wanted Posse crew in 2001 with whom he performed, toured the world and won several titles including the Championship of France of Breakdance, the World Championship (Battle of the year). He recently decided to launch a solo career.

 

Entre deux (In between) by Clarisse Veaux and Abdou N'gom

Created in 2010 by Clarisse Veaux and Abdou N’gom from dance company Stylistik, the solo “Entre deux” explores through urban dance how one can build its identity when one belongs to various cultures. The problematic raised by this choreographic work deals with the “in-between two cultures”: neither feeling from here, nor from elsewhere, be perceived as a foreigner by both sides. This work touches anybody who has felt in between two ages, two groups or two systems. It calls for tolerance and acceptance of ones differences whether be it in our appearance or background. It is in a way the experience of the performer and choreographer Abdou N’gom, for whom “it is not necessary to come from another country to feel rejected. The unknown scares, difference disturbs. So on which feet shall we dance?” Stylistik was founded in 2006 in Lyon, France, by two hip hop dancers, Clarisse Veaux and Abdou N’gom. The company concentrates on urban dance and uses the hip hop language confronted with other form of arts to question, explore and answer topical issues.

Presented at the 13th Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience and Arts Alive with the support of the Centre of Creative Arts, UKZN, Arts Alive, Institut Français and the French Institute of South Africa.

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