About Greg Maqoma

Dancer, Choreographer, Teacher, Writer and Creative Director

Born in Soweto, October 16 of 1973, Gregory Vuyani Maqoma became interested in dance in the late 1980’s 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 where in 2002 he became the Associate Artistic Director. Maqoma has established himself as an internationally renowned dancer, choreographer, teacher, director and scriptwriter. 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. In 2006 he worked with the British-based choreographer Akram Khan and the London Symphonietta to the music of Steve Reich Variations for vibes, pianos & strings. He also created Neon Flight for the South African Ballet Theatre, which premiered in Russia in June 2006.

He began his ongoing collaboration with theatre director James Ngcobo in 2008 with The Lion and the Jewel’ and Zakes Mda’s The Hill. In 2009 Maqoma collaborated with Ngcobo on Crazy for Jazz and Thirst. His collaboration with James Ngcobo continued on the adaptation of Athol Fugard’s Master Harold and the Boys produced by Theatre on the Square.

In 2009 for the opening ceremony of the 4th World Summit of Arts & Culture, in Braamfontein he co-created
3 Colours with Cape Town theatre maker Brett Bailey. In 2010 he was head choreographer for the FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Concert held in Soweto. That year he choreographed the internationally acclaimed Hugh Masekela project Songs of Migration produced by the Market Theatre, directed by James Ngcobo. In 2010 he collaborated with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui in Bound which toured Europe, Canada and USA as part of a double bill Southern Bound Comfort.

Returning to The Market Theatre in 2011 he collaborated with Ngcobo yet again on their version of Sunjata. In 2011 he won the Dance Manyano Choreographer of A Decade Dance Award. In 2012 Maqoma, with Ngcobo, was part of the creative team behind the ANC Centenary Celebration, Dance and Theatre Musical, Tshihumbudzo’ staged in Bloemfontein.

Maqoma is perhaps best known for producing trilogies. He first created the award winning Rhythm Trilogy (comprising Rhythm 1 2 3, Rhythm Blues and Rhythm Colour) followed by, respectively, the Beauty Trilogy – Beautiful, Beautiful Me and Beautiful Us. Beautiful (a duet with Shanell Winlock) premiered in South African in a VDT/ Moving into Dance Joint Season that took place at the Dance Factory from June 22 to 25 in 2005. After finalizing his extensive research on Beautiful Me, Maqoma took up residency at the Centre Nationale de la Danse, Pantin, outside Paris to prepare the South African premiere at the 2007 FNB Dance Umbrella. In 2006 and 2007 Maqoma won the Gauteng MEC Award for the group work Beautiful Us and solo Beautiful Me, respectively.

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