No stranger to Dance Umbrella audiences – this is his third appearance in four years – Maqoma’s work is an intoxicating blend of South African culture and contemporary dance.
Born in Soweto, Gregory Maqoma took up dancing in the late 1980s as a refuge from the political tensions in what was still apartheid South Africa. In 1999 he founded his own Vuyani Dance Theatre; 20 years on it remains the only full-time, black-founded dance company in the country, a leader in the field of the arts and dance education.
Gregory Maqoma’s Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Bolero is an extraordinary work that brings together stirring rhythmic choreography, a skilful blend of traditional African dance and contemporary technique, and the haunting sound of a South African a cappella quartet.
it tells the story of Toloki, danced by Maqoma himself, a character inspired by the protagonist of Ways of Dying and Cion, novels by the South African author Zakes Mda. Toloki is a professional mourner, who has travelled across the world and uncovers the story of runaway slaves.
Maqoma is joined by eight members of his Vuyani Dance Theatre in a work that interweaves death and loss with deep religious yearnings. A response to recent political events in South Africa and beyond, Cion’s dancing is a physical lament that responds to a stirring interpretation through percussion and voice of Ravel’s most famous work, Bolero.
Reviewing the world premiere of Cion in Johannesburg two years ago, Etienne Shardlow wrote in Artsvark: ‘This show stirred so much emotion in me through the combination of incredible music and impressive dancing…’ and urged readers to see it.
Gregory Maqoma comes to the Barbican fresh from his collaboration with Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah as choreographer of their play, Tree.
Age Guidance: 12+
Post-show talk: Fri 18 Oct Free to same day ticket holders
|What||DU19, Gregory Maqoma, Cion, Barbican Theatre|
|Where||Barbican Theatre, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, E2CY 8DS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Barbican (underground)|
17 Oct 19 – 19 Oct 19, 19:45 Dur.; 1 hour 10 mins no interval
|Price||£16-£28 (+booking fee; concessions available)|
|Website||Click here to book|