Gigs, dance, art

May 19th, 2010: Gregory Maqoma – Beautiful Me


Nice show, and an interesting collaboration with Akram Khan, Faustin Linyekula and Vincent Mantsoe providing providing elements of the choreography. Gregory Maqoma authored the rest and was the only dancer, though the live musicians — Poorvi Bhana, Bongani Kunene, Given Mphago and Isaac Molelekoa — were very much an important part of the show.

Akram Khan was the only one I was familiar with, and the kathak part early in the show was probably his. That was interesting because despite the very similar movements, it was still different and Maqoma made it his own. Having that part early probably helped me see more clearly how he tied the many different styles together and made it obvious that there’s just no reason kathak and Michael Jackson shouldn’t fit in a dance show. Such diverse influences do meet in most people, especially artists, so while distinctions can be useful, they would have been out of place in what I took to be a very personal show.

I usually don’t like talk much, but I liked the part when he crouched with an arm extended while naming a past ruler of an African country — colonial or more recent. By then I had seen enough of his style to get an idea of the potential dance to come even from his keeping still, one the things I like best in a dancer. More than his ability to inhabit different kinds of dance, that’s what made clear to me how impressed I was by his talent. Definitely someone I’d like to see again.

May 24, 2010 - Posted by | Dance | ,

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