18.06.2015. / 19:30h / DK Gavella

Association NOA - Vincent Mantsoe (FR)

In these two works we can once again experience the riveting mastery of an incomparable artist as he combines traditional and contemporary dance to create an exhilarating and passionate new language resulting in two solos: NTU & Skwatta. These are two politically and socially charged solos reflecting the poverty stricken life in South Africa’s squatter camps. In these works Mantsoe finds hope and salvation in the human spirit – often fragile and tortured, but capable of great dignity and pride.

NTU, an intuitive ritual dance, takes us into nothingness, the place where all is possible. Creation is not an end in itself, but rather the path to get there. Skwatta is a reflection on the misery afflicting the townships of South Africa, where Vincent Mantsoe himself grew up. Deep in the chaotic beauty and madness of the Skwatta Camps, no escape is possible for the “sophisticated in the gutters.” Skwatta is a captivating exploration of western street dance, martial arts and traditional African dance, all performed by an unparalleled artist.

The role of spirituality in his work, which he describes as a process of “borrowing from the ancestors,” highlights the importance of understanding the sources of his traditional movements. His style is fusion resulting from an intercultural ritual dance and performance which is both physical and spiritual.

Audiences “shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see such an electrifying performer: Resist the urge to fall back on preconceptions or jump forward to interpretation and commit, instead, to the immediacy of Mantsoe’s presence.” – Globe and Mail
“Mantsoe is an artist of fierce uniqueness… He combines entertainment, history, and spirituality with an earthshaking expressiveness that audiences find irresistible.” – DANCE MAGAZINE “He is a magnetic soloist… you sense the contained power of his presence. When he moves, he is compelling” The Guardian (UK)

Photo: Meinrad Heck

Vincent Mantsoe is a South African dancer and choreographer. Raised in the Soweto Township outside Johannesburg, he combines the street dance of his childhood with traditional and contemporary dance styles. Since 1991, when he entered the first multiracial professional modern dance company in Johannesburg, Moving into Dance Company, he very quickly became an internationally acclaimed artist. He has done extensive tours of Europe, Asia and North America in addition to Africa and has received numerous awards and accolades wherever he performs, noted for an exceptional energy and presence. His notable achievements in dance include performances at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (USA) and Maison de la Danse (France).

Spirituality and the cultural influences of African, Aboriginal Australian, Asian, contemporary, and ballet traditions are important influences on Mantsoe's work today. Since 2005 he is also the founder of Association Noa in Saint-Pont (France) which he initiated with dance artist Cécile Maubert.