Vuyani Dance Theatre’s new production, Joys of Sharing, will salute the exquisite interplay between music and dance at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg on October 21 and 22.
Directed by Gregory Maqoma, Joys of Sharing is a collaboration between the dance maestro, Grammy-winning flautist Wouter Kellerman, beloved Afro-soul diva Simphiwe Dana and the Vuyani dancers.
The show will feature new, original material and an innovative choreography that will see the artists seamlessly intertwined with the Vuyani dancers as they bring the music to life in a memorable live spectacular.
Speaking about the show Maqoma says Joys of Sharing is “a precious moment of sharing, giving rise to a reciprocal flow of friendship and affinity.”
He adds: “From me, as the director of the show, it is amazing to be working with these world-acclaimed songwriters, musicians and performers who continue to win international awards and wow audiences around the world with their sold-out performances.
“This historic show is also the first time that Simphiwe and Wouter will be collaborating. It continues the tradition of Vuyani, which has become known for its world-class collaborations and for celebrating South African talent.”
Over the years Maqoma has gained a reputation for weaving magical tapestries of contemporary dance, live music and visual sumptuousness, drawing on gifted local composers and musicians to give voice to his creative vision.
Flautist, Kellerman, has won six South African Music Awards (SAMAs) as well as a Grammy Award for his 2014 album Wings of Samsara, a collaboration with Indian composer Ricky Kej. The album also reached number one on the Billboard New Age Album Charts.
His follow-up release, Love Language, was also nominated for a Grammy for best contemporary instrumental album.
Kellerman says of Joys of Sharing: “I’m thrilled to be working with both Gregory and Simphiwe. I’ve always thought of dance and music as one concept, rather than two separate entities, so it’s doubly exciting to be working with the exquisite choreographer and dancer that Greg is. Combine Simphiwe’s unique and soulful vocals and some original and heartfelt flute sounds, and we’re looking forward to a sweet spot of creativity and expression!”
Six-time SAMA-winning songstress Dana is also famed for her irresistible live performances and her soulful, impassioned singing.
She has earned a place in contemporary South African music’s hall of fame, being hailed “as the best thing to happen to Afro-soul music since Miriam Makeba” as she skillfully fuses jazz, reggae, jive and traditional Xhosa sounds to create modern African soul music.
Those familiar with Vuyani Dance Theatre’s work will recall that Dana won a prestigious Bessie Award (the New York Dance and Performance Awards) in 2014 for outstanding music composition/sound design, for composing the musical score for Maqoma’s landmark production Exit/Exist. She shared this prestigious award with guitarist Giuliano Modarelli and vocal quartet Complete.
Says Dana of the prospect of working on Joys of Sharing: “Working with these two powerhouses – the multi-award-winning and internationally acclaimed Greg Maqoma and the Grammy Award-winning Wouter Kellerman – is going to be such a colourful and multicultural experience. I cannot wait!”
Performances of Joys of Sharing will take place at Gold Reef City’s Lyric Theatre at 8pm on Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22. Booking is through Computicket.