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Friday, August 24, 2012


Following the 2011 success of taking dance and art to the city centre, the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience hosts its second collaboration with eThekweni Municipality with a soulful seaside street party on August 31 at the Beach front Skate Park (next to Minitown).

Commencing at 18h00, this mix of dance, live bands, markets, food and art in the park, is family friendly and a beautiful way of taking back Durban’s beachfront for the arts! One of the few events taking place outside of the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, the JOMBA! City site-specific programme is one of the many highlights in this year’s JOMBA! festival, which is supported with principal funding by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.

Surf, sea, skateboarders whizzing by, and the night of a full moon; the sound of a cello against the rip of the wave, a hip-hop beat as dancers move to the ancient rhythms of the tides. Breakdancers shift between light and video while a kathak storyteller spins into madness. JOMBA! City promises performances that shake our foundations; beautiful, edgy and very, very eThekwini!

The programme includes special Reunion Island guests and musicians Lindigo who have collaborated with street dancers from Katlehong to create a celebratory connection between South African dance and Reunion music. Lindigo gives a sound and taste of Maloya power spiced with its Reunion Indian/African and Madagascan origins. With its history of slaves lament, Maloya music is transcended through modern rhythms, songs, and modern sounds. All of this is placed alongside our own pantsula and neo-traditional dances such as gumboot and Step, creating, what this group likes to call, a new style “Mogaba”. This musical dance revelry mixes two strong legacies of African history and will delight audiences of all ages!

Sifiso Majola and the Vuka Drummers have each crafted special works for the event. Majola’s Being after not Being is a lyrical dance work created with the FLATFOOT Youth Training Company that sees 30 dancers celebrating cultural collaboration, while the Stomp Drummers performed by Vuka Drummers is a spectacular celebration of the power of rhythm and dance. Other special guests include Nateshwar Dance Academy in a display of colour and luminescent Kathak rhythms, and Durban’s internationally acclaimed 031 Floor Assassins break dance crew.

Iain ewok Robinson is JOMBA! City’s host and alongside him some of Durban’s freshest slam poets offer their rhymes into the night; catch Page Ngwenya, Tumelo Khoza and Dashen Naicker amongst others.

Investing unique musical magic to JOMBA! City are the bands Fruits & Veggies and BLK JKS. Afro avant noise rock band BLK JKS, with their wrecking rhythm section, refined vocals, and a guitar concoction of one part shred and two parts soul, shoot an African music sensibility through the tenets of their rock. Hailing from Joburg, BLK JKS's fresh, forward rhythm, layered harmony and elliptical guitar vernacular reveal the urban Zulu blues of Mbaqanga at the centre of their songwriting. Local Durbanites, Fruits & Veggies, are an eclectic band of madness. Playing their version of afro punk ska, lead singer Purity Mkhize sings and wails with infectious allure. They are a one of a kind band, solid songs, a scathing attitude towards conventions, a blistering stage presence and a really deep commitment to living life to the full.

JOMBA! City is an artistic re-engagement with our beautiful beachfront, and a re-purposing and re-contextualising of the environment. However, tying directly into the functionality of the Skatepark, the evening kicks off with a BMX and skateboard best trick competition.

Meanwhile, the sea-spray will mingle with the paint-spray as six of Durban’s top aerosol artists compete in a Graffiti competition for a cash prize of R2,000. With no rules other than “keeping it clean”, each artist has been allocated a canvas and some cans to come up with the freshest aerosol artwork at the event and claim the cash and the fame.

The popular I Heart Market will be on site, selling their unique local made crafts, gifts, clothing and tasty treats.

JOMBA! City starts at 18h00 on August 31 at the Beachfront Skate Park. Tickets R50 available through Computicket. Visit or call 031 260 2506 for details about the full JOMBA! festival programmes.

Organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal) JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience is supported by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (principal funder), HIVOS, City of Durban, and The France South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013.