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Wednesday, August 18, 2021


(Above: Jay Pather)

Celebrated South African choreographer and arts visionary, Jay Pather features as the Legacy Artist and will open this year’s online JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience (August 24, 2021) whilst award-winning dance photographer, Val Adamson, complements with a photographic exhibition of his work created with Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre over the years.

JOMBA!, which is presented by the Centre for Creative Arts (UKZN)  has as its theme, “border crossings” and so there is focus on dance makers whose work speaks to this theme. For this reason, the inimitable Pather features as the 2021 Legacy Artist. He is no stranger to JOMBA! where he has, over the years, presented numerous of his dance works with Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre. As founder and director of the company, Pather has forged a path as one of South Africa’s most critical and innovative dance makers often celebrating the border crossings of cultural clash and the dis-ease of the ‘rainbow nation’. His work has toured all over the world and JOMBA! is delighted to be honouring Pather’s incredible legacy at this year’s festival.

Now living in Cape Town, Pather is an Associate Professor and directs the Institute for Creative Arts at the University of Cape Town, and curates Infecting the City Public Art Festival. He has recently been appointed Fellow at the University of London and was recently made Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of Arts and Letters) by the French Government.

As part of honouring Pather as the 2021 Legacy Artist, JOMBA! has commissioned another Living Legend, Durban photographer Val Adamson, to offer a digital photographic retrospective exhibition of Pather’s work with Siwela Sonke. This digital exhibition titled Through The Lens: Val Adamson in Photographic Conversation with Jay Pather, is a collection of over 100 photos that illustrates the connection between Adamson’s evocative and living dance photography and Pather’s dance vision.

Adamson has photographed dance in South Africa since 1985, and has staged numerous exhibitions which have toured to arts festivals around the country. Her most recent was presented in the digital edition of JOMBA! in 2020, featuring photography of the festival over 21 years. She has been widely acknowledged for the contribution she has made to the dance world in South Africa, including an award in 2012 from KZN DanceLink and as a “Living Legend” by the eThekwini Municipality for her work in documenting theatre.

Pather opens this year’s digital JOMBA! Festival on August 24 at 19h00. It will be available on

Through The Lens: Val Adamson in Photographic Conversation with Jay Pather can be accessed on the JOMBA! Website through this link: from August 24 .

The festival runs from August 24 to September 5, 2021.