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Thursday, August 17, 2023



(Above: Introdans HubClub Special – “Beloved Faded Memories” - Jurriën Schobben – photo Hans Gerritsen)


The 2023 JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience hosted from August 29 - September 10 by the Centre for Creative Arts (UKZN) features a range of focuses for its 25th anniversary edition including a focus on dance and disability.

As part of JOMBA! engaging in this year’s curatorial theme of (in)tangible heritages, the festival supports focusing on, and opening up access to, dance work that makes visible that which has been rendered invisible within intersections around dance and disability.

This year, a focus titled “JOMBA! 2023 Danceability Focus” – features dancers, choreographers and dance companies who are globally shifting conceptions around disability. Joseph Tebandeke (Uganda), Unmute Dance Theatre (Cape Town, South Africa) and a special inclusive programme from INTRODANS (Netherlands).

(Joseph Tebandeke Body moves “Time Machine”- by Herman Verwey)

Joseph Tebandeke’s work involves using various arts practices with diverse communities to address urgent social challenges, with a dominant focus around ability. 

He choreographs beyond literal dancers to create a movement that will re-label “disability”. His work Time Machine: Unveiling the Inner Strength delves into a complicated relationship between the human body and the objects we rely on for comfort. “Time Machine came out of me asking myself what powers I possess from my crutches,” says Tebandeke. “This exploration centres around the profound connection between my body and crutches (my ‘Time Machine’), as well as how the world perceives them. The ultimate goal of this piece is to discover and celebrate the inherited body language within us and our unique body formations within society.” Joseph travels to JOMBA! with support from the African Disability Dance Network (ADDN).


(Left: Unmute Dance Company)

Cape Town-based Unmute Dance Theatre is a company of artists with mixed abilities/disabilities using physical theatre, contemporary and integrated dance to create awareness of accessibility, integration and inclusion of people with disability within mainstream society. They feature in a work called TIMELAPSE created and performed by Andile Vellem, Nadine Mckenzie and Yaseen Manuel.

TIMELAPSE uncovers how moments are experienced and remain in memory or are forgotten; how these moments move with us through time and space, what we do now and how it affects what comes next. It looks at these actions and frames as we witness a rebirth of souls, a rebirth of time, conversations and connections, and how they lead us to shaping new beginnings.

One of the Netherlands most prestigious and celebrated neo-classical dance companies, INTRODANS presents HubClub Special. This is a fully inclusive dance programme, led by Adriaan Luteijn, with several pieces from the HubClub performance which premiered recently in the Netherlands. It is a vibrant dance party for young and old in which six choreographers from the Netherlands and abroad collaborated with the classically modern trained Introdancers and a colourful group of guest dancers from different “worlds”.

The artists of the HubClub Special are irresistible, in spectacular costumes and with styling by artist Bas Kosters. Introdans sees itself as a hub for inclusive dance art which is part of their mission, and they are proud that with funding from the Royal Netherlands Embassy (South Africa), Introdans can present a few of their stars at the 25th JOMBA! festival.




Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre: Thursday August 31 at 19h30: Time Machine: Unveiling the Inner Strength (Joseph Tebandeke) and TIMELAPSE (Unmute Dance Theatre) followed by JOMBA! Talks Dance with Joseph Tebandeke and Unmute Dance Theatre hosted by Lliane Loots

Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre: Friday September 1 at 19h30 and Saturday September 2 at 14h30: HubClub Special followed by JOMBA! Talks Dance with Adriaan Luteijn, Roel Voorintholt and dancers, hosted by Lliane Loots


Other features of the 25th Anniversary festival include the Youth Open Horizons, JOMBA! ON THE EDGE, after performance talks, the Forging Futures dialogue a conversation that opens dancing borders for local artists with the Netherlands, the launch of the 25th-anniversary book, a series of free workshops and masterclasses, a lighting workshop, a screen dance residency, a dance writers residency, and a smaller curated festival at The Market Theatre in Johannesburg.

Tickets R80 (R50 students, scholars, pensioners) or R350 – once off FULL festival pass to see everything. Booking through Computicket

For more information go to


To link to the Centre for Creative Arts at UKZN, click on the logo advert to the right of this article.