2018 International choreographers
IMPILO MAPANTSULA is a professional organization that promotes the development of pantsula dance, creates formal standards, and acts as an industry representative. Impilo Mapantsula was founded by German researcher Daniela Goeller and the South African pantsula dancers, choreographers and company directors Vusi Mdoyi, Sello “Zilo” Modiga, Joshua “Jeje” Mokoena and Sicelo “Malume Ka” Xaba. The organization aims to document and protect the living legacy of the vibrant street culture that has shaped the identity of generations of young people in South Africa, as well as create a network to support dancers in professionalizing and further developing their art.
Pantsula has had increasing international success; it has the potential to provide interesting job opportunities for the disadvantaged youth, and pantsula artists have taken on social responsibilities in their communities. Yet pantsula struggles to gain mainstream acceptance. Pantsula culture is still associated with low social status, immorality, and crime in South African townships, even though the dance-form has long found its place in in the global urban dance community and in the hearts of all audiences.
Impala Mapantsula gives workshops and training, initiates projects, organizes events, and represents pantsula dancers. The organization creates learning opportunities and supports artistic creation and self-expression through educational, artistic and professional programs, with an emphasis on job creation, international collaborations, exchanges and shared experiences.
VUSI MDOYI is a dancer, choreographer and director of Vusi Arts Pro. He was born in 1980 in Johannesburg and lives and works in Katlehong, Ekurhuleni. As a dancer and later co-director and choreographer of the multidisciplinary community dance crew Via Katlehong, Vusi has toured the world for more than 20 years and performed on many major stages in Europe and the US. He is a talented, very passionate and versatile artist and performer, and he has experience with pantsula, gumboots, tap-dance and contemporary dance, as well as acting and signing, and has collaborated with various artists internationally. Beside his experience as a dancer, choreographer, artistic and administrational director of Via Katlehong and Vusi Arts Projects, he is also a graduate of Wits Business School. Vusi is a visionary choreographer and artistic director, who is able to inspire and unite people in the creative process.
SICELO XABA is a dancer, choreographer and director of Red for Danger Pantsulas. He was born in 1977 in Johannesburg and lives and works in Mohlakeng, West Rand. As the leader of one of the oldest active pantsula crews, Sicelo has a broad knowledge and understanding of the history of pantsula dance and culture that has earned him a lot of respect in the pantsula community. He shares his knowledge in the form of public speeches, called “umrhabulo”, and in form of dance training and workshops in South Africa and abroad. Beside his experience as a dancer, choreographer, artistic and administrational director of Red for Danger Pantsulas, Sicelo is a very talented poet, writer, and theatre director with a great passion for books. Sicelo has been invited to dance in festivals and theatres around the world, including Carnegie Hall in New York. He is an undisputed expert of pantsula dance and culture and one of its most competent and authentic representative.
SELLO MODIGA is a dancer, choreographer and director of Real Actions Pantsula. He was born in 1980 in Johannesburg and lives and works in Orange Farm, Sedibeng. Under Sello’s leadership, Real Actions Pantsula has developed into one of the most successful pantsula dance crews in South Africa and toured in Europe and the US. Beside his experience as a dancer, choreographer, artistic and administrational director of Real Actions Pantsula, Sello has been organizing, judging and participating in dance battles internationally. Sello is passionate and talented teacher and has solid international experience in giving pantsula dance workshops for all audiences. He has mastered different pantsula styles and other street dances like hip-hop, house, or Chicago footwork, and can explain the specific characteristics and the historical development and significance of the pantsula movements.
For more information: www.impilomapantsula.com
Impilo Mapantsula was in residence in the Twin Cities May 28 - June 17, 2018. They created a new work for 12 area Hip Hop dancers, for Maia Maiden Productions, our partner for the 2018 residency. Mdoyi, Xaba and Modiga taught classes in pantsula, tapsula and gumboot at The Cowles Center. They participated in a variety of community events, including a Meet the Artists public talk and pantsula demonstration at Indigenous Roots Cultural Center in St. Paul. On June 15 & 16th, the artists premiered a commissioned work as part of ROOTED: Hip Hop Choreographers Evening at the Wellstone Center in St. Paul, MN.