Along with celebrating 20 years of democracy in South Africa,  Gregory Vuyani Maqoma’s Vuyani Dance Theatre (VDT) also celebrates its 15th birthday and repositioning as Vuyani Dance Company (VDC).

I first saw one of Greg’s pieces, ‘Four Seasons’, this year and was amazed at its brilliance. He has transformed a Dance Company into a collaborative masterpiece, incorporating music, dance and visuals. He has also created professional dancers out of the young dance members of his Company, that it is difficult to distinguish the amateur from the professional.

The Company has dazzled audiences in France, Germany and Sweden and will now dazzle South Africans in Johannesburg with Vuyani’s Full Moon from the 29th April to the 11th May 2014, at the Mandela at the Joburg Theatre.

How do you come up with your concept for Full Moon?Vuyani's Full Moon

Greg:

“I have been intrigued by the universe, how it functions and how it really turns against us. As well as the way we also contribute to its demise. For Full Moon, it is that journey taken to outerspace. I have transformed this work to a place that only I can imagine, a space of mystery, peace and harmony; with its own complexities. A place we only get to experience in our dreams. I wanted to take people on a mystical journey. It is like when you look at a full moon itself. This is the story our grandmothers told us, as we looked at the full moon; sitting around the fire, with the full moon in view.”

How do you select dancers for your company?

Greg:

“Most of the dancers select themselves actually. They usually just walk into class and join. Most come to experience dance and I give them this opportunity. Some stay, some leave. But we also have an audition process, which allows young people who live far from Johannesburg, like in the rural areas, a chance to audition. The Company consists of all dancers from all over the country. We also have foreigners from all over Africa as well.  We have a dancer from Zimbabwe and Botswana. It has really catered to the entire southern region.”

Take me through a normal dance class?

Vuyani's Full MoonGreg:

“It is strenuous. Once there is that commitment from both parties; the company committing to the dancer and the dancer committing to the company, we expect a very high standard. This commitment means that 24 hours all they think about is dance. We work with them to achieve their goals as dancers and we also have our goals, as a company. We have time limits. It is a one on one process. We want to nurture each individual. We make sure we produce dancers of the greatest calibre in this country, so that they can go anywhere in the world and represent us as a company and also to represent our country. The training includes learning and performing.”

How important is the incorporation of live music with the live dance?

Greg:

“For me, you cannot separate the music from the dance nor the dance from the music. It is one. When I am developing the dance, at the same time I want the music to be developing alongside the concept. The process of selecting the musicians and music, is the same as how I select the dancers. We need musicians to understand that they are not only playing for the audience but that they need to unleash and be inspired by and create the music for the pieces that we do. Both entities need to dive head first into the process and understand the concept behind the work.”

What can people expect to see in Full Moon?

Greg:Vuyani's Full Moon

“People should expect to be transported to another world and adventure. It is highly creative, it is an epic.  It is a journey to the outer world and to earth. We fly together with the audience on a journey of time and space, into a magical flight of imagination. It is great entertainment for families. If you haven’t seen dance before, then this will hook you into loving dance forever.”

“If you loved Four Seasons, you will be blown away by Full Moon. We have an amazing costume designer, and set and lighting designer and the South African National Youth Orchestra is playing with us. It is a feast of collaborations.”

 

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE WINNERS OF 2 TICKETS TO SEE VUYANI’S FULL MOON – ALL WINNERS WERE NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL!