Exit/Exist, a sensitive solo work will make a return to The Market Theatre for a 10-day season during Africa month, starting May 9-19 2019. This piece still resonates with South Africa today, as we continue to weave through the necessary discourse of land as a nation. It reflects and explores the memory of Maqoma’s distant ancestor, Chief Jongumsobomvu Maqoma, one of the most renowned Xhosa leaders, who was born in 1798, arrested when he ordered the English colonisers to liberate Xhosa land and died on Robben Island in 1873.
The core of this piece is a memory; rephrasing the notion of existence and the notion of simply existing in order to exist. This production takes a moment to pause; to look back; to rewind the tape to the days when the tapestry of South Africa was about the collision of biographies. A deliberate choice of less exposition and a bigger emphasis on how we use the visual element to tell this tale, while underpinning the musicality, that we hope will evoke the spirit of the time. Maqoma to us is not only an iconic figure of Xhosa land but a figure of historical transformation, the custodian of a movement of a people that cleared the path to an emancipated that he spent his whole life yearning for
Under the direction of James Ngcobo, Maqoma is accompanied on stage by four South African singers and a guitarist Giuliano Modarelli who help facilitate the telling of the story through their harmonious vocals, and with the musical composition from Simphiwe Dana.
Vuyani Dance Theatre (VDT) established in 1999 under the leadership of Gregory Maqoma became one of the ground-breaking greats in South African dance history, while the work of VDT grew beyond the limits of the stage to encompass education, community outreach, and cultural dialogue. Vuyani Dance Theatre now embodies two decades of achievement, celebrating the human spirit with performances that unite and inspire audiences. During this celebratory year of performances, special events, and community activities, VDT will honour this pioneering legacy and its repertoire and carry it forward. Co-produced by the KVS (Belgium), Theatre de la Ville (France) and Dance Umbrella (SA), Exit/Exist was first presented in Belgium in December 2011. Since its premiere has received international acclaim in over one hundred cities around the world including a New York City Bessie Award for Achievement in Music and Dance Collaboration.
Exit/Exist to return to Johannesburg is in association with The Market Theatre, produced by Vuyani Dance Theatre.