Via Katlehong Dance
         
The award winning Via Katlehong Dance was formed in 1992. Originally a community troupe, Via Katlehong was composed by youths from the township of Katlehong in the East Rand – a notorious war zone during the 1980’s uprising in south Africa – to keep away from the criminal activity raging in their township.
 
Via Sophiatown (création 2013)
 
Directeur Artistique : / Artistic Director : Buru Mohlabane
Chorégraphie de : / Choreographed by: Vusi Mdoyi
Avec la collaboration de Mpho Molepo et toute l'équipe de Via Katlehong
Chant et narration : Nomathamsanqa Baba, Thembinkosi Hlophe
Musiciens : / Musicians : Jackson Vilakazi, Muzi Radebe
Percussions : Tshepo Nchabeleng, Vuyani Feni
Danseurs : / Dancers : Tshepo Nchabeleng, Vuyani Feni, Mandlenkosi Fanie, Vusi Mdoyi, Mbali Nkosi, Matshidiso Mokoka, Boitumelo Tshupa, Thembinkosi Hlophe
Costumes : Dark Dindie
Lumières : Alix Veillon

Co-production : Via Katlehong Dance, La Maison de la Dance de Lyon, Damien Valette prod.
Aide apportée à la résidence et à la création par les saisons Afrique du Sud – France 2012 et 2013, l'Institut Français et la Ville de Lyon.
avec le soutien de King's Fountain.

KF

   
L'idée initiale est de témoigner et d'apporter un éclairage sur la fameuse période de Sophia­town dans les années 1950.
Sophiatown est un quartier de Johannesburg détruit à la fin des années 1950. Il fut une zone multiraciale, berceau de nombreux styles de musiques et de danses. Il fut également l'endroit qui incarne le début de la lutte contre l'apartheid et demeure encore aujourd'hui le symbole de la lutte des artistes.
Sur des musiques sud-africaines devenues internationalement renommées, des tubes de Do­rothy Masuka ou Miriam Makeba, le spectacle mettra en scène des couples dansant le tsaba-tsaba ou le kofifi, l'ancêtre de la pantsula.
Accompagnés de trois musiciens de jazz, ils nous feront revivre ces moments forts de la culture africaine, l'époque de «happy Africa» !
Avec la destruction de Sophiatown, le père Huddleston se lamentait : « Sophiatown est fina­lement rayée de la carte et sa population dispersée ; je veux croire que l'Afrique du Sud aura perdu là non seulement un lieu mais aussi un idéal. »
Même au moment où les bulldozers du gouvernement rasaient les maisons, Sophiatown généra une effervescence culturelle inégalée dans l'histoire urbaine de l'Afrique du Sud. Même à l'état de souvenir, Sophiatown est un symbole, un point de référence légendaire pour les écri­vains noirs et artistes de toutes sortes.

 
Katlehong Cabaret (2011)
 

   
Via Katlehong Dance fait aujourd'hui partie du paysage chorégraphique international, multipliant tournées et succès. Originaire d'Afrique du Sud, un des pays les plus dynamiques du continent pour ce qui est de la création artistique, cette troupe aime mélanger les genres, se confronter à d'autres horizons. L'invitation faite à Hlengiwe Lushaba, jeune chanteuse, actrice de télévision, performeuse et chorégraphe, va dans ce sens : avec les danseurs de Via Katlehong Dance, elle a imaginé un cabaret lointain et proche, « plein d'inventions et de fraîcheur, rempli d'images africaines ». On verra ainsi tour à tour les danseurs dans des numéros virtuoses mêlant danse et jeu, du tap (mouvement et frappe au sol) au pantsula (mime de scènes de la vie dans les townships), du gumboots (danse des mineurs en bottes de caoutchouc à base de frappes de mains sur les cuisses et les mollets) au chant traditionnel. Une célébration de la vie qui n'oublie jamais l'envers du décor souvent moins facile. La troupe de Via Katlehong Dance et Hlengiwe Lushaba semblaient faits pour se rencontrer : avec ce Katlehong Cabaret grand ouvert aux visiteurs d'un soir, c'est chose faite.
(Philippe Noisette, extrait du programme - Théâtre National de Chaillot)

 
Woza (2009)
Danse : Mandlenkosi Fanie, Steven Faleni, Mpho Malotana, Vusi Mdoyi, Buru Mohlabane, John Moloi, Mokholo Motshele, Thato Qofela, Xolani Qwabe
Musique : Vuyani Feni, Tshepo Nchabeleng, Zakhele Ntanda
Co-production : Via Katlehong Dance, Johannesburg, Grand Théâtre du Luxembourg, Luxembourg, Damien Valette Prod, Paris.

   
The piece acknowledges the gifts of nature. The sound of trees, wind and animals has always inspired African music. African instruments were sculptured from natural resources and created a culture of rhythms and sounds that naturally inspired African people's bodies in the developpment of movements and dance. Dance created it's own universal language within the communities. For the Via Katlehong Company these dance movements that were adopted from creatures do not exist without rhythm; rhythm is the creator and the lord of the dance.

Twelve performers on stage present a combination of Pantsula - the South African township urban dance - and traditional Gumboots dance, mixed with African contemporary dance, accompanied by live music - played on typical and unique South African traditional instruments -, voices and Tap pantsula (a combination of tap- and pantsula-dance). Via Katlehong created a new dance form called Mogaba-dance, a combination of energetic, powerful and aggressive dance moves with strong stamping feet, hand clapping and loud voices, that has a powerful approach on stage and is forming a strong rhythmic sound.

 
Nkululeko - Celebrating 10 years of freedom in South Africa. (2004)
 
Piece for 9 dancers
Choregraphy : Via Katlehong Pantsula, Gumboot and Tap Dancers
Duration : 50 minutes
   
Lead by Buru Mohlabane, Vusi Mdoyi and Steven Faleni, the company comprises a community school of dance and an 18-members who are professionally outfit. They specialize in « Pantsula », a South African township dance, and other neo-traditional forms such as « Gumboots », « tap Pantsula » and « steps » - a township interpretation of Gumboots dance. Via Katlehong, through their innovative approach to Pantsula, Gumboots, Tap and Steps, they helped to revive the form, making it an important feature in South African contemporary dance today. They have won many awards along the way, including FNB Vita Dance, Dance Umbrella awards, Gauteng Dance Showcase, KTV Most Brilliant Achievement and Gauteng MEC Development Award amongst others.
They also currently participated in « Step Africa », an international cultural exchange dance workshops involving South Africa, the United States and Great Britain. They were currently involved in the Cultural exchange dance educational workshops in CNCDC Châteauvallon (France).
The piece « Nkululeko – celebrating 10 years in South Africa» was performed in many cities and dance festivals such as Les Rencontres de La Villette – Paris (France), Suresnes Cités Danse – Suresnes (France), C’est de la Danse Contemporaine ! CDC -Toulouse (France), and venues like Le Parvis – Scène Nationale de Tarbes (France), Dieppe Scène Nationale – Dieppe (France, L’Odyssée - Périgueux (France) …

After the major forced removal institutionalized by the Apartheid state during the sixties in South Africa, many of the country’s black population was relocated to township in the urban zones. As meeting zone between rural and city dwellers, these reservoir for cheap labors, unemployed and criminal activity became the bleeding ground for the explosive culture to come out of the country : Pantsula culture.
Pantsula – a nickname for the rebellious youth in the township – included a fashion, a music, a dance and most importantly, a lifestyle. And the tsotsis (thugs) of each township found pride in representing ther Pantsula culture of their township. As access to music equipment was limited to very few, most of this competitive spirit was played out in the street : who dressed the fusionist and who had the flashiest dance steps.
Pantsula therefore uses the street as theater to articulate the angst, joy and issues of the township, all coded in specific steps. In the new South Africa, the dance has slowly moved out of the township, with is accompanying music « known as kwaito » and in to the commercial arena. This commercialization of the culture has let to it being diluted and less true to the survival spirit that gave birth to it. Only few groups such as township-based Via Katlehong have managed to bring the creativity by putting the tap steels under nigh the shoe to create other dance rhythms (tap pantsula), whistle ling, shouting, clapping and sheering energy and rebellious attitude of Pantsula dance onto the stage with or without the music.
Gumboots dance was formed in the early fifties by the group of mine workers, to celebrate, to refresh their minds and for the toy toy (protest). But more than that Via Katlehong have managed to modernize it in such a way that it is worked and collaborated with tap, Steps, Pantsula and traditional music dance (Gum-step-tap-pantsula). They are all performing at the same time using their different language (rhythm) dance style making one energetic movement that creates big sound of rhythm. Boot, hand clapping, whistling, sinning, tap-sound… A lot of energy is demanded and it also enter-acts with the audience, … it’s magic.

With the support of the Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud, the National Arts Council, the Recreation Sports Arts & Culture, the FNB Vita Dance Umbrella & Ekurhuleni Arts Forum & Gauteng Dance Manyano.
 
 
 
 
Dans tous ses spectacles, la compagnie Via Katlehong Dance défend la culture pantsula dont elle est issue. Dans les années 60-70, sous le régime de l'apartheid en Afrique du Sud, les populations rurales noires sont déplacées vers les grandes villes et regroupées dans les townships. C'est dans ces ghettos, où règnent chômage et criminalité, que va naître la culture pantsula, à laquelle s'identifie toute la jeunesse des townships. Comme le hip hop aux Etats-Unis et en Europe, la culture pantsula est un style de vie, recouvrant mode, musique, danse, codes gestuels et parler. Et comme le hip hop, elle trouve son terrain d'expression dans la rue. Dans les années 1990, alors qu'une Afrique du Sud multiraciale se met lentement en place, la compagnie Via Katlehong Dance poursuit le combat protestataire en faveur des jeunes des quartiers pauvres, à travers ses spectacles et performances qui combinent la danse pantsula, sorte de hip hop non acrobatique mais virtuose par sa rapidité, la tap dance (claquettes percussives avec des chaussures ferrées), le step (claquettes proches du time step américain) et le gumboot, une danse de mineurs à base de frappes des mains sur les cuisses et les mollets. C'est une initiation a ces danses que quatre membres du groupe proposeront aux participants du stage. Deux groupes, l'un qui sera sensibilisé au Pantsula et l'autre au gumboots auront ainsi la possibilité de rencontrer une autre culture …en criant, en sifflant, en frappant des pieds et des mains une fête remplie de dynamisme et de fureur de vivre.
 
Archie Shepp / Napoleon Maddox / Phat Jam rencontrent Via Katlehong Dance (avril 2011).

Mémoire du jazz à lui tout seul du haut de ses 73 ans, Archie Shepp porte avec lui toute la tradition de la musique afro-américaine, tout en l'abolissant de ses frontières et en osant les rencontres avec d'autres mondes musicaux. Composé de musiciens au talent indéniable, le groupe Phat Jam; réunissant Shepp et le rappeur et beat boxer américain Napoleon Maddox, nous invite à un dialogue à la fois ancré dans les musiques urbaines mais qui conserve néanmoins une "essence jazz", celle de "M. Archie Shepp" comme l'appelle Maddox. Les détours de Babel leur ont proposé une collaboration inédite avec six danseurs de "pantsula", danse urbaine sud-africaine, du groupe Via Katlehong Dance de l'East Rand. Cette danse, née dans les townships sud-africains, est l'expression urbaine d'une nouvelle génération, à l'instar du hip-hop aux USA et en Europe, luttant contre l'exclusion par l'expression artistique d'une danse dont l'énergie "vitale" puise dans la résistance aux conditions de vie dans des ghettos urbains. La même que celle des années 60, qui faisaient du jazz l musique de libération de la discrimination raciale de la communauté afro-américaine aux Etats-Unis. (Texte extrait du programme - Les détours de Babel).

Imbizo e Mazweni (a meeting outside homeland) (2007)
VIA KATLEHONG DANCE invit Christian Rizzo and Robyn Orlin
Toutes sortes de déserts
Creation in novembre 2007 in Théâtre de l’Onde
Espace culturel de Vélizy-Villacoublay
Choregraphy : Christian Rizzo
Piece for 9 dancers
Duration : 30 minutes

   
“As soon as I received the proposal to work with the Via Katlehong company I went to see them perform on stage. For the first few minutes of the performance, I was asking myself if there was really any point in us working together. I was taken up in my codes associated with a certain contemporary stage art. But very quickly, their energy, both in their dancing and soundscapes, convinced me. Above and beyond the form that I was seeing, it was the notion of dance, almost archaic, which came to the fore; a seamless relationship with theatre as a salutary activity for living bodies. And thus it was that I moved towards this new universe. And as I did, emerged the desire to assess my own universe, both baroque and abstract, in the light of their desire to narrate. To take this new encounter as a new adventure, reassess my own relationship to stage writing. Another facet of my imaginative world can then set to work to gauge the friction of our various dance practices, or our perception of the contemporary world.”

Christian Rizzo

Still life with homeless heaven and urban wounds…
Creation november 2007 in Théâtre de l’Onde
Espace culturel de Vélizy-Villacoublay
Piece for 9 dancers
Duration : 30 minutes


image1 image2 image3 image4 image5 image6 image7 image8 image9 image10 image11 image12 image13 image14 image15
   
“Pantsula... A name that goes back to the 70's when a pantsula was supposed to be the one who dressed elegantly yet not too formally but still made a fashion statement, also a popular dance form called “pantsula jive”... It became a very popular dance form during the 80's among young men in the townships... It includes not only a dance as a way of expressing oneself, but it is a way of life and impacts on where one lives... It has been described as .... A flat footed African tap - and - glide style of dance... The Zulu word pantsula can be translated to mean - to waddle like a duck or alternatively to walk with protruded buttocks - a characteristic of this dance form...
But for me, pantsula is a spontaneous expression of life which reflects the latent violence of the South-African culture... Mainly male orientated, unlike kwaito which is a very popular dance form for both men and women... With the group Via katlehong, we will look at how this dance form became a political expression in the 80's and still today manages to comment on the pervading cultural and political climate in South Africa.”

Robyn Orlin.

Co-production : Maison des Arts de Créteil, Théâtre du Manège de Maubeuge, L’Onde, Espace Culturel de Vélizy-Villacoublay, Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud, CulturesFrance, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Le Séchoir à Saint Leu – La Réunion, Damien Valette prod.
With the support of CulturesFrance-Ministère des Affaires étrangères department, « Afrique et Caraïbes en Créations », Centre national de la danse – Pantin.

 
Lead by Vusi Mdoyi, Steven Faleni and Buru Mohlabane, the company comprises a community school of dance and an 18-members who are professionally outfit. They specialize in « Pantsula », a South African township dance, and other neo-traditional forms such as « Gumboots », « tap Pantsula » and « steps » - a township interpretation of Gumboots dance.

Via Katlehong, through their innovative approach to Pantsula, Gumboots, Tap and Steps, they helped to revive the form, making it an important feature in South African contemporary dance today. They have won many awards along the way, including FNB Vita Dance, Dance Umbrella awards, Gauteng Dance Showcase, KTV Most Brilliant Achievement and Gauteng MEC Development Award amongst others.

They also currently participated in « Step Africa », an international cultural exchange dance workshops involving South Africa, the United States and Great Britain. They were currently involved in the Cultural exchange dance educational workshops in CNCDC Châteauvallon (France).
The piece « Nkululeko – celebrating 10 years in South Africa» was performed in many cities and dance festivals such as Les Rencontres de La Villette – Paris (France), Suresnes Cités Danse – Suresnes (France), C’est de la Danse Contemporaine ! CDC -Toulouse (France), and venues like Le Parvis – Scène Nationale de Tarbes (France), Dieppe Scène Nationale – Dieppe (France, L’Odyssée - Périgueux (France) …

After the major forced removal institutionalized by the Apartheid state during the sixties in South Africa, many of the country’s black population was relocated to township in the urban zones. As meeting zone between rural and city dwellers, these reservoir for cheap labors, unemployed and criminal activity became the bleeding ground for the explosive culture to come out of the country : Pantsula culture. Pantsula – a nickname for the rebellious youth in the township – included a fashion, a music, a dance and most importantly, a lifestyle. And the tsotsis (thugs) of each township found pride in representing ther Pantsula culture of their township. As access to music equipment was limited to very few, most of this competitive spirit was played out in the street : who dressed the fusionist and who had the flashiest dance steps. Pantsula therefore uses the street as theater to articulate the angst, joy and issues of the township, all coded in specific steps.

In the new South Africa, the dance has slowly moved out of the township, with is accompanying music « known as kwaito » and in to the commercial arena. This commercialization of the culture has let to it being diluted and less true to the survival spirit that gave birth to it. Only few groups such as township-based Via Katlehong have managed to bring the creativity by putting the tap steels under nigh the shoe to create other dance rhythms (tap pantsula), whistle ling, shouting, clapping and sheering energy and rebellious attitude of Pantsula dance onto the stage with or without the music.

Gumboots dance was formed in the early fifties by the group of mine workers, to celebrate, to refresh their minds and for the toy toy (protest). But more than that Via Katlehong have managed to modernize it in such a way that it is worked and collaborated with tap, Steps, Pantsula and traditional music dance (Gum-step-tap-pantsula). They are all performing at the same time using their different language (rhythm) dance style making one energetic movement that creates big sound of rhythm. Boot, hand clapping, whistling, sinning, tap-sound… A lot of energy is demanded and it also enter-acts with the audience, … it’s magic.

THERE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
• To have cultural exchanges internationally
• To promote all forms of creative and cultural activities
• To organize the youth and form the social activities
• To support the growing artist with development and substainability
• To form the relationship with other dance institutions with similar aims and objectives
• To keep an open policy, this is to make sure that we explore and expand ideas of different youth organization so as to upgrade professionalism within our community

VISION
• To expose our cultural activities national and international
• To promote youths irrespective of race, sex, creed in terms of social activites
• To make sure that Arts and Culture subjects are implemented in the educational department
• To contribute to all forms of Red Cross – Reconstruction and Developpment Programme and Presidential Project

MISSION
Our mission is to unite, educate youth in cultural activities, around our disadvantage area especially youth in Gauteng through programme on youth development which are non-sexist, on-racial and transparent.

 
Via Sophiatown
Libération 16/07/2014
Le Parisien 25/07/2014
M le magazine du Monde 12/07/2014
Un Fauteuil pour l'orchestre 23/07/2014
La Provence 3/12/2013
Télérama 13/12/2013

Workshops
Danser 2011

Katlehong Cabaret
Libération 03/2011
Le Figaro 03/2011
Le Monde 03/2011

Nkululeko
Liberation 07/05
Parisart.com 03/09

Imbizo
Voix du Nord 01/08
Artslink 02/08

Woza
Le Progrès 07/10
NewYorkTimes 05/09
Danser 05/09
Télérama 04/9
Liberation 03/09

Biographie
Liberation 02/09
Le Monde 02/09
Le Parisien 02/09



 
2014

- le 18 novembre 2014 à l'Espace Michel Simon de Noisy-le-Grand
- le 21 novembre 2014 à la Renaissance, Mondeville
- du 25 au 27 novembre 2014 à la MC2: de Grenoble
- le 29 novembre 2014 à MA scène nationale, Montbéliard

  2015

  - le 13 mars 2015 au Théâtre des Salins, scène nationale de Martigues
- le 17 mars 2015, Théâtres en Dracénie à Draguignan
- le 20 mars 2015 à Lognes (Nukululeko)
- les 24 et 25 mars 2015, Le Quartz, Scène nationale de Brest (Cabaret)

|  Julie George & Damien Valette - 50, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud – 75011 - Paris
CONTACT   |  Tél : 33 (0)1 43 38 03 33 | Fax : 33 (0)1 43 38 91 83
  |  e-mail : julie-george@wanadoo.fr | valette.d@gmail.com
INFOS   |  Mentions légales | Crédits