Otto Andile Nhlapo
Otto Andile Nhlapo born and raised in Heidelberg (Ratanda). Started out with the Juvenile Development Cultural Group in 2004, specialising in Zulu dance genres (Umkhomazi, Isizingili, Ushamen and Umzansi) and Pantsula dance. He has performed for dignitaries including President Jacob Zuma, former President Thabo Mbeki and FIFA President Joseph Sepp Blatter. In 2010 he joined MIDM Performing Arts Training Course and had an opportunity to study and perform in various events, he also worked with Robyn Orlin in her work titled Beauty, toured 11 cities in France. 2012 He won the pick of the stepping stones Dance Umbrella Festival Johannesburg with his solo work titled Dirty Hands, 2018 he attended Dance umbrella festival London with a production titled Via Kanana
In 2013 he joined Vuyani Dance Theatre as a junior company member and, after three months he was promoted to be a senior company member, where he then got an opportunity to tour with the company overseas. He has toured countries like Finland, Germany, Sweden, Holland, China and New York to name a few. He performed at the Metro FM annual awards 2013 to 2015, sharing the stage with various South African musicians. In 2014, he also performed with the company at the Presidential Inauguration.
He had the privilege to perform works of great choreographers in the country, works like Four Seasons, Full Moon, Kudu and Wake up choreographed by Gregory Vuyani Maqoma. In addition, he also performed works like Umnikelo, Dominion, Siva and 7Pillars choreographed by Luyanda Sidiya. He work with Via Katlehong in production titled Via Kanana, and also performed Transformations choreographed by Sylvia Glasser. He choreographed for the song Ndiredi by Simphiwe Dana on the production (Joys of Sharing) presented by Vuyani Dance Theatre, Featuring Wouter Kellerman and Simphiwe Dana, directed by Greg Maqoma.
In the year 2017 he created his first work with the company which was presented on the Vuyani week season 2017 work titled Interpellation. 2018 In a process of creating a double bill with Gregory Maqoma for the upcoming Vuyani week 30th November 2018.
As I already stated my name is Thamsanqa Johannes Masoka, born in Gauteng in 1988 10 October and lived most my life here. I realized at primary school that I am performer when I came front page at a local newspaper and I’ve kept that paper to date this far. We performed mostly the Dramatic arts in primary school but there were other arts disciplines I did, like gumboots’ dance and choral singing. Any formal training I received began way later after school after completion of a 3 years diploma course in Theology and Philosophy. Went for an audition at JazZArt DANCE THEATRE in Cape Town and there my performance art world just widened its horizons. We performed a lots of works we created and were encourage to create ourselves, that’s when I realized I could be a choreographer and ever since I haven’t stopped working on concepts in my head mostly people haven’t seen them but some have been. I created my first solo there called “Schizophrenia” and didn’t just use movement text but vocabulary as well just to show case my prior acting and creative writing ability. My most memorable cherished performances are works by 3 of my teacher mentors. First is a work Titled “Unlimited” by Mziyanda Steve Mancam, the second is “Destination…Lerato” by Ina wisteregte Mogane and lastly former artistic director of company Jacky Manyaapelo’s famous “waiting for Rain”.
Then 2014 I came back home to Gauteng, was not an easy choice coming back to start retraining from the top. As a trainee/Student. Great catch with Joining Moving into Dance Mophatong is that the institution is accredited and this meant getting formal recognized dance certificate, and yes I Graduated and was a class representative and did a year end solo called “Yaseens Devotions” about a friend of mine whose Muslim but the religion forbids him to dance. I then got a bursary to do second year trainee whilst also got accepted and the LAB Market theatre Performance school, however due to finance implications couldn’t resume my performance training with then, because I am not just a dancer but a performer who encamp more than one story telling disciplines. So I carried on with my training at MIDM. Wonderful part with MIDM is that I was getting training to be a dance teacher an arts practitioner and the knowledge of Silva Glasser Magogo. Works I was part of thee 2015. Sanlam Road Show where I performed in every province in Southern Africa by Nlhanhla Mahlangu, festival of fame by Mark Hawkins, Jegermaister Company, Rejuvenation of Newtown Company, Gauteng schools festival trainees and my Solo Yaseens Devotions and UJ Campus square, Misconduct with the Johannesburg Orchestra in WITS Park town campus by Jody and Anthea, For Now by myself and 5 other trainees in the company season at the university of Johannesburg Company season, Duet I created with Sussera Olyn.
Just when I thought I’d be done with MIDM I got a bursary to further my training as a company aspirant, and these are some of the works I was part of as well the year 2016, SO SO1O my best creations by far “I’m Lily’s” wits theatre, Sibikwa festival untitled with Vuyani dance theatre collaboration with Pumlani Nyanga duet I created and performed inn, Connexions “Laka la bo seaware ga le nthobe lempakela kudumela” its in sepedi meaning the name men doesn’t burdens me with responsibility and no healing but courses me great turmoil with young male dancers from Mpumalanga. And this work by Jessica Nupen extracts from Romeo and Juliet with company 1 trainee, 2 aspirants 3 Company members, Africa day live across the continents did few numbers by famous African artist like The soil, Oliver Mtukudzi, late Papa Wemba, late Mirriam Makeba and salif Kaita and etc. 2017 been working as freelancer and teacher and choreographer. Did work with Yana from England and wits graduate Nyaniso in wits. In a show that will played now late April.
Smangaliso Ngwenya is a performer, dancer, writer, choreographer and Rhodes Journalism and Media Studies Graduate. In 2017 he joined Vuyani Dance Theatre as an apprentice. In his first year he performed in Gregory Maqoma’s “Cion” and toured Russia with “Joys of Sharing” amidst scripting and performing in Otto Andile Nhlapo’s “Interpellation”. His solo “Mask-your-linearity” is his first choreographic offering which premiered at Vuyani Week 2017 and continued to be performed in 2018 at Adrienne Sichel’s “Body Politics: Fingerprinting South African Contemporary Dance” book launch. In 2018 he has scripted and performed in Lulu Mlangeni’s “Confined” and has toured locally and internationally with Maqoma’s “Cion”. His time at Rhodes University exposed him to movement and physical theatre training which now forms a core of his approach to dancing, scripting and choreographing. He is also skilled in filming, editing and choreographing through film. He is currently a junior company member at Vuyani Dance Theatre and pursuing his Masters in Cultural Policy and Arts Management at Wits University.
Lungile Mahlangu was born in Mabopane, Pretoria. She began dancing in high school at D.C Marivate in 2008 where she took part in the Dome competitions till 2010. She started her Technical training at the Tshwane University of Technology in 2015 where she completed her Diploma in Dance Teaching and training in Jazz,Contemporary,Classical ballet, Tap and African dances . She has recieved several accolades including Best student in all dance forms and Best student in Composition (2016). She continued to attain her training in Latin amidst successfully competing in several competitions. She is currently a junior dancer at Vuyani Dance Theatre.
Nathan Botha was born on the 29th of March 1994 in Bloemfontein. He began his formal dance training at Mangaung Drama and Dance Academy. A major influence in his dance development was hip hop which culminated in his being part of a well known dance crew called the House of Dirty Shakers (HODS). In 2015 he auditioned at Moving into Dance Mophatong as part of the PATC Training course later on he got promoted as trainee then. Nathan has extensive experience and training working with kids and adults with disabilities and has performed and choreographed for the RMB Enable through dance initiative. In 2018 he joined Vuyani Dance Theater as a trainee and was later promoted as a Junior dancer in the company.
Katleho grew up in a place called Vaal Reefs in the North West(Klerksdorp) which is where i attended school. Then we moved to Kanana as a family after my parents lost their jobs. I have always been one kid who is very quiet, loving to learn new things daily as a growing person. I then moved to Welkom which is in the Free State to persue my career in the arts, which is one thing that I have always been passionate about, then after I went to explore more in the career by going to study performing arts at FUBA school dramatic and visual arts of which I didn’t finish due to financial problems.
I have always been passionate about the arts it all started from primary to high school performing in big stages as a very young person, I went to perform in Mmabana at the Calabash festival in taung. I then went to stages of macufe which is where my theatrical professional performance began, participating in Tsoho Festival that was happening at PACOFS of which the show we played developed into a big production that went to play in Zimbabwe working and choreographed by Reginal Danster on a production called Droits De “lhomme. And I worked with a company called Foot Expression Dance Company with a show called Inside Out under mentorship of Thabo Rapooho which played at Dance Umbrella, then worked with MIDM (Moving Into Dance Mophatong) on a show called the triumph. I was also part of a show called The Newspaper mentored by Tshepiso Dasilva Phetlhu that took place in Oppenheimer Theatre and I did another production with Mcebisi Bhayi with a show called Uhambo Lwam. And I worked another project with MIDM on a show called In Time choreographed by Baba Muzi.11th of October I joined the training of Vuyani Dance Theatre where by I performed joys of sharing directed by Greogory Magoma,I performed at Vuyani Week in a piece choreographed by Phumlani Nyanga which is Beyond and Page 27 by Lulu Mlangeni.
Add Cion, interpellation, SEAfrica, Starlight Classics
Studied Dramatic and Visual art as part of his NSC certificate. In the same year Tsoeu performed in a play called Woza Albert as part of the NSC final exams and also nothing but the truth. After passing my matric. I was inspired and developed an interest in dancing which became my first dance lesson and first try at Lejweleputswa art centre and I was attending those dance lessons with Ernest Balene, Motlatsi Khotle.
A few months later he was involved in a workshop held by Moving into dance Mophatong on a seven weeks dance workshop, the name of the show was titled IN TIME and the mentor for the show was Bab Muzi and it was performed at Ernest Openhermmer theatre it was performed three time in a day and took a tour to Johannesburg. There was also a workshop held again at Lejweleputswa art centre held by Thabo Kobeli and it was a two weeks workshop for gaining knowledge and learning techniques.
His theatrical experience began while in High School. Taking parts in some of the production that were produced in the school. Took part in Tsoho Community Theatre Festival held by PACOFS with the play called ‘The Secret’ which was also performed at the Market Theatre in the Festival, Zwakala. Acted in a local movie called ‘An eye for an eye’ directed by Goimetsang Pholo. Performed twice in the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown with productions called ‘Exodus’ (Dance production) choreographed and directed by Mark Dobson Anthony and ‘Eagles’ (Dance production) choreographed and directed by Warren Wilskuit and both shows where produced by Mangaung Drama and Dance Academy known as (MDG Performing Arts Academy). Shared a stage with ‘The Soil’ in Extravaganza which was organised by University of the Free State (UOFS) an it was choreographed by Sizakele MDI. Did community project by teaching the Nursary Schools or Creche Puppetry and perform for them. In 2016 I joined Vuyani Dance Theatre and was casted in ‘Joys Of Sharing’ directed by Gregory Maqoma. Was also casted in PAGE 27’ created and choreographed by Lulu Mlangeni.