MAM provides well respected curation both nationally and internationally...
Mamela Nyamza’s “Hatched Ensemble” is a groundbreaking and innovative project that challenges the traditional norms of ballet dance.
Inspired by her original solo dance project in 2007, “Hatched Ensemble,” is a unique and thought-provoking performance that speaks to the complexity of identity, belonging, gender, tradition and artistic expression, within the context of contemporary dance.
Born in Gugulethu, Cape Town, Nyamza was this week honoured when Jomba! Festival announced her as Jomba! 2023 Legacy Artist.
Jomba (which means to jump in Zulu) is one of SA’s renowned contemporary dance festivals, which has been happening for 25 years.
It has given many local dancers a platform to showcase their talent.
Other artists including Jay Pather, Vincent Sekwati Mantsoe and Musa Hlatshwayo have been honoured at the festival.
Nyamza, who has danced on international stages, says she is honoured by the gesture.
“Hatched Ensemble is not a typical ballet because I’m not following the norm,” said Nyamza.
“It is more like a classical installation on stage, a classical performance of art on stage.
“And already that is breaking the boundaries because people don’t go to a ballet show to see an installation of bare-chested dancers, wooden pegs, romantic tutu skirts and hanging pointy shoes.
“In ‘Hatched Ensemble’, I have dancers speak on stage and sing African music that is infused with classical tunes and African instruments with the recorded classical ballets, and having them all in one ballet has always been a dream for me.”
By breaking these barriers, Nyamza is not only expanding the representation within the ballet world but also pushing the boundaries of what ballet can be.
“The work is protesting in a subtle way, on stage. The work is speaking about about us as a country in South Africa that we have been indoctrinated. And now, we need to come out of that.”
With a career spanning over two decades, Nyamza continues to advocate for inclusivity. Her work is an inspiring example of how the arts can be a platform for social change, empowerment, and the celebration of diversity.