Gregory Maqoma/Via Katlehong: Via Kanana

(Johannesburg/South Africa)

Fighting corruption with their feet: These pantsula dancers arm themselves against the abuse of power and intimidation with the power of danced, clapped, lived rhythm, through which they condemn the lack of moral standards in the post-apartheid era in South Africa. The Via Katlehong company originally emerged from a township youth project and, with the dynamic, foot-stomping rebel dance pantsula and the gumboot dances originally devised by mine workers, have become one of the African continent’s most well-known dance troupes. Their latest work was created by Gregory Maqoma, an award-winning South African who trained in Belgium and with Akram Khan. The title of the piece, Via Kanana, alludes to Canaan, the Promised Land of the Bible, and here specifically denotes a land that was promised but never handed over. Accompanied by traditional songs or a fiery anti-corruption speech, the dancers condemn the abuse of power and fraud, and with the infinite energy of their feet seek to anchor in the ground the hope that the youth of the townships will be able to bring about change.

“Their feet, hands, torsos, faces, voices, and eyes tell an urgent story better than most words ever could.” – The Theatre Times, New York

“The energy and exuberance of this dance form and these supremely skilled practitioners was electrifying” – Dancetabs, London

“But it is the demonic speed of the play of legs and feet in this pantsula dance that propels everything in an infernal rhythm.” –, France

“Maqoma feels an urgency in the air that is perfectly captured by the relentless attack of pantsula.” – The Guardian, London

Choreography: Gregory Maqoma | Premiere: 6. November 2017, Lyon | Duration: approx. 60 minutes no intermission

Dates & Prices

Cat. 1: 39.– € / dis.: 31.– € / under-18: 31.– €
Cat. 2: 29.– € / dis.: 23.– € / under-18: 23.– €
Cat. 3: 19.– € / dis.: 15.– € / under-18: 15.– €


Dauer // Duration: ca. 60 Minuten ohne Pause // approx. 60 minutes with no intermission


Choreographie // Choreography: Gregory Maqoma
Musikkomposition // Music composer: Samuel Makhathade Khabane
Lichtdesign // Lighting designer: Oliver Hauser de Hauser Lighting Design
Kamera // Videographer: Jurgen Meekel
Kostüme // Costumes: DarkDindie Styling Concepts
Text: The Key-note speech by Prof. PLO Lumumba at the 3rd Anti-Corruption Convention that took place on 2nd December 2013 at Hotel Africana, Kampala, Uganda
Schwarz-weiß Fotografie // Images Black & white photographs: David Goldblatt
Tänzer*innen // Dancers: Tshepo Nchabeleng, Thato Qofela, Andile Nhlapo, Tshepo Mohlabane, Teboho Diphehlo, Abel Vilakazi, Nomasonto Radebe, Boitumelo Tshupa
Lichttechnik // Lighting technician: Oliver Hauser
Projektleitung // Project director: Buru Mohlabane
Produktionsleitung // Production manager: Steven Mpiyakhe Faleni
Verwaltung & Produktion in Frankreich // Administration & production in France: Damien Valette
Assistenz & Koordination in Frankreich // Assistance & coordination in France: Manon Blanchard


Photos: Christian Ganet

Produced by Damien Valette Prod
Coproduced by Via Katlehong Dance, Maison de la Danse de Lyon, La Villette, Paris, Châteauvallon,
Scène nationale

Thanks to The Centre for the Less Good Idea, un espace incubateur pour les arts à Maboneng,
Johannesburg, fondé par William Kentridge

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