A great many traditional African “homes” are built in such a way that a natural space and feeling is created. Yet, the “home” is a lot more than just a living space: it reflects relationships with others like a mirror, and also relationships of living beings with the world of their ancestors. In keeping with the traditional “home”, the NDEBELE “dwelling” is built around four different structures:
The main building, the “NTLO HOLO”
1. Two secondary buildings “NTOLO E NYANE”
2. The forecourt “FORECOURT”
3. And finally, the internal space
4. “INNER SPACE”
In EBHOFOLO: this “Folly” (a word of Xhosa origin), the choreographer explores the accuracy of what takes place between the NTLO HOLO (the main building) and the NTOLO E NYANE (the secondary building), between the FORECOURT (outside) and the INNER SPACE (inside), just as reality can also mean dealing with the everyday “folly” of contemporary life, where we discover characters, foolishness, obstacles. The choreographer combines the philosophy of dance techniques with the notion of NDEBELE space and time, as they are shaped in their living spaces. He observes how the nature of people is linked to their art of painting, to the consideration they give to their “home”, which they inherited when they were born. The challenge for the choreographer is to express this relationship between yesterday, today and tomorrow through dance. Unlike “folly”, EBHOFOLO is embellished with colours that are directly linked to NDEBELE art, the very essence of a traditional art de vivre that is in the process of becoming extinct.
Source : Maison de la Danse - programme
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Choreographer, performer and dance teacher, Vincent Sekwati Koko Mantsoe was born in 1971 in Soweto, a Johannesburg township (South Africa), in the district of Deipkoof. Raised by his mother in a family of healers (“sangomas” in Zulu), he attended ritual healing ceremonies from a very young age, when he accompanied women during their trance (his grandmother, aunt and mother) on the drums. His personal choreographic practice was initially built on street dances influenced by the first music videos, among them those of Michael Jackson, who Mantsoe would imitate, along with his childhood friend Gregory Vuyani Maqoma. Along with other friends from the township, they created a street dance group, The Joy Dancers.
During this time, when he described himself as a “punk with a perm”, Vincent Mantsoe only just survived a serious car accident thanks to his mother's care. This “rebirth” as he calls it, made him become aware of the value of his spiritual heritage. His work would consequently become an opportunity to evoke his ancestral beliefs or the voices to which he surrenders when he dances.
With the help of a scholarship, he became a hard-working student in 1989, training at the Moving into Dance Company Mophatong (MIDM), one of the first multiracial companies in South Africa, run by Sylvia Glasser, which he then joined at the end of his studies. There he studied a wide range of techniques and types of dance, Asian and Western as well as African, in South Africa and in Australia, at the Victoria College of Arts. In 1995 he took part in the 1ère rencontres chorégraphiques de l’Afrique et de l’Océan Indien (first Africa and Indian Ocean choreographic encounters) in Luanda with the company MID, and presented the piece “Gula Matari” which won the first prize.
He became associate artistic director of the company MIDM in 1997, and created many solos and ensemble pieces there, also collaborated with other companies in South Africa (Ballet Theatre Afrikan) as well as in the United States (Dance Theatre of Harlem), in Sweden (Skanes Dans Theatre), Israel (The Inbal Dance Company), and in Canada (Collective of Black Artists).
His choreography combines traditional African dance with contemporary, Aboriginal, Asian, Indian and Balinese influences, and embraces ballet, Tai-chi and various martial arts, to forge a personal afro fusion style. A multiple prize winner, Vincent Mantsoe has an international career, particularly in Japan, in the United States and in Canada.
The demands of his international career led him to give up his responsibilities as associate director in 2001 to become artistic consultant instead; Vincent Mantsoe then founded his own company in 2005, alongside his wife, the dancer Cécile Maubert, who he met while working with the Marseilles choreographer Michel Kelemenis in 1999. Based at Saint Pont in the Auvergne region, this is how he describes the philosophy which underpins the work of the Association Noa-Cie Vincent Mantsoe: “The spirit of dance and Ancestors are the source of the work, the free mind cannot be separated from the natural force, that ultimately create a unique way of executing different forces, which can lead to the process of transformation between the past and present”.
Despite being based in France, Vincent Mantsoe is clear about his South African identity: “I'm a South African choreographer in France, not a French choreographer” . The creation of “Skwatta” during the Jomba! Festival (Durban) in 2012 testifies to his roots in contemporary South African society: indeed the work is inspired by the makeshift camps which are plentiful throughout South Africa.
Sources : V. Mantsoe ; M.- C. Vernay, “Vincent Mantsoe: “Transmettre un message social de rebellion”, Libération 2 July, 1997 ; Article in the “City Press” in August 2012
Author, filmmaker and video artist Charles Picq entered working life in the 70s through theatre and photography. A- fter resuming his studies (Maîtrise de Linguistique - Lyon ii, Maîtrise des sciences et Techniques de la Communication - grenoble iii), he then focused on video, first in the field of fine arts at the espace Lyonnais d'art Contemporain (eLaC) and with the group « Frigo », and then in dance.
On creation of the Maison de la Danse in Lyon in 1980, he was asked to undertake a video documentation project that he has continued ever since. During the ‘80s, a decade marked in France by the explosion of contemporary dance and the development of video, he met numerous artists such as andy Degroat, Dominique Bagouet, Carolyn Carlson, régine Chopinot, susanne Linke, Joëlle Bouvier and regis Obadia, Michel Kelemenis. He worked in the creative field with installations and on-stage video, as well as in television with recorded shows, entertainment and documentaries.
His work with Dominique Bagouet (80-90) was a unique encounter. He documents his creativity, assisting with Le Crawl de Lucien and co-directing with his films Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux and 10 anges. in the 90s he became director of video development for the Maison de la Danse and worked, with the support of guy Darmet and his team, in the growing space of theatre video through several initiatives:
- He founded a video library of dance films with free public access. This was a first for France. Continuing the video documentation of theatre performances, he organised their management and storage.
- He promoted the creation of a video-bar and projection room, both dedicated to welcoming school pupils.
- He started «présentations de saisons» in pictures.
- He oversaw the DVD publication of Le tour du monde en 80 danses, a pocket video library produced by the Maison de la Danse for the educational sector.
More recently, he launched the series “scènes d'écran” for television and online. He undertook the video library's digital conversion and created the website numeridanse.tv, an international video library for dance online.
His main documentaries are: enchaînement, Planète Bagouet, Montpellier le saut de l'ange, Carolyn Carlson, a woman of many faces, grand ecart, Mama africa, C'est pas facile, Lyon, le pas de deux d'une ville, Le Défilé, Un rêve de cirque.
He has also produced theatre films: Song, Vu d'ici (Carolyn Carlson), Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux, 10 anges, Necesito and So schnell, (Dominique Bagouet), Im bade wannen, Flut and Wandelung (Susanne Linke), Le Cabaret Latin (Karine Saporta), La danse du temps (Régine Chopinot), Nuit Blanche (Abou Lagraa), Le Témoin (Claude Brumachon), Corps est graphique (Käfig), Seule et WMD (Françoise et Dominique Dupuy), La Veillée des abysses (James Thiérrée), Agwa (Mourad Merzouki), Fuenteovejuna (Antonio Gades), Blue Lady revistied (Carolyn Carlson).
Source : Maison de la Danse
Choreography : Vincent Sekwati Koko Mantsoe
Additionnal music : Kayhan Kalhor, Ali Akbar Modari, Tartit, Dinda Hamma Sarre
Lights : Serge Damon
Settings : Mme Ester Malhangu
Production / Coproduction of the video work : Maison de la Danse de Lyon, Charles Picq