This September issue is a special one for us here at Creative Feel. To thrive for 20 years is no mean feat for any arts organisation and we are incredibly proud to be celebrating Vuyani Dance Theatre’s 20th anniversary along with them.
We have followed the career of Gregory Maqoma, founder and creative director of Vuyani Dance Theatre (VDT), for a long time. He first popped up on our radar in a big way when he was announced as the Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance in 2002, not long after Creative Feel (then Classicfeel) was first established. His first appearance on our cover was in 2009, cementing a relationship built on mutual respect, support and appreciation. Since then, Maqoma and VDT have been staples in Creative Feel and we have partnered on many of their productions over the years.
Maqoma’s skills as a dancer and choreographer have seen VDT take to stages across the globe – consistently wowing audiences and receiving critical acclaim. Works like Exit/Exist and Beautiful Me have seen Maqoma earn the distinction of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government and he was chosen by Rolex as an advisor for their Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, among many other international distinctions.
Both VDT and Maqoma have undergone incredible transformations over the years. VDT has been increasingly run as a company that is trending ever closer towards self-sustainability – something that Maqoma knew he couldn’t achieve alone and so he brought collaborators on board to guide him in the right direction. Collaboration has always been central to Maqoma’s way of creating. In our interview with him this month, he says, ‘VDT was never about me only’ and this is evident in the path he has taken the dance company on.
Through strategy and sharing, Maqoma has created a dance company that has gone from strength to strength each year, a company that is closely associated with his name but which is not reliant on him for its success.
Congratulations to Gregory Maqoma and Vuyani Dance Theatre, we are incredibly proud to see you achieve this milestone and hope to be celebrating many more with you in the future!
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