In Exit/Exist, South African choreographer Gregory Maqoma reinvigorates tradition to understand the complexities of our contemporary world. As inspiration for this piece, Maqoma looks to his ancestral past: Chief Maqoma, a 19th century warrior who fought to maintain Xhosa cultural traditions of the Eastern Cape in the face of colonial dispossession. Maqoma embodies this forgotten history in a transformational and poignant solo performance that fuses storytelling with his own unparalleled contemporary dance vocabulary and spirited live music. Through his signature integration of traditional and contemporary dance, Maqoma invites audiences to reflect on who we are, where we come from, and how all of these facets, past and present, inform our personal and collective identities today. Maqoma is joined on stage by four exceptional singers (South African ensemble Complete, whose performance credentials include touring with Hugh Masekela) and world-fusion guitarist Giuliano Modarelli, performing a lush score by Simphiwe Dana, the acclaimed singer and composer from Maqoma’s native province of the Eastern Cape. As supporting characters in the narrative, the entire cast is interwoven into Maqoma’s vibrantly kinetic world, creating rich visual scenes which punctuate his abstract exploration of race and political power, cultural tradition and personal legacy.
Presented by 651 ARTS and produced by MAPP International Productions in partnership with The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium.