On September 26, 2012, for its fall World Dance Symposium, the Institute explored South African Dance and Music with “Juxtapower,” a company of NYC dancers and musicians. Juxtapower provided a comprehensive representation of South Africa through a program that encompasses both traditional and urban dance and music. For its educational component, the Institute partnered with NJPAC’s Arts Education program to bring the ensemble’s director, Sduduzo Ka-Mbili into the Newark Vocational High School, which participates in its Arts Education program. The artists offered a workshop called “Zum-boot” on traditional South African dance for students who have been studying other West African dance forms.
In the evening, Juxtapower presented a performance at our traditional space, the Bradley Hall Theatre on the Rutgers-Newark Campus. The concert featured a journey through South African dance styles from traditional Zulu and Gumboot - a precursor to modern stepping that originated with rural gold mine workers – to “Pantsula,” urban, hip hop-style dance. A reception follow the performance where the audience was able to meet the artists.
Based in NYC, Juxtapower is a production company of dance and song that celebrates the rich history of South Africa, and the coming of age of Africa as a continent. The group, comprised of South African, Caribbean and American performers, is the brainchild of artistic director, Sduduzo Ka-Mbili from Durban, South Africa, and has been touring the United States since 2003. “Got Zulu,” the production to be featured at the symposium, juxtaposes the different performing arts found in the West with those from Africa, and showcases how both are intrinsically intertwined.