The Best of Mozambican Dance Heads to South Africa Dancing Today’s African Body

Mozambique’s first contemporary dance company, CulturArte, marks their 20th year anniversary with a powerful tour of South Africa, Madagascar and Mozambique in June and July 2018. As a leading institution for dance in Mozambique and founded by internationally renowned choreographer and dancer Panaibra Gabriel Canda, CulturArte provides support for new creations and performances, artistic development and training programmes for dance projects and Southern African artists.

Named as one of the world’s 30 New Promises for the Future of Dance, Canda will show his work, Time and Space: The Marrabenta Solos, at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, East London’s The Guild Theatre and Johannesburg’s UJ Theatre. The tour forms part of The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia’s Winter Programme celebrating 20 years in South Africa, and includes a collaborative double bill by acclaimed Swiss choreographer Thomas Hauert, whose company ZOO, also joins hands in celebrating their own 20th year milestone in 2018.

The Marrabenta Solos journeys through Mozambique’s complex history, a feature carried in the Marrabenta, a musical form born in the 1950s from a mix of Mozambican and European influences. The enduring 60 minute dance solo explores a crisis of identity, and deconstructs cultural representations of a “pure” African body, in particular, the Mozambican body. Accompanied by guitarist, Jorge Domingos, Canda dances and speaks about today’s African body: a post-colonial, plural body that has absorbed the ideals of nationalism, modernity, socialism and freedom of expression.

Thomas Hauert’s energetic collaboration Há mais (meaning “There’s more”) was created with 5 Mozambique dancers, who represent the cream of Mozambique’s contemporary dance scene. With choreographic phrases modified by the interaction with time, movement and space, audiences are treated to dynamic improvisation performed with staggering virtuosity alongside musical passages by Stravinsky.

As part of a double bill for audiences in Maputo and Grahamstown and alongside Hauert’s work, Panaibra Canda presents his creation Mafalala. Inspired by Mozambican society and the suburbs of Maputo, this reflective piece with four dancers and a saxophonist, weaves through Maputo’s post-colonial tension with a distinct movement vocabulary expressed through the city’s unique mixture of cultures, people, ways of living and collective memory.

New York Times: “Recombining identities to define a self … Mr. Canda is a compelling dancer, rhythmically cogent with stamping feet and eloquent with curving arms and a swayed back”

The tour is supported by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Media are invited to experience the performances.



Time & Space: The Marrabenta Solos

Date: 29 June at 20h30

Hà Mais & Mafalala a double-bill

Date: 28 June at 20h30

Venue: Centre Culturel Franco-Mozambicain (CCFM)


Grahamstown National Arts Festival

Time & Space: The Marrabenta Solos

Date: 03 July at 11h00 and 15h00

Date: 04 July at 20h00

Hà Mais & Mafalala a double-bill

Date: 04 July at 11h00 and 15h00

Date: 05 July at 18h00

Venue: Rhodes Theatre

Price: R80

Tickets: and

East London

Time & Space: The Marrabenta Solos

Venue: The Guild Theatre

Date: 7 July

Tickets: via Computicket


Time & Space: The Marrabenta Solo

Venue: University of Johannesburg, UJ Theatre, Kingsway Campus

Date: 13 & 14 July at 19H30


Time & Space: The Marrabenta Solos

Venue: Is’art gallery

Date: 19 July