Vincent Mantsoe

(b. 1971)

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(full name Vincent Sekwati Koko Mantsoe; b Soweto, 26 Apr. 1971)

S. African choreographer, dancer, and teacher. A descendant of a long line of Sangomas (traditional healers), Mantsoe participated from childhood in traditional song and dance rituals. He also taught himself to dance through youth clubs, music videos, and street dancing. In 1990 he won a scholarship to the school of Moving Into Dance Company in Johannesburg and having become a permanent member of the company developed his own ‘Afro-fusion’ method of performance and choreography, drawing on African and Western dance forms and Asian martial arts. Between 1997 and 2001 he was associate artistic director of Moving into Dance, after which he formed his own company. As a dancer Mantsoe has mostly performed solo, the power of his work deriving not only from his profound absorption of other dance styles but also the spirituality of his creative process, which he describes as ‘borrowing’ from his ancestors. His solo works include Gula (mus. Gabrielle Roth, 1992), Mpheyane (mus. James Wood and Randy Crafton, 1997), Traduction Simultanée (1999, in collaboration with Michel Kelemenis and Takeshi Yazaki), Bupiro—Mukuti (mus. Kronos Quartet and traditional, 2002), and NDAA (mus. various, 2003). He has also created various works for other companies including Sasanka (Dance Theatre of Harlem, 1997), Majara (Skanes Dance Theatre, Sweden, 2002) and Skin (ACE Company, UK, 2007). Mantsoe has taught and performed internationally and is recipient of many awards including first prize at Bagnolet 1996 and 1998, and Prix de Peuple, Montreal, 1999.

Subjects: Dance.

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