The JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience has announced its JOMBA! Open Horizons “pick of the platform” awards for 2023 set for Sunday September 3. The programme was screened on the festival’s YouTube Channel and remains available for the remainder of the festival until 10 September.

The platform encourages submissions from dance-makers across Africa and South Africa and has been a platform for artists, new and established, to create and develop new and original work for participation on JOMBA!’s international stage.  Through an open call for submissions of work between 3 – 8min in length JOMBA!’s Open Horizons platform offers a smorgasbord of new works across a variety of themes showcasing emerging and established voices for local and international audiences.

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This year’s three picks for the pick-of-the-platform” awards include Kenya’s Maulid Owino’s work When Time Stops who came in third and was awarded a Cach prize of R2000 (KSh. 15,479). Owino who is the founder and artistic director of Dance Unites is no stranger to the platform, having had his work screened as part of the 2021 iteration of JOMBA! Open Horizons. When Time Stops is a work that plays with the fleetingness of time and jurors commented on the artful use of transitions in driving character and narrative forward.

Cape Town’s Oscar O’Ryan took top honours and a monetary prize of R3000 for Not From Here described by the artist as “an ode to the unique South African Karoo landscape”.  Juror Tracey Saunders applauded the work for its “exquisite styling and sense of place” while fellow juror Shanelle Jewnarain commended the film’s expert crafting where “concept meets execution perfectly!”

Durban-based Tshediso Kabulu’s Exorcism took third place with R1000. Kabulu who is no stranger to Durban’s stages and screens offers a work that he says explores “the pursuit of liberation, healing, and the ultimate freedom to live in the present moment”.  Juror David April commented on the expressiveness of Kabulu’s performance in lending itself to the articulated narrative.

The Festival offers a range of workshops, residencies, talks and performances and runs until 10 September. Tickets are available through Computicket.

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