The Vuyani Dance Theatre (VDT) is a contemporary African dance company founded in 1999 by Creative Director Gregory Maqoma. After years of gracing international and local stages, VDT is positioned as one of the most cutting-edge, thought provoking and successful dance and theatrical organisations to have emerged in Africa. VDT is spot-on regarding its artistic objective of producing work that questions and challenges social values while, simultaneously, exploiting history as a launch pad for (material) research and development.
Various themes of concern to young people are also addressed through collaborative methods and forms that involve music and dance styles that are in keeping with the performers’ own lives. Vuyani Dance Theatre approach embraces – in a dynamic and theatrical way – the many tastes, the different motivations, and the diverse cultures that shape the uniqueness of the South African society. Such is achievable courtesy of a pool of diligent creators and dancers who invariably express themselves with artistic excellence.
The company has performed in Europe, the USA, Africa, Mexico and New Zealand. It has scooped top awards in South Africa for dance and choreography and has received international recognition and continues to do so.
VDT constantly finds co-creators and performers from all over the world. Hitherto, the interaction that includes ideas and empirical artistic participation has led VDT in the direction of efficacy. It can be stated without doubt, at the moment, that all who have been aligned (in turns) with VDT since inception have in one way or another gained from the organization.
1999: FNB VITA Choreographer of the Year for Rhythm 1.2.3. To Gregory Maqoma
2000: FNB VITA Most Outstanding Presentation of an Original Contemporary Work for Rhythm Blues to Gregory Maqoma
2000: FNB Vita Dance Umbrella Outstanding Female Dancer for Southern Comfort to Shannel Winlock
2001: FNB Vita Dance Umbrella Outstanding Female Dancer for Rhythm Blues to Shanell Winlock
2001: FNB VITA Best Choreography for Southern Comfort to Gregory Maqoma
2002: FNB Vita Choreographer of The Year for ‘Southern Comfort’ and ‘Ek se…Hola’ to Gregory Maqoma
2002: Standard Bank Young Artist Award to Gregory Maqoma
2005: Gauteng MEC Award – Choreographer of the Year for Beautiful Us to Gregory Maqoma
2006: Gauteng MEC Award – Promising Female Dancer for Rhythm Colour to Lulu Mlangeni
2007: Gauteng MEC Award – Best Choreography in a Contemporary Style to Gregory Maqoma for ‘Beautiful Me’
2007: Gauteng MEC Award –Most Outstanding Presentation of a New Work to Gregory Maqoma for ‘Beautiful Me’
2011: City Festival Awards – Best Dancer trainee to Maleshwane Mohoasi – VDT’s first year student
2011: Dance Manyano Awards – Best Choreographer of the decade award to Gregory Maqoma
2011: Dance Manyano Awards – Best Male Dancer of the decade award to Luyanda Sidiya
2012: A Silver Standard Bank Ovation Award for the work MAYHEM
2012: Tunkie Award for Leadership in Dance – Gregory Maqoma
2014: Naledi Theatre Award – Sophie Mgcina Emerging Artist Award to Lulu Mlangeni
2014: New York Bessie Award for Dance – Outstanding Music Composition in a dance production for Exit/Exist
2014: 2015 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Dance to Luyanda Sidiya
2017: Chevalier de l’Order des arts et des lettres (Knight of the Arts & Literature) Award to Gregory Maqoma
2018: Pick of the Fringe Award for Ithemba at Jomba to Thulisile Binda
Best Female Performer at the Trade Fair 2018 to Thulisile Binda for SCARS