Flatfoot Dance Company

Subtitle

MEET THE COMPANY

LLIANE LOOTS (ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER):

Loots founded FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY as a professional dance company in 2003 when it grew out of a dance training programme that originally began in 1995. As the artistic director and resident choreographer for FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY, she has won numerous national choreographic awards and commissions including the FNB VITA award for choreography (2002) and the KZN DanceLink award for choreography in 2007. 


In 2012 she received the prestigious KZN DanceLink Dance Writer/Critic award. 


She has been an invited guest choreographer for companies including SIWELA SONKE DANCE THEATRE and the FANTASTIC FLYING FISH DANCE COMPANY, and has taught dance technique and choreography to students in many dance programmes, dance education departments, and companies all over the globe – some of these include, Nigeria, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, India, Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Mali. 


Most recently (in 2013) Loots and FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY set up a 3 year (and on-going) partnership with the Chicago-based DEEPLY ROOTED DANCE THEATRE which has seen DRDT perform with FLATFOOT at JOMBA! 2013 and 2015, and has seen Loots and some of the FLATFOOT company travel to Chicago in 2014 to create joint work and continue a shared dance education vision of using dance for social change.


Loots’s seminal work, “BLOODLINES”, opened the prestigious 2011 Dance Umbrella in Johannesburg and then traveled onto the Harare International Festival of the Arts in Zimbabwe (HIFA), in May 2011. Loots’s 2010 work “BHAKTI”, her first collaboration with veteran maskanda musician, Madala Kunene, won a prestigious OVATION AWARD at the 2011 National Arts Festival. This work has gone on to be restaged in a partnership with the Playhouse Company at the “20 Years of Democracy” season in November 2014.


Loots’s belief in dance education as a tool for profound social change has seen FLATFOOT use dance and arts as a mechanism of dealing with Gender Based Violence, HIV and AIDS and for environmental education. 

FLATFOOT is globally considered a company spearheading new ways of thinking about dance and education within a Southern context. 


Loots is also the dance lecturer in the Drama and Performance Studies Programme on the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Durban) campus. She has a master’s degree in Gender Studies and is presently pursuing her PhD in African contemporary dance performance. She is also delighted to hold the founding position of Artistic Director for the Centre for Creative Arts’s annual JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience.

SIFISO KHUMALO (DANCER AND DANCE EDUCATOR):

Sifiso began his dance performance career in 1998 with UKUSA ARTS PROGRAMME. In 1999 he went to work with the French company called Cie Jean Francois Duroure in a production called ''What are you doing here?'' which toured Belgium, France, Germany, Holland and many east-central countries in Africa. In 2001 he joined Phenduka Dance Theatre's training progamme and after completing the training in 2005 set off to join the internationally acclaimed African Footprint in their season run at Sibaya Casino (which also went on to tour to Morocco and India). In 2006 he joined FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY and has performed intensively with the company ever since working in not only Lliane Loots’s works but also with guest choreographers to the company, which include Sifiso Kweyama (South Africa), Daniel Renner (Holland/Austria), and Adedayo Liadi (Nigeria). He also completed a graduate course, Dance in Education, at the University of KwaZulu Natal (Durban) in 2007.


Within FLATFOOT, Sifiso is currently working as a facilitator and dance teacher in the company’s dance development project in KwaMashu (Siyakhula Dance Project). He also co-facilitates the FLATFOOT disability dance programme in partnership with the Open Air School here in Durban (LeftFeetFirst).  In 2005 Sifiso formed a youth dance project called The Young Ones Arts Project in Clermont KwaDabeka Sub5 – a project which he continues to run and facilitate outside of FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY


His growing list of choreographic works include, amongst others, Giyani Lusha! 2009 and 2010, a youth ensemble hosted by KZN DanceLink, ''Harsh Hush My Soul'' for DUT's dance drama season called ''Rejected Angels'' in 2009. ''Zakubuyiswa ngubani na?'' (Who will bring them back?) with FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY's season called ''Six'' in 2008. In 2012, Khumalo was commissioned by the company to create the acclaimed “UTALAGU/HORIZON” for the six resident dancers of FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY. Khumalo also continues to participate in Boyzie Cekwana (South Africa) and Faustin Linyekula’s (Democratic Republic of Congo) continental dance residency that has seen him work in most recently in both Kenya and Ireland.

JABU SIPHIKA (DANCER AND DANCE EDUCATOR):

Jabu joined FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY in February 2007. She received her training through Phenduka Dance Theatre’s trainee /training programme, and also spent some time as a senior member of Phenduka Dance Theatre, performing extensively with the company in such seasons as Holes in the Heart which was performed in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg, Umhlahlo which was also performed in Durban and Cape Town, “Paradise Changing” which was performed in Cape Town as a collaboration between Phenduka Dance Theatre and Jazzart Dance Theatre (choreography by Leverne Botha). 


Having completed a graduate course in Dance Education at UKZN in 2007, Jabu assists with facilitation on FLATFOOT’s Dance Development projects in KwaMashu (Siyakhula), Umlazi (Dudlu Ntombi) and in Waterloo (Waterloo Dance Project).  


She won first place in choreography for The National Creative Arts Youth Festival in KwaZulu Natal in the group dance competition in 2009. 


In 2010 she joined FLATFOOT in Cameroon performing at a festival called Abok I Ngoma. That same year, she travelled with the company to Holland on a performance and teaching exchange with Introdans in Arnhem. In January 2011, Jabu and her FLATFOOT Siyakhula Dance Project were invited to be part of a cultural exchange in Zimbabwe by the youth arts organisation, Chipawo. 


Jabu took a one sabbatical from FLATFOOT over 2012 where she worked with Gregory Maqoma and his Johannesburg-based Vuyani Dance Theatre. She returned full-time with the company from January 2013. Jabu continues to participate in Boyzie Cekwana (South Africa) and Faustin Linyekula’s (Democratic Republic of Congo) continental dance residency that has seen her work most recently in Kenya and Ireland.

TSHEDISO KABULU (DANCER AND DANCE EDUCATOR):

Tshediso was born in Welkom, which is in Free State Province. He is the last born son of Gladys and Jan Kabulu, with two older brothers ahead of him. Tshediso did both his primary and high schooling in Welkom then moved to Bloemfontein at the age of 19 to further his studies at the University of the Free State (Bsc. Biology and Statistics) in 2007. 


He started dancing in church and went on to be appointed to choreograph for a Christian organization called Possible Life Foundation. This inspired him to finally embark on his first formal dance training in 2008 under dance teacher and choreographer David Hala - where he majored in afro-fusion and African contemporary. 


Tshediso had won numerous popular dance campus competitions from the year 2007 - 2011 including “So You Think You Can Dance” campus challenge sponsored by Twist and Student Village, MTN Campus Dance Challenge (2 years running), UFS Culture evening dance category (3 years running) and Spontaan Volksblad Dance Competition. In 2009, he started doing his classical contemporary training with Moving Into Dance Mophatong’s (MIDM) former dancer Reginald Danster. It was in 2011 that he performed in the opening ceremony for the honoring of Oprah Winfrey in South Africa.  He also choreographed and performed in the annual Macufe Arts Festival in 2011, the same year that he took on the job of dance teacher of the UFS Eye-dentity arts and culture program aimed at teaching people how to dance. 


He joined FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY in January 2012, where he not only furthered his training and professional dance work but where he also began working as a dance educator in FLATFOOT’s numerous dance development programmes. He is now a full-fledged professional member of the company with a strong and dedicated work ethic and not so secret love of popular culture music videos! He co-facilitates FLATOOT’s KwaMashu (Siyakhula) and Newlines (Newlands Dance Project) dance development programmes and also work in FLATFOOT’s disability dance programme in partnership with the Open Air School (LeftFeetFirst). Tshediso continues to grow his choreographic skills with on-going support and work with the FLATFOOT Training Company and the company's ADD programme.

ZINHLE NZAMA (DANCER AND DANCE EDUCATOR):

Zinhle gained her primary dance training with Phenduka Dance Theatre between 2005 and 2007, after which she decided to study further to obtain her Bachelor of Education through UNISA - she recently graduated with her BEd in June 2016. 

She funded her studies by dancing in all sorts of corporate gigs some of which include prestigious events like COP 17 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup closing ceremony. She has also been a guest dancer with companies like Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre, and Nateshwar Dance Company. Having also guested with FLATFOOT having toured with them to the Grahamstown National Arts Festival when they performed Loots's acclaimed "Mapping Nostalgia" on the Arena Platform in 2012. 


Her love (and gift) for teaching has seen her teach the dance module in the UKUSA Arts Programme, and she has also taught within some of FLATFOOT’s dance education and development programmes. 


Zinhle joined FLATFOOT full time at the beginning of 2015 and brought and incredible and vital energy to the company that resonated with her symbiotic love of performance and teaching. She is a valued member of the professional company and co-facilitates the FLATFOOT programmes in Newlines (Newlands Dance Project), and in Umlazi (Dudlu Ntombi). Zinhle continues to grow her choreographic skills with on-going support and work with the FLATFOOT Training Company.

CLARE CRAIGHEAD (COMPANY MANAGER):

Clare was introduced to FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY as a student, whilst studying towards her BSocSc at the former UND, in 1999. In 2003, when the company received its first national funding from the National Arts Council and launched itself professionally, she joined the company in the role of ‘Company Manager’ and has been with the company ever since. She holds a Masters of Arts degree in Drama and Performance Studies (specialising in dance) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal; FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY’s current home. 

In 2015 she was awarded the Abalolongi Award at the KZN DanceLink Awards, for her dedication to dance and dance-related work in KwaZulu-Natal.


From 2015-2016 she took on the position of Head of Live Performance at AFDA, Durban, and in mid-2016 will join the Embury College for Teacher Training as a member of the teaching staff.   Despite the demands of this dedicated work , her administration and clarity of thinking remain one of FLATFOOT’s key success areas. 


Her professional dance-related working career began in 2002 when she worked as Stage Manager to Durban-based Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre. Since then she has worked with, alongside FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY, Phenduka Dance Theatre and The Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company (as a stage/production manager/technician/crew). Between 2007 - 2014, Clare also acted as the festival manager to the prestigious Durban-based Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience.  Recently she took on the role of facilitating the Jomba! Writing Residency.  


Clare has frequently also been a teacher, choreographer and dance educator in FLATFOOT’s dance development programmes in both urban and rural KZN. She is also a gifted graphics designer and is responsible for all of FLATFOOT’s posters, flyers and print material (including this web-site).