Dance Infusion

April 1, 2007
John Hope Franklin

Reaching out: Dancer Mantsoe goes global. John Hogg

In his latest work, South African dancer and choreographer Vincent Mantsoe combines, as he often does, traditional African and contemporary global dance styles using his own style, which he describes as Afro-fusion. The work, called Men-Jaro, or “friendship” in township slang, was performed in March in Page Auditorium.

It featured an international ensemble of dancers and the music of South African composer Anthony Caplan, performed by the African Music Workshop Ensemble, South Africa’s first professional orchestra to play only indigenous instruments.

Mantsoe grew up in Soweto, South Africa, practicing street dances in local clubs. He later received formal dance training at Johannesburg’s Moving Into Dance and studied Asian forms such as Tai Chi, martial arts, and traditional Balinese dance.