Mamela Nyamza

Dancer, choreographer

award-winning dancer and choreographer Mamela Nyamza is not afraid to express herself �even if that means creating a completely new vernacular of dance to ensure her voice is heard. With integrity and dexterity, Nyamza challenges the conventional language of ballet and, in her own fiery vocabulary, uses dance to push herself, her body and audiences to places they have never been before. Her provocative dance pieces, inspired by her childhood in Gugulethu, are stories that draw parallels between dance and cultural traditions, social issues and autobiographical events � which she brings to a point, en pointe. Nyamza started dancing at the age of eight in Gugulethu and continued her training in Pretoria and New York before performing on stages and at festivals around the world. At 34, self-employed and mother of an 11-year-old son, Nyamza won the 2011 Standard Bank Young Artists Award for Dance, recognition she considers her reward for believing in herself and speaking her truth. � Lu Larche

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