Internationally renowned dancer and choreographer Greg Maqoma chats to us about turning his art into a profitable business. By Fundiswa Nkwanyana
Dancing gives me the freedom to explore my creativity, and I love that. Whether I’m dancing or assisting corporate clients with creative pitches, I always have fun while also thinking on my feet. I love and enjoy dancing so much that it doesn’t feel like a job.
I’m looking forward to performing at the 2018 Dance Umbrella Festival. I’ll be performing a one-night-only dance piece called Mayhem, with fellow dancers Shanell Winlock and Vincent Mantsoe. It is a reflection of our altered state of mind, how as citizens we are confused, and how this affects our humanity. Mayhem is a visually exhilarating and thought-provoking dance piece.
Art is a profitable business. But because funding remains a challenge, there is a need for the public and private sectors as well as communities to support it. I added value to my craft, resulting in it becoming respectable and profitable when I started looking at myself as an entrepreneur.
I started the Vuyani Dance Theatre because I wanted to create a place for dancers to develop their skills. Back then, there were limited spaces for dancers to thrive in, so they predominately used the theatre for rehearsals and training workshops. I’m happy that over the years, the theatre has grown into Vuyani Dance Company, a world-class contemporary dance establishment. This growth has enabled the infusion of music, visual art, film and various aspects of design into performance art.
Perseverance is the key to becoming successful. Over the years, I’ve had to believe in myself and persevere, even when times were tough. It was not easy. But through hard work and determination, I’ve become an internationally renowned dancer. Every day, I wake up and do what I love.