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STG Presents South African Choreographer and Dancer Gregory Maqoma with Vuyani Dance Theatre 11/13, 11/14 At Falls Theatre

Seattle Theatre Group (STG) presents Beautiful Me by internationally renown South African choreographer and dancer Gregory Maqoma/Vuyani Dance Theatre on Friday, November 13 and Saturday, November 14 at 8:00pm at Falls Theatre at ACT.

In Beautiful Me, Gregory Maqoma, one of South Africa's leading choreographers, attempts to define, redefine and profess his own identity in relationship to history, humanity and nature. Maqoma begins with movement, text and music contributed by three master choreographers who have had great influence on him: Akram Khan's Contemporary Kathak; Faustin Linyekula's visual dance-theater; and Vincent Mantsoe's Afro-fusion. Through layering these distinct and diverse styles with his own unique lightness and humor, Beautiful Me becomes a living self portrait and a provocative exploration of kinetic African identity.

Accompanied on stage by four exceptional South African musicians Poorvi Bhana (sitar), Bongani Kunene (cello), Isaac Molelekoa (violin), and Mandienkosi Nhlapo (percussion) with a simple lighting and set design, Beautiful Me speaks honestly and directly about the process of finding one's authentic voice.

Influenced by his childhood in Soweto, early dance training at Moving Into Dance in Johannesburg and further studies in Brussels under Anna Teresa de Keersmaeker, Gregory Maqoma founded Vuyani Dance Theatre in 1999 in Johannesburg, South Africa. His works have earned him several national and international awards.

Beautiful Me is commissioned by the The FNB Dance Umbrella, Johannesburg, co-produced by Centre National de la Dance (France) with the support of Tilder, and Vuyani Dance Theatre (South Africa), with the support of AKCT Ltd.

Debut U.S. Tour is produced by MAPP International Productions through The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium - a coalition of 11 diverse performing arts institution, including Seattle Theatre Group (a member since 2005), advancing a dynamic exchange of arts and ideas between artists, arts organizations, cultural and other institutions of Africa and the United States. More information about the consortium visit

In addition to the performance, the dancers will engage with the Seattle community at the following public events:

* Africa Live Seattle: Conversations Across Continents
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
7:30pm - 8:30pm
Hidmo (2000 South Jackson Street, Seattle WA 98144)
Event is FREE and open to the public; RSVP is strongly recommended to

STG and Hidmo Eritrean restaurant host a lively conversation about African contemporary arts. The conversation will be moderated by choreographer Donald Byrd; and Seattle-based African and hip-hop artist Dumi Maraire. Come early, have dinner and drinks then stay late to jam with South African musicians from Vuyani Dance Theatre.

* Intermediate/Advanced Master Dance Class
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Spectrum Dance Studios (800 Lake Washington Blvd, Seattle WA 98122)
Class is $18; ages 14-adult; to register call (206)325-4161 or email

The fusion of movement aesthetics ranging from classic traditional South African Xhosa movements to contemporary South African forms layered with Asian forms, traditions and rhythms. The class begins with a simple warm up that focuses of warming the joints and manipulating the pelvic area. The work builds with more sophisticated phrases that indulge in space, speed and gravity. The focus throughout the class is on finding an impulse that drives the adrenaline. Gestures tell different stories and extend the movement vocabulary, emphasizing the global cocktail of genres and styles. Registration is strongly encouraged.

Tickets: Beautiful Me performance tickets are $15.00 - $35.00 and include a post-performance discussion, moderated by Vivian Phillips. Tickets are available online at, by phone at (877)STG-4TIX or (877)784-4849, in person at The Paramount Theatre box office, Monday through Friday 10:00am-6:00pm and The Paramount and Moore Theatre venue kiosks, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. For group sales, call (206)315-8054 The Moore Theatre is located at 1932 Second Ave in downtown Seattle. More information about Vuyani Dance Theatre visit Visit MAPP International for more information including bios
About STG: STG is the 501 (c)(3) non-profit arts organization that operates the historic Paramount and Moore Theatres in Seattle, Washington. Our mission is to make diverse performing arts and education an integral part of our region's cultural identity while keeping these two landmark venues alive and vibrant. STG presents a range of performances from Broadway, off-Broadway, dance and jazz to comedy, concerts of all genres, speakers and family shows - at both historic theatres in Seattle and venues throughout the Puget Sound and Portland, Oregon.


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