Gregory Maqoma

Last night, South African dancer/choreographer Gregory Maqoma performed in the Amsterdam Stadsschouwburg for an audience of 500+. His Exit/Exists was an unforgettable experience, a solo exploring the resistence against English colonialists in the 1800s, led by his great-grandfather Xojongusombovo Maqoma who was banished to Robben Island. Maqoma dresses, undresses and cross dresses, bringing old and new, tribal and contemporary, male and female, animalskin and Armani together. Excellent music composed by Simphiwe Dana, wonderfully performed by four singers and a guitarist. Sweet memories: the first time I saw Maqoma dancing was in December 1991. I was spending Christmas in Port Alfred with Raymond with whom I had fallen in love only weeks before. ‘Let’s pick up my friend’, Raymond said on our way to the beach. Turning right and left on the endless dust roads we arrived at Gregory’s grandmother’s house. A little later that afternoon, when the gettoblaster was turned on loud, this pretty shy youngster turned out to be a magical Michael Jackson moonwalking through the sand. His long walk has now taken him to the Amsterdam City Theatre, New York, Paris, and tomorrow, Athens.