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MARCH 2019
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Via Kanana [South Africa]

A vibrant message of hope in a blend of contemporary and street dance

Via Kanana [South Africa]

These are dark times in South Africa. The victory over apartheid has not brought the expected peace. The country is plagued by crime and riots. The gap between rich and poor is huge and unfortunately is often similar to that between black and white. The promised land has, in other words, not been reached.

A promised land that you are led to believe in, often by corrupt rulers, but one that never materialises: The South African Sotho-word ‘Kanana’ refers to this. The word is astonishingly similar to Canaan, the biblical land of milk and honey that was promised to Moses.

In Via Kanana Gregory Maqoma and Via Katlehong explore routes to that promised land, which may never be reached but should not lead to despair. Not that this performance is all light and cheery, Maqoma also hints at the harsh reality, but the essence is a message of hope for South Africa. Yes, they are difficult times, but people manage to get through it together. The performers of Via Katlehong are specialized in pantsula, a form of street dance that was used during the apartheid to secretly communicate with each other. Gumboots, tap and step add to a big, sparkling dance party on stage.

If anyone can interpret that hope for the future, then it is the dancers of Via Katlehong. Those who saw them at Julidans previously will remember their incredible energy and skill on stage. The dance group was founded in the township of Katlehong in Johannesburg, where heavy fighting took place during the anti-apartheid protests, to keep the youngsters off the streets. This is also where Maqoma himself is from, who became one of the most famous South African choreographers, received many awards and can be seen all over the world.

“A spectacle with gigantic energy brought by an excellent company.” – Figaro

French text
Dutch text

Genre: Dance
Executives: Gregory Maqoma / Via Katlehong
Language: Language no problem


Tshepo Nchabeleng, Tshepo Mohlabane, Abel Vilakazi, Andile Nhlapo, Thato Qofela, Teboho Molelekeng, Julia Burnham, Lenela Leballo

Technical Manager, Set Designer & Lighting designer
Oliver Hauser

Gregory Maqoma

Projection design and colour photographs
Jurgen Meekel

Black and white photographs
David Goldblatt

Composer for music
Samuel Khabane

Co-director/ Project director
Buru Mohlabane


  • Tue 19 Mar 20:00
    Parkstad Limburg Theaters, Kerkrade
  • Sat 23 Mar 20:30
    Chassé Theater, Breda
  • Mon 25 Mar 20:15
    Stadsschouwburg, Groningen
  • Wed 27 Mar 20:00
    Zuiderstrand Theater, Den Haag

Explore Festival

Festival info

Stadsschouwburg Groningen, Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, Frascati (Amsterdam), Stadsschouwburg Utrecht, Het Nationale Theater (Den Haag), Zuiderstrandtheater (Den Haag), Theater Rotterdam, Chassé Theater (Breda), Parkstad Limburg Theaters (Heerlen en Kerkrade)