Master Workshop: Koba Dance Technique

With Vincent Mantsoe

Photo: Val Adamson

With Vincent Mantsoe


“KOBA” (bend) is a unique training method developed by South African dancer and choreographer Vincent Mantsoe, which is grounded in three fundamental elements: the breath, the cycle of energy in movement, and the natural positions of the body. The practice draws on these principles to generate movement from the internal to the external, to reach a place where one can “swim in a pool of energy within, to transcend the physical limitations of the body.”

Vincent’s work is influenced by his training in Graham, Western contemporary dance, traditional African dance, Japanese Bhutoh and Tai Chi. By observing his grandmother and the elders in his village, he noticed that they would often undertake demanding physical tasks in extremely harsh conditions for long periods of time with ease. The KOBA technique is based on his study of the body within this context, which has formed the foundation for this practice.

This is a contemporary dance class, with live accompaniment by master drummer Amara Kante.

April 19-May 3, 2019

May 6-10, 2019

Dovercourt House
805 Dovercourt Rd, 1st Floor

$75 – Full Week
$16 – Advance
$17 – Door


Vincent Mantsoe
Vincent Mantsoe is one of South Africa’s leading post-apartheid choreopgrahers. His company Association Noa Company Vincent Mantsoe creates contemporary African work that represents a true global culture of both dances and disciplines. Growing up in Soweto, South Africa, Mantsoe started his dance training at a young age in the midst of the political unrest of the Apartheid. He grew up in a family of healers, combining ritual, song and dance, and has since become an internationally acclaimed performer, instructor and choreographer. Primarily a solo performer, he has performed and also created work for ensembles including Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York City and COBA (Collective of Black Artists) in Toronto.

From 1997 until 2001, Mantsoe was associate artistic director of MID. Mantsoe’s choreography combines traditional African dance with contemporary, aboriginal, Asian, and ballet influences in a cross-cultural Afo-fusion style. Acknowledging the influence of spirituality in his creative work, Mantsoe describes a process of “borrowing from the ancestors,” noting the importance of understanding and appreciating the sources of his traditional movements. Mantsoe has toured internationally, performing at venues including The Kennedy Centre in Washington, DC; the Dance Umbrella in London, England; and Canada’s National Arts Centre in Ottawa. He has won many awards, including top prize at the Vth and VIth Rencontres chorégraphique de Bagnolet (officially the Rencontres chorégraphique internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis) in 1996 and 1998. In 1999, he received the Prix du Peuple at the Festival international de nouvelle danse in Montreal, Canada and in 2015, he received a Dora Award for Outstanding Male Performance.

Amara Kanté
Amara Kanté is a world-renowned Master percussionist, composer, and teacher. His repertoire of instruments include: Djembe drum, Dunun drums, Talking-drum, Bolon, Krin, Bra and Congas. Originally from Guinea and born in Ivory Coast, Amara is a Malinke from the ancient caste of blacksmith. He began drumming at the age four and by the age seven was touring as a professional artist throughout Africa, the United States and Europe. His signature sound can be heard throughout Africa, the United States and Europe. His signature sound can be heard on various recordings and soundtracks, including for some of World Music’s greatest icons such as Peter Gabriel, Francois Moity, Big Sugar, Mory Kante, Kasse Made Diabate and Judy Mowatt to name a few. Amara is the co-founder of KOURABA, a Toronto-based non-profit organization that promotes world music and dance traditions.

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