© Vuyo Giba

The South African choreographer and art activist, Ms. Mamela Nyamza, is formally trained in Ballet, and got further training at the Alvin Ailey New York School of Dance as visiting scholar. This is where Nyamza began to tackle the classical genre of dance, by deconstructing the traditional methods and logic of ballet and contemporary dance. Her ground-breaking works, The Dying Swan – innovation in the dance in 1998; Hatched – against patriarchy in 2007, and the The Meal – against elitist ballet in 2012, are autobiographical works that trample on the norms of the classics. Her other works include: BLACK PRIVILEGE – against injustices of women; PEST CONTROL – miscarriage of justice within the arts formalized institutions; GROUNDED - reflection of contemporary narratives and dramaturgy behind political discourses of dialogue and performance between the contemporary artist and audience, and her newest work HATCHED ENSEMBLE - that is being performed by 10 ballet trained dancers from different ethnic backgrounds, conveying deeply personal and challenging issues of tradition and artists evolving experiences and gender norms within the dance classics, until they ultimately realize their own respective true identities within the arts and creative industry.

Mamela Nyamza has received these awards and accolades, including being chosen as the Featured Artist of the Grahamstown Standard Bank National Arts Festival 2018, a first of its kind for the Dance Art Genre; and chosen as the Legacy Artist for JOMBA! Dance Festival for the Year 2023; awarded the FNB Dance Indaba Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer in Contemporary Style for THE DYING SWAN in 2000; chosen in 2011 as the Standard Bank Young Artist for the DANCE; in 2016, awarded the IMBOKODO Award for DANCE; and, in 2022, Nyamza received an award from Burkina Faso Festival International de Danse de Ouagadougou (FIDO 2022), the Marraines FIDO 2022. Nyamza was also identified by the DAILY REVIEW article by Shawn Lent in 2018 of Australia as one of the 30 International Artists to track in 2018, that are positively changing the world. Nyamza was invited to take part in the Dance Future II: Focus Pina Bausch 2017 in Germany, where the iconic and visionary dancer, Pina Bausch, was celebrated. For the Seasons 2020 and 2022, Nyamza was temporary based at the Theatre Chatelet, Paris in France as a Choreographer for the African Production Le Vol du Boli, under the direction of Abderrahmane Sissako from Mali. In June 2022, Mamela Nyamza was appointed as a Curator for the Artistic Programme: Africa, by the Staatstheatre Mainz in Germany, for the Tanz Kongress 22, under the Theme "Sharing Potentials". The ultimate vision for Nyamza, is to make DANCE, as the genre of the performance art, to convey body politics on all social issues, and not to entertain but to edutain. Hence the creation of HATCHED ENSEMBLE and the establishment of her new non-profit company MAMELAS ARTISTIC MOVEMENT.