Cie Vincent Mantsoe

One Foot Forward

International and National award winning Choreographer and Dancer, Vincent Sekwati Koko Mantsoe, born and raised in a township of Soweto, South Africa. Born in the middle of Apartheid, however, the desire was not be to a politician, but rather his interest was more on the cultural growth. As a child he and his siblings woke everyday to the sound of drums, when his Grandmother, mother and Aunt were greeting the Ancestors. A descendant of a long line of Sangomas (traditional healers) Mantsoe participated in traditional rituals involving the use of song, dance and drumming. However, Mantsoe believe that he is not a Sangoma, although he posses their spiritual energy.

Skwatta ©Meinrad Heck

Mantsoe`s Family is a combination of collective cultural diversity, Mainly, Southern Sotho, Ndebele, Xhosa and Pedi.
During his formative years he danced in a youth club, called the Joy dancers, practicing street dances and trying to imitate, forge and develop the dance moves seen in music videos of Michael Jackson, Wham and “Fame” and give them a township groove.
Skwatta ©Meinrad Heck
In the early and mid 1990’s he began his training in Moving Into Dance Mophatong (MIDM), a Johannesburg based dance company under the artistic direction and mentorship of Sylvia Glasser. With MIDM, he was able to study different dance techniques in South Africa as well as in Australia ‘Sydney and Melbourne ‘(Victorian Collage of the Arts)

Vincent Mantsoe’s choreographic debut took place in 1992, while he was still a performing member of MIDM. Up through the 1990s he contributed to the company’s repertoire with a number of solos and group works, among these ‘Speaking with Tongues’, (Gula) Matari, Tlotlo, Naka, Men-Jaro and ‘Hanano. Blessing of the Earth’ from 1996 – 2001 he was appointed Associate Artistic Director and resident Choreographer of MIDM.

International choreographic commissions from the mid 1990s include ‘Sasanka’ for Harlem Dance Theatre (USA), Inbal Dance Theatre (Israel), `Bodika` for COBA (Canada), `Majara` for Skanes Danse Theatre (Sweden), `Letlalo/Skin and ‘MANA’ for Ace Dance and Music (UK) ‘Lefa’ for Introdanse (Netherlands) ‘Sunduza-La’ for Cie Entre Deux (Canada) ‘Thari’ for Ballet Theatre African (South Africa).

Around the turn of the millennium international demands on his solo performances and teaching increased. Mantsoe has presented his solo works around the African Continent, for the Nelson Rolithlahtla Mandela`s presidential inauguration in 1994, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, and on numerous tours to Europe, Asia and North America.

Mr. Mantsoe has been invited both to collaborate dance students in the Universities and College in the South Africa, USA, France and Sidance South Korea. Both in 2011 and 2012, Mr. Mantsoe played an important role in the South African project called ‘CROOSING’ which was initiated by Michel Kelemis, with help from the Institut Francais South Africa and South African partners ‘Dance Conner, Dance umbrella/Forum, Moving Into Dance, Dance Factory, Vuyani Dance Theatre’

“Compiled by: Karen Arnfred Vedel” friend of Association Noa Cie VM