Mamela Nyamza

Mamela Nyamza is a choreographer, dancer, teacher, and activist from Gugulethu, Cape Town, who has performed nationally and internationally and has choreographed autobiographical, political, and social pieces both on her own and in collaboration with other artists. Trained at Zama Dance School under the Royal Academy of Dance, and at Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, many of her works reimagine classical ballet through the perspective of a woman of color. In 2011 Nyamza was honored with the Standard Bank Young Artist Award in Dance and at the 2011 National Arts Festival she performed Isingqala and Amafongkong, a collaborative production with the Adugna Dance Theatre Company from Ethiopia. Her works include Hatched (2008), I Stand Corrected (2012), 19 BORN 76 REBELS (2013, with Faniswa Yisa), and The Last Attitude (2016). Her most recent project is Rock to the Core (2017), an activist performance in which four black women performers confront the lingering whiteness of the South African performing arts industries as wolves in sheep’s clothing.