Board of Directors

Our board of directors is a group of experienced professionals, each successful in their industry who volunteer their time and energy to advise, interrogate and guide management on decisions effecting the sustainability, compliance and good governance of Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre.

Dr Reshma Badal
Ms Ntombi Gasa
Ms Bulelwa Nise Malange
Ms Kanth Naiker
Ms Gitanjali Pather
Prof Jay Pather

Artistic Director

Jay Pather

Jay Pather is a choreographer, multi-media artist, curator, writer and teacher. He is director of the Institute for Creative Arts (ICA) at the University of Cape Town where he is an Associate Professor. He is curator for the Infecting the City Festival; the ICA Live Art Festival, the Afrovibes Festival (Amsterdam and UK) and co-curator for performance art for Spielart Festival (Munich), Body, Image Movement (Madrid), Spier Festival of Light Art (Cape Town) and Artistic Director for Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre, now in its twenty first year. For ICA, Pather has created structures for interdisciplinary collaboration in the form of Fellowships, a Post Graduate Programme in Live Art, public lecture programmes and interdisciplinary events on a range of subjects, comprising lectures, panel discussion, exhibitions and performance.

His artistic work deploys site-specific, interdisciplinary and intercultural strategies to frame postcolonial imaginaries, decolonization and matters of social justice. Recent work include Qaphela Caesar, a deconstruction of Julius Caesar, at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in downtown Johannesburg rite, a re-imagining of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps, choreography for the Firebird and design and direction for Nadia Davids’ What Remains.

Recent publications include articles in New Territories: Theatre, Drama, and Performance in Post-apartheid South Africa edited my Marc Meaufort; Changing Metropolis ll edited by Marie Polli; Rogue Urbanism edited by Edgar Pieterse and Abdul Malik Simone; Performing Cities edited by Nicholas Whybrow and Theater Journal. He has just completed editing Transgressions, Live Art in South Africa.

Recent addresses include for Festival of the Future City in Bristol, Inventur in Dusseldorf, for Independent Curators International in New York City, New Orleans and Accra, Sommerakademie in Venice, for University of Bergen’s International Curator’s Forum in Nairobi, International Conference on African Cultures in Harare and at the Haus der Kunst in Munich.

He serves as a juror for the International Award for Public Art and on the Board of the National Arts Festival of South Africa. He is recipient of the Living Legends Award, a Creative Collections Award from the National Institute for Humanities, a Creative Art Award from UCT and the Fleur du Cap award for best Direction in 2018.

In 2016 he was appointed Fellow at Queen Mary’s College, University of London and made Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. He has recently been appointed Area Expert (Live Art and Contemporary Theatre in English) for Season Africa 2020.

Head of School

Neliswa Rushualang

Neliswa  Rushualang  began her training in 1994 under the Directorship of Mr Alfred Hinkel.  She continued her training continued until 1997 when the development programme was launched as a professional company, The Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre. Neliswa worked with international teachers, choreographers and dance instructors; Blondell Cummings from the USA, Peter Badejo from London and BUZZ DANCE THEATRE from Australia to name a few.  

Some of the works choreographed  by Neliswa include:

ABSENT FATHERS (Cato Manor – 2006)

UNANDI (Durban – 2007)

KANTI SIZALWA NGOBANI NA (Mansfield Hall DUT Durban – 2008)

HUMAN LADDER (Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience, Durban – 2009)


EDGE PRODUCTION (Durban Art Gallery – 2012)

FROM BEFORE (North Beach – 2017)

NEW WORKS (Durban City Hall)

In addition she choreographed works for  DUT students and the  Siwela Sonke Productions. Apart from her many nominations, Neliswa won The Best Dancer 2008 and the SPECIAL ABALOLONGI AWARD 2009. In addition to the performances Neliswa choreographed, she has been working with local Durban schools since 2016. Last year Neliswa was invited to the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York to present her work. In 2016 she choreographed a Primary School’s Program that toured Durban, KZN.

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