Track Record


Company identified to be of national importance by the Minister of Arts and Culture and the National Arts Council


The Dance Umbrella and the National Arts Festival commissioned the Company.


The Company developed an international and national profile evidenced by the following:
  • Invited to open The World Social Forum in India,
  • The Development Programme (12 children) was invited to represent South Africa at the World Children’s Festival in Holland
  • The company was invited to be part of ‘Season South Africa’ in New York.
  • The company was commissioned to create a new work for the opening of the second Brett Kebble Art Awards at which Jay Pather won a Major Award out of 1000 works for the installation performance ‘Kitchen’.
  • Senior Dancer, Neliswa Rushualang scooped the coveted ‘Dancer of the Year’ Award at the Dance Link Awards for Dance and Choreography
  • The company was commissioned to present ‘The beautiful ones must be born’ at Constitution Hill as part of the FNB Dance Umbrella.


In Association partnerships with the Playhouse Company In 2005 the company started a series of in-association partnership projects with the Playhouse Company. This move, featured in the Playhouse’s New Stages series continues all the way through 2008 and has been instrumental in shifting the scope of the company


The company embarked on an intensive Professional Training programme. The company had up to then conducted several education and training projects throughout Kwa-Zulu Natal over six years (described in detail elsewhere in the document). There were several highly talented and skilled young adults that had emerged. Through a thorough and equitable selection process, eight young dancers were selected and put through a full time professional training programme.

2008 – 2010

At the conclusion of the training programme seven of the graduates were offered part time contracts with the company. Their work has enhanced the professionalism and energy of the company multi-fold. The company currently had 9 full time dancers while collaborating with10 ad hoc dancers on a regular basis.

2011 – 2013

Siwela Sonke experienced a particularly difficult economic period during these years. A number of dancers were forced to find work elsewhere in order to sustain themselves. Despite these difficulties, the company was invited to international dance festivals (notably Den Haag and Dans L’Afrique) to perform work, creating ad hoc employment for the remaining company. Throughout this period many of the development programmes continued as the teachers volunteered their services, providing programmes for the youth in areas surrounding Durban.

2014 – 2015

Having been awarded a reasonable grant from the National Lotteries Commission Siwela Sonke was able to become a full time company. With 5 full time company dancers and teachers and 8 trainees, Siwela had many successes in its 20th year with performances and programmes at Dance Umbrella, JOMBA, the Cape Town International Dance Festival, a season at the South African State Theatre in Pretoria, the Cityscapes, Re-routed site specific dance festival in Durban and a workshop series in Mbombela. All this while continuing to provide outreach programmes in the eThekwini region.

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