Lulu Mhlangeni (SA)
Sun 9 Oct ’22 20:30
‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’, Lulu Mlangeni’s flight of freedom
Sun 9 Oct ’22

A colourful performance about love and betrayal, hope and truth, based on the coming-of-age story of Maya Angelou I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. A coming-of-age story seen through the eyes of South African choreographer Lulu Mlangeni.

For Kganya (Light), choreographer Lulu Mlangeni found her inspiration in Maya Angelou's coming-of-age story I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. ‘The caged bird cries out for freedom’ Angelou wrote. In Kganya, Lulu Mlangeni loudly shouts 'Kganya'! But she rejects the naivety of a traditional coming-of-age story. Her three dancing birds are born with an omniscient gaze. They are dressed in bright primary colours and are lined up in tight rows. Until they revolt, leave their line-up, take off their costumes and dance to the light. Kganya of Lulu Mlangeni is about love and betrayal, compassion and forgiveness, hope and truth. With colour, costumes and light, Mlangeni takes us to a dance of rapture and pleasure. 

Duration: 50 min

About Lulu Mlangeni

In her dance career, South African choreographer and dancer Lulu Mlangeni has worked with prominent South African choreographers, lyricists and directors. Until 2018 she was a senior dancer at Vuyani Dance Company in Johannesburg. With choreographer Gregory Maqoma she danced in the productions Beautiful Us, Skeleton Dry, Four Seasons and Mayhem, with which she toured Europe and North America. In 2004 she danced with Dada Masilo in Back by choreographer PJ Sabbagha, in 2014 in Full Moon by Gregory Maqoma and Luyanda Sidya and in Ketakang a musical project by Vuyani Dance and Market Theater Johannesburg.

Mlangeni has worked with choreographer Moeketsi Koena and musicians Hugh Masekela and Sibongile Khumalo. Lulu Mlangeni was the 2010 winner of So You Think You Can Dance, Season 2 in South Africa. In 2014 she received the South African Naledi Award for 'Best Emerging Voice'. In 2011, Lulu Mlangeni created the choreography Question Mark for the Dance Umbrella Johannesburg. Her 2015 choreography Page 27 had its premiere at the Spring Loaded Festival in the Market Theater and at the Afrovibes festival in 2015. In Page 27 she developed her dance vocabulary in an articulation of modern dance with ballet, rock and roll and traditional African dance elements.

In 2018 she made the dance production Confined, a co-production of Market Theater Johannesburg and Vuyani Dance Company in which she focused on the life of Winnie Mandela. Mlangeni was part of the 2019 season 3 and season 5 program at William Kentridge's Center for the Less Good Idea in Johannesburg. In 2020 she received the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for dance in South Africa. During the lockdown in 2021 she made the dance production Kganya for the online program of the National Arts Festival in South Africa.

choreography Lulu Mlangeni dance Mbali Nkosi, Khaya Ndlovo, Lulu Mlangeni, Momo Matsunyane tourmanagement Nonkululeko Thabede