Sello Pesa was born in 1971 in Soweto, South Africa, and currently lives and works in Johannesburg. A choreographer, dancer, and teacher, Pesa is interested in the changes and challenges that arise from living in South Africa. He looks first and foremost to African idioms, exploring them through the medium of dance. He started dancing in the streets and in clubs, then for television and videos. His work reflects a mix of interests—contemporary dance as well as traditional and vernacular forms. Pesa has been inspired by diverse South African choreographers and spent four years touring South Africa and Europe with the Soweto Dance Theatre. As the artistic director of Ntsoana Contemporary Dance Theatre, Pesa’s aspiration to make dance and arts accessible to a wide and diverse audience was realized in 2010 with the In House Project, which placed performances in houses and public spaces in Johannesburg and its surrounding townships.
Ntsoana Contemporary Dance Theatre, a dance collective founded in 2006 by Sello Pesa, generates and implements projects framed within sociopolitical concepts and is committed to exploring South African culture through the medium of contemporary dance. Ntsoana’s versatility extends to performance in alternative spaces, giving their creations an edge of tension and making each site-specific performance unique. These alternative spaces ensure that dance and performance art are accessible to a diverse audience.
Their performances have been held in South Africa at Johannesburg Art Gallery; Alf Kumalo Museum, Johannesburg; Hector Pieterson Memorial, Soweto; Drill Hall, Johannesburg; Museum Africa, Johannesburg; Power Park, Soweto; and the Sebokeng Public Library, Gauteng. The collaborative project Inhabitant toured to the iDANS Festival in Istanbul, Turkey, where it was awarded the Critical Endeavour Award for 2011.