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Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Bolero

Gregory Maqoma


A rousing dance show standing for hope against darkness from Gregory Maqoma and Vuyani Dance Theatre, and soundtracked by a South African a cappella quartet.

Celebrated choreographer and dancer Maqoma – who choreographed Tree at the Young Vic – performs as a professional mourner inspired by the protagonist of Ways of Dying and Cion, novels by Zakes Mda. Joined by eight performers from Vuyani Dance Theatre, the company confronts a universe in which greed, power and religion lead so often to the normalisation of death and loss. The physical lament unfolds to Ravel’s Bolero, reinterpreted here through percussion and voice – the stirring harmonies sung live by four vocalists.

Maqoma, who sees art as a commentary on how human beings treat each other, created this soaring piece as a response to recent political events in his own country and globally. He performs here as part of Dance Umbrella, having worked on Tree and William Kentridge's The Head and the Load at Tate.

Tagged with: Theatre & dance Dance

Duration: 1 hour 10 mins, no interval
Age guidance: 12+

Fri 18 Oct
Post-show talk

Free to same-day ticket holders

Presented by the Barbican and Dance Umbrella. Co-produced by Vuyani Dance Theatre and The Market Theatre.


‘Incredible show … with pieces ranging from joyous to hauntingly beautiful‘
Artsvark (South Africa)

Digital programme


people dancing in a blue light

Watch: Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Bolero trailer

Standing for hope against darkness, Vuyani Dance Theatre’s rousing show transfixes with choreography of rhythmic dexterity and ecstatic intensity to the sound of a South African a cappella quartet. 

Barbican Theatre