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Panaibra Gabriel Canda MZ

Panaibra Gabriel Canda, born in Maputo, Mozambique, is one of the most influential choreographers in Africa who reflects the country’s postcolonial upheavals as ambiguously as no other. He studies theatre, dance and music in Mozambique and Portugal. Since 1993 he develops his own artistic projects. His work has been presented all around the world and has won distinct prizes.

In 1998 he founded CulturArte – Cultura e Arte em Movimento, perhaps the first and only production space for contemporary dance in Mozambique. Panaibra´s dedication as artistic director and choregrapher lies in supporting and developing the local and regional dance scene, including creations, performances and training programmes. He also develops collaborations with artists in southern Africa and Europe as well as collaborating with artists of other disciplines.

Panaibra has been working for 25 years as a dancer and choreographer in Maputo and the rest of the world. In his numerous guest appearances at European Festivals, one is always reminded that intellectually grounded dance does not necessarily have to be boring, but can be dynamic and humorous. Panaibra’s famous Marrabenta Solos are an effective antidote to the dreary German-style concept dance. They describe the political development of his country since its independence through body language, show the communist, the totalitarian, the democratic body either pure or as advanced mixed form.