Khoza recounts that during her first few months with the ensemble, “there was what I did in class, and then there was learning repertory, and I couldn’t quite bridge the gap between what I’d learned in class and apply it to the repertory”.
Yet the dancer’s increasing grasp of Gaga – which Naharin often refers to as a toolbox relevant not only for his repertory but for other contexts – enabled her to more readily inhabit the choreography. Newly absorbed in the restaging
of Naharin’s now classic <em>Mamootot</em> (2003), she reveals, “I am immediately feeling that flow of energy and implementing things that I’ve really connected to in class into the repertory. The gap is getting a little
Input in rehearsals from Naharin and his trusted team has further enriched Khoza’s interpretation of the repertory. “You’ll be working on something for three weeks, and then [Naharin will] come in and say something, and you’ll completely
understand what you’ve been trying to do,” she says.
Working with Naharin has afforded Khoza an alternative perspective stretching far beyond her performance of a specific body of work. Without discounting her previous training and experiences, she believes new artistic avenues have
opened up for her to explore, from improvising to bringing her own state of mind into a choreographic work, and dancing from the inside out rather than the outside in.
“I had to learn to come with a completely different approach and allow myself freedom, without thinking of every count and eye line and arm line. It’s giving yourself the freedom that you don’t have to look exactly like the next person.
Now it’s that next step of being able to allow myself to tap into my fantasy of things and really explore that without worrying about things being right or wrong. That’s where I’m at, being able to merge the fantasy of things into
the physicality of things, and not just worry about what it’s meant to look like.”
This transformation in Khoza’s approach is visible to Naharin. “It’s not about a particular style or particular schooling,” he remarks approvingly. “It’s about the body, the use of gravity, the use of distribution of effort, the clarity
of her state of mind, the sublimation of emotions and feelings into the clarity of movement. There’s something very alive, more animalistic and sophisticated at the same time. I can see with Londiwe that she opened up. She learned
to be in the moment when she dances. She learned about her instinctive movement. Even when it’s very choreographed, it’s much more her own than a phrase she learned and needs to execute. It becomes her language, instead of her
quoting somebody else. But it’s still a beginning. She’s been here only a few months. She will continue to grow for many years.”
Khoza can sense changes in her body and dancing are afoot, and while Naharin and others have spoken to her about these developments, she recognizes that some shifts will become clearer to her only with more time.