Bafana Solomon Matea
Bafana Solomon Matea was born in the township of Mamelodi in Pretoria, South Africa. He trained at Pro Arte Alphen Park high school, where he studied Vaganova and Cecchetti technique. In his final year, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater came to South Africa, and upon seeing Bafana’s impressive technique, and ability awarded him a full scholarship by Miss Judith Jamison herself, to study at the Alvin Ailey school for a year. At the Ailey school, Bafana got to work with wonderful choreographers such as Mathew Rushing, Colin Connor, Igal Perry and perform with Alvin Ailey at City Center. Upon graduating, Bafana joined Ballet Hispanico for 2 years where he traveled extensively within the US. He then joined Elisa Monte for a 3 year contract, touring Germany, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia and South America. He then joined Battery Dance Company under Artistic Director Jonathan Hollander. With Battery Dance, he toured to Australia, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe , performing and teaching workshops, whilst presenting his own choreography.
Bafana also worked with other companies within New York city. Bafana co-founded Juxtapower ( South African song and dance company) where he was rehearsal director under the artistic direction of Sduduzo Ka- Mbili. Other companies he danced for included Dance anonymous, Alpha Omega, Delerious Dance under Edisa Weeks, Thomas Ortiz Dance, Matthew Westerby Dance, Staten Island Ballet, New Hampshire Dance Theater , and Covenant Ballet. Although a modern dancer by heart, Bafana has danced in Ballet companies, in Soloist and Principal roles, in the Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella.