Meet the Founding Team

Sbonakaliso Ndaba

Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer (Board member, Founding Member)

Jennifer van Papendorp

Managing Director and Lecturer in Contemporary Dance, Dance Theory, Arts Administration, Anatomy and Health Care (Board member, Founding Member)

Balu Nivison

Development Director and Public Relations, Lecturer in Life Skills, Personal and Spiritual Development through MovingArt processes (Board member, Founding Member)

Helen Allen

Marketing Director and Lecturer in Marketing, Web/Graphic Designer, Video Production & Bid/Proposal Management (Founding Member)

Dr Mamphela Ramphele

Patron (Founding Member)

Team Biographies

Sbonakaliso Ndaba

Artistic Director
(Board member, Founding Member)
Born and educated in Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal, Sbonakaliso is an award winning dancer and choreographer. She trained at Jazzart Dance Theatre in Cape Town under the direction of Alfred Hinkel. She has danced and choreographed for a wide range of South African and international dance companies including:

  • Jazzart Dance Theatre
  • Moving into Dance, Johannesburg
  • Vuyani Dance Theatre, Johannesburg
  • Tshwane Dance Theatre, Johannesburg
  • Phenduka Dance Theatre, Durban
  • Flatfoot Dance Theatre, Durban
  • Fantastic Flying Fish Company, Durban
  • Southern Edge Art, Albany Australia
  • Barking Geck, Perth Australia
  • Lina’s Dance Production, Denmark
  • Introdans Company, Holland

 She is recognised as one of the leading contemporary African choreographers and has won a number of awards including:

  • Best Choreographer of Daimler Chrysler SA 2002-3,
  • Best Choreography for Woman in the Arts, Playhouse
  • Nominated – Naledi Awards
  • Best FNB Dance Umbrella Promising Choreography Award at Jazzart Dance Theatre
  • Western Cape Cultural Affairs Award in 2016 for ‘Best Contribution to Performing Arts: Dance’

During 2000-2007 she co-founded and was the Artistic Director of PHENDUKA Dance Theatre in Durban, returning to Jazzart Dance theatre as a dance teacher and choreographer from 2007 -2010. Relocating to Johannesburg, she taught at Moving into Dance until 2014 when she moved back to Cape Town. She has taught and choreographed widely as a freelance artist including:

  • 1991-1992 Sarafina the movie
  • The Backstage television series – eTV
  • Cape Town Opera Company – Porgy and Bess (this production toured internationally – Wales, Edinburgh, Birmingham, South Hampton, London, Wiesbaden, France, Spain.)
  • 2009 – 2014 Cape Town Opera Company – The African Opera, Mandela Trilogy, African Song Book, Lost in the Stars.
  • Western Cape Education Department Focus School productions (2010, 2011)

Jennifer van Papendorp

Managing Director and Lecturer in Contemporary Dance, Dance Theory, Arts Administration, Anatomy and Health care
(Founding Member)
Van Papendorp is a dance educationist, lecturer, curriculum planner, writer and arts administrator. She qualified initially as a primary school teacher, specialising in oral communication and drama before completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre and Dance at Emerson College in the USA, followed by a Bachelor of Education and Masters in Education Administration, Planning and Social policy at UCT.

After a long career as a dancer, teacher and lecturer, she served for 17 years as a Curriculum Planner for the Western Cape Education Department, Internal Moderator for Dance Studies for the National Department of Basic Education as well as a member of the National Department of Basic Education Curriculum Task Team responsible for writing the dance curriculum for Grades 0 – 12.

As Chair of the SAQA’s Standards Generating Body for Dance, she led the accreditation of 28 unit standards for Dance Teaching Qualifications. She is a qualified Assessor and Moderator and well equipped to ensure quality education, training and performance programmes. She has written and published a number of textbooks on dance. In 2016, van Papendorp won the Western Cape Ministerial Award for ‘Lifetime Achievement in Arts and Culture’.

Balu Nivison

Development Director and Lecturer in Life Skills, Personal and Spiritual Development through MovingArt Processes
(Founding Member)
Balu is a qualified Social Worker, an honours graduate from UCT and Rhodes University. After winning the final year dance award at Rhodes, Balu went on to complete the community dance course from the Laban College in London. Moving Art Originator, Clothing Designer, Nia dance instructor, scholar of ancient spiritual wisdom, and mother of four, Balu has been teaching dance and running transformational workshops, using dance as a vehicle for healing, expression and connection for the past 28 years.

Balu returned to South Africa with the intention of creating an integrated dance troupe that might work toward healing the scarred and divided South African psyche. She was a leading force in the ground breaking production of Abamanyani (Unity) (1986), which played its part in irrevocably changing the socio-cultural landscape of dance in South Africa. This heralded a spate of important struggle productions, with which she was integrally involved. She performed many acclaimed works at the Grahamstown Festival. Her choreographic work ‘Wild Honey’ was the invitation piece for dance umbrella 1991.

Balu was struck by the transformational power of creativity and physical expression to make major paradigm shifts. She has been guided by a diverse group of mentors. She studied with a Jungian analyst and received invaluable input around issues of the feminine psyche. She has more recently been led by Spiritual mentors and teachers of Jewish Mysticism. This opened the way to discovering that, “Through my dance teaching I was tapping into the Kabbalistic blueprint, deeply ingrained in my roots”. Balu is committed to creating a sustainable methodology as a practice to live and teach by. Balu currently works with movement as a therapeutic medium with clients at an eating disorders unit, as well as running on-going classes and ‘Beloved of the Soul’, ‘Art of Connection’ workshops.

She anchors her teaching in the weaving together of spiritual wisdom and dance practice. She has spent the last year engaging with the Khayelitsha Township as part of a dynamic team working on youth empowerment, transforming gangsterism and general enrichment of the community. Her movement inspired clothing range is sold in Big Blue stores nationwide as well as in her ‘Balu Legacy’ shop and café in Cape Town. Balu won two Western Cape Cultural Affairs Awards in 2016 for ‘Best Contribution to Cultural Activities’ and ‘Outstanding Achievement of Women in Arts and Culture’.

Helen Allen

Marketing Director, Web Designer, Artist, Video Production and Bid Management
(Founding Member)

Based in London, South African born artist, designer and wellbeing coach, Helen Allen, has been an integral part of the Indoni team since its start in 2014. Her role includes: lecturer in Marketing, producing proposals and manifestos; design & production for marketing & promotional materials; web design & management; social media marketing; & video production/editing.

With a career in graphic design spanning 40 years of working for corporate clients in the UK, Helen also has more than 15 years experience designing, writing and editing bids and proposals. She is Marketing Director of Lahara Ltd., a UK-based consultancy that specialises in bid training and bid services.

Although Helen moved to London in the late seventies, she left a big part of her heart in South Africa, with a yearning to help and support those leading disadvantaged lives.

“Helen Allen is a spiritual artist who helps people to create a life that is profoundly healing, joyful and loving.” Robert Holden (PhD), leading psychologist and bestselling Hay House author.

In 2004 Helen founded a personal development platform, Energising Your Life, using a creative approach to healing and transformation. Her workshops have brought deep guidance and support for participants in UK, Russia, Greece, South Africa, Israel & Jersey Isles.

As a certified Nia fitness instructor (Black Belt level) and Nia Five Stages teacher, she taught in London from 2007-2016, and also in Cape Town, Israel, Jersey Isles – and in New York, as part of a Hay House 5-day seminar. From 2004-2013 Helen worked on the seminar team of psychologist and author, Dr Robert Holden, whose seminars on happiness have been featured on Oprah.

Dr Mamphela Ramphele

Patron (and former Lecturer in South African Heritage/legacy, story-telling, leadership)
(Founding Member)
Dr Mamphela Aletta Ramphele has been a student activist, medical doctor, community development activist, researcher, university executive, global public servant and is now an active citizen in both the public and private sectors.

Following the Soweto uprising in 1976, she was detained without trial, released after five months and soon afterwards served with an apartheid banning order.

She studied Medicine at the then University of Natal, has a B Comm degree, a Diploma in Tropical Hygiene, a Diploma in Public Health and a PhD in Social Anthropology. She went on to become Vice-Chancellor of UCT, then one of four Managing Directors of the World Bank, based in Washington, DC. Dr Ramphele is the author of several books and publications on socio-economic issues in South Africa.

She has received numerous national and international awards acknowledging her scholarship and leading role in spearheading projects for poor black people in South Africa and elsewhere.

Dr Ramphele has served as chairperson of Gold Fields, Circle Capital Ventures (Pty) Limited, Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), as a director of Medi-Clinic Corporation Limited and Remgro Limited and is currently a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

She was founder of the Open Society Foundation for South Africa and the Citizens Movement. In January 2013, Dr Ramphele became the Leader of Agang SA, a party for all South Africans, which won two seats in the national elections held in May 2014. Post elections Dr Ramphele retired from Party Politics to return to her role as an active citizen.