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Photo by Lindsey Appolis

About Us

MANACAN is a South African Company based in London consisting of two artists, Ciara Baldwin and Nathan Bartman, who choreograph, compose, perform and tour their own productions. MANA in the language KhoeKhoegowab means ‘them that give’ and CAN stands for ‘Ciara and Nathan’.


They explore primal topics and express them through dance, physicality, vocals and music – their style is earthy and  influenced by their South African roots.  They work with dance and musical styles ranging from African and hip-hop to contemporary, while continually learning from different styles, places and people, taking them to unique and often vulnerable places both physically and spiritually.


All music is created and produced by MANACAN except where otherwise stated.


While touring internationally, they often give workshops and share their creative tools with all age groups and abilities, challenging people to push themselves further than their limits.


They've toured countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, The United States, Belgium, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Ireland, Italy and The United Kingdom.


They work as a team on every project/class. Ciara and Nathan been together for over 9 years, making it easy for them to tag-team through workshops and they're experienced at giving individual attention to students. They believe that there is power in unity and this is what they strive towards with MANACAN.

The Team


Click photo to view full Bio

Click photo to view full Bio
Company History

Manacan performed their work Rooted in Cape Town (Baxter Dance Festival 2017) as well as at 2018 National Schools Festival, Artscape Theatre, and Fish Hoek High School as guest performers. In 2018, they also performed at the Magic Beans Theatre, Botswana, Zimbabwe HIFA International Festival, TAAC Observatory, Cape Town, as well as a charity performance in aid of The Tree House at The Kalk Bay Theatre, Cape Town. Rooted has also been made into a dance film, directed by Lindsey Appolis.

In July 2018, Manacan travelled to Tanzania to work with the company MUDA Africa, for which they created a new work called Petrichor. MUDA Africa performed this work at The Time2Dance Festival in 2018 and continues to perform it regularly.

Manacan's piece, Sentient Being, was commissioned by The Baxter Dance Festival in 2018. It was performed at the Festival in October 2018 with a follow-up acharity performance in aid of The Tree House at The Kalk Bay Theatre, Cape Town. Sentient Being has also been made into a dance film, directed by Lindsey Appolis.

Manacan taught dancers their Rooted repertoire in Las Vegas in May 2019.

Manacan performed in the NEXT@ Martha Graham Festival, New York City, in May 2019 and were awarded first prize for choreography and performance.


One of their highlights from 2019 was performing Rooted at the beautiful Herbst Theatre in San Fransisco alongside some incredible companies such as Alonzo Kings LINES ballet, as part of a charity event called DanceFar for the Gugulethu Ballet Project.

They performed Sentient Being at the Festival Dansen in 't Park in Belgium in August 2019.

In 2019 they performed their duet Sentient Being at the Resolution Festival at The place Theatre in London.

For the past 7 years MANACAN have been commissioned each year by San Francisco based company ‘Gugulethu ballet Project’ to tour different underprivileged South African communities for the duration of a month teaching and sharing their repertoire and skills.


In September 2022 MANACAN created a work, entitled ‘Survive’ on the South African Dance Company ‘Jazzart’ and it recently won the Woordfees best performance award.


Since then they have taught this work to the 'Fly Out Company' from Vivo Centre in Rome, Italy, in 2024, where they completed the creation with a performance and will continue to perform the work.

Alongside these performances and choreographies MANACAN continue to teach, choreograph, compose and collaborate  in different communities and countries with various Companies and Artists. Stay tuned to see what they have coming up next

Ciara and Nathan dancing
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