“A Day in the Life” with Toronto Dancer Pulga Muchochoma

Pulga Muchochoma was born and raised in Quelimane, Mozambique. He was dancing with a traditional dance company called Montes Namuli when I first met him. Pulga’s great love of dance radiates out of every pore of his body when he moves. He is truly Joy in motion. When I first laid eyes on him I knew, somehow, that we were connected. He felt like family. So, when my company brought 16 dancers from Montes Namuli to Canada to perform for International AIDS Conference, in an adaptation/translation of A Midsummer Nights’ Dream; a production that we had co-created, I knew this was an opportunity not to be missed. Pulga, unbeknownst to him, auditioned for the School at TDT. The rest is history.

After graduating from the Program (while simultaneously learning English and adapting to Canadian culture) Pulga joined TDT under the direction of Christopher House. During the past decade he has danced for numerous brilliant choreographers and continues to flourish as an artist and human being. His story came full circle this Fall as he returned to the school to create a piece of choreography for the second year students.

When he isn’t working with the company Pulga creates his own work, dances as a freelance artist, writes and composes his own music and teaches a fusion of traditional African dance and contemporary/modern. He also owns a small business at home which he manages from Toronto. It’s his way of continuing to support his family and community in Mozambique.

Pulga lives in Toronto with his beautiful wife, Natasha and their new born son, Prince Kafri.

When people realize I know Pulga they ask how I know him. I’m always so proud to say “Oh! I’m his Canadian Mom.” Best decision I ever made!

-written by Cathy MacKinnon (Pulga’s Canadian Mom)

Pulga Muchochoma - A selfie of me at the Fabrica de Artes in Cuba in 2018.
Pulga Muchochoma – A selfie of me at the Fabrica de Artes in Cuba in 2018.
Pulga Muchochoma - Some of our family members during our baby shower gathering.
Pulga Muchochoma – Some of our family members during our baby shower gathering.
My wife and I enjoying our trip to Cuba in 2018.
My wife and I enjoying our trip to Cuba in 2018.
Myself and little Raptors fans at the Toronto Raptors Championship parade.
Myself and little Raptors fans at the Toronto Raptors Championship parade.
Chilling with some of my African brothers at woodbine park during Afro Fest.
Chilling with some of my African brothers at woodbine park during Afro Fest.
Backstage at Winchester Street Theater with the cast of "THIS SHAPE WE ARE IN " few minutes before performance time.
Backstage at Winchester Street Theater with the cast of “THIS SHAPE WE ARE IN ” few minutes before performance time.
Pulga Muchochoma - At home spending time with my little guy Prince Kafri.
Pulga Muchochoma – At home spending time with my little guy Prince Kafri.
Pulga Muchochoma - Breakfast with family in Toronto.
Pulga Muchochoma – Breakfast with family in Toronto.

What ‘hood are you in?

I am located between St Clair and Bathurst, or Oakwood and Eglinton neighbourhood, which is a very multicultural area.

What do you do?

Outside of being a member of TORONTO DANCE THEATRE, I am also a father of a 4 months old boy and I teach AFRICAN DANCE CLASSES on the weekends. Mostly in Toronto.

What are you currently working on?

Right now, with TDT we are working with Ame Henderson on a new production called RING, which will be on stage November 14 – 23 at the Winchester Street Theatre.

After work, I try to run home and help my wife with the baby and spend as much time with my little Prince Kafri (That’s his name).

Plus I always teach my classes on Saturdays, and I enjoy my Sundays at home watching basketball and soccer on TV and spending time with family.

Where can we find your work?

You can find my work on YouTube and Vimeo as Pulga Muchochoma, or find me on Instagram or Facebook as @pulgadance.

You can also see some of my work on my website at www.pulgadance.com.

 

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 1786 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography