Report by Paul Hills
In a multicultural explosion of colour and dance, performers took to the Grahamstown streets in a parade celebrating the end of National Arts Festival 2013. With gorgeous weather and joyous singing, the parade wound its way through the city, sweeping everyone up in its wake. Ending at the University Drostdy lawns, there was something for everyone. cueTV captures the mood.
Report fo Palesa Mashigo & Tassyn Munro
cueTV meets Fan Tshabalala, the Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance 2013, to explore his creative process for the festival dance Indumba. The piece is centred on Mozambiquan cleansing rituals for veterans of the civil war.
Report by Robyn Perros & Michelle Avenant
Submerged by a bathtub of glass shards Swiss artist/performer, Yann Marussich, puts his body and mind under threat in his performance art piece, Bain Brisé. Glass crashes to the floor as the artist slowly emerges from a bathtub. The controlled stillness of the performance contrasts with the sense of danger and anxiety. His body is under threat… threat of suffocation, of being cut and crushed.
Report by: Robyn Perros and Michelle Avenant
Swiss artist Yann Marussich performs two shows at this year’s National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. In Bleu Remix he is encased in a glass box. Oozing a mysterious blue liquid through the layers of his skin, the paths between the inside and the outside, the unconscious to the conscious are opened in his compelling performance.
Palesa Mashigo and Minette van der Walt
“Wat die hart van vol is… loop die mond van oor…”
In a celebration of Afrikaans literature a group of young creatives come together to share what flows out of their hearts. “Surreal, funny and ridiculous” – Wat Die Hart is a burst of emotion. The assembly of three acts were created from adaptations of Jan Rabie’s Een-en-twintig, Andrè P. Brink’s Dertien, Antjie Krog’s – Jy raak my nie meer nie, Merwe Scholtz, translations from T.S Elliot’s Preludes and some of the cast’s own ideas and writing.
Who said ‘Afrikaans is dead’? Wat die Hart’s poignant dialogue, good humour and the energy of the cast makes it an engaging and fresh piece at a festival with material mainly in English.
In ‘n fees van Afrikaanse literatuur, kom ‘n jong groep kreatiewe denkers bymekaar om dìt waarvan hul harte vol is te deel. Onwerklik, snaaks, belaglik – Wat die hart, roer die hartsnare met emosie. Die stuk is ‘n aanpassing en kombinasie van Jan Rabie se Een-en-twintig, Andrè P. Brink se Dertien, digkuns van Antjie Krog en Merwe Scholtz, vertalings van T.S Elliot se Preludes en van die akteurs se eie gedagtes en skryfkuns.
Wie het gesê ‘Afrikaans is dood?’ Wat die hart se rou dialog, goeie humor en die energie van die akteurs, maak dit ‘n sjarmante en welkom toneelstuk by ‘n fees waar die meerderheid material in Engels aangebied word.
Report by Mengyi Jenny Sun
Flying with Harry the Hungry Hadeda, dancing with monkeys, and loving the world as the three hearts octopus, Ed Jordan, Nicholas Nicolaidis, Richard Cock and members of the Kwa Zulu-Natal Phiharmonic Orchestra brought audiences to a kingdom of beautiful creatures. The concert has parents and children learning dance steps and songs with the orchestra. cueTV interviewed the musician Ed Jordan about the interactive orchestra experience.
Report by Amaal Salie &Robyn Perros
Inspired by the Steve Biko Foundation’s photographic exhibition entitled The Quest for True Humanity, Biko’s Quest brings the life and death of apartheid activist, Steve Biko to the stage in a powerful and emotional journey told through compelling movement and dance. This production re-visits the contemporary relevance of Steve Biko and his Quest for True Humanity. The perfect ensemble interrogates how far South African society has progressed in becoming a nation with a more human-face.
Report by Katja Schreiber & Jacob Claassens
In the latest episode of the epic Raiders series Nicholas Ellenbogen teams up with Ella Gabriel to enthrall audiences with a tale of adventure, love and whisky. Through very comical farce and improvisation, the story follows Charlie and Fiona Hepburn as they leave Scotland with a secret for making the most sublime whisky with a taste that ‘goes beyond the brain and settles in the heart.’ Ellenbogen, a master comedic veteran, reveals how the Raiders series was birthed in the need to re-introduce playfulness into stagecraft, while Ella Gabriel (a youthful match for Ellenbogen’s calibre) explores the mix of fiction and history of real-life characters that constitute this fantastic and dazzling take on early settler history in South Africa.
Report by Dumisa Lengwati & Debbie Potgieter
Gavin Krastin, Standard Bank Ovation Award winner and Rhodes University Drama alumnus, returns to the National Arts Festival with Rough Musick. His visceral and challenging performance art employs audience interaction to speak to English heritage and shaming rituals juxtaposing this with perceptions of brutality and barbarism in South Africa. Krastin proves that he is at the forefront of his art form.
Warning: Contains a scene of nudity.
Report by Dumisa Lengwati, Rubert Fitchett & Tassyn Munro
In today’s day and age, a letter has become a rarity. Emails, Skype and mobile-calls have become people’s primary way of communication. Letters to Sive, is a production by the South African Post Office in collaboration with the UCT School of Drama. This play teaches young children the excitement that comes with writing and receiving a letter and shows them the different services the Post Office provides. The Post Office commissioned cueTV to film the productions performed at St Andrew’s Preparatory School and the Fingo Festival.
Report by Amaal Salie & Raphaela Linders
In performance piece Untitled #310 the audience and the performers experience voluntary sensory deprivation. While blindfolded the performers use conventional instruments to produce unconventional sounds. The audience also experiences temporary sensory deprivation as the lights are turned off as the performance starts. One is emerced into the world of listening. Untitled #310 is a performance piece composed by Spanish sound artist Francisco Lopez with the South African ensemble over three weeks prior to the performance.
Report by Tassyn Munro and Palesa Mashigo
KMAD.Com, a Pretoria based dance company showcase their interpretation of the “seven deadly sins”. The choreographers, Phume Sikhakhane and Thami Tshabalala incorporate rope, fabric and other props with their dynamic, athletic and lucid production. The choreographers and artistic director take cueTV through their creative process
Produced by: Robyn Perros and Minette van der Walt
Dan Patlansky is one of the most respected blues artists to come out of South Africa. 20 Stones, Dan’s album which was released last year, was voted #10 on Blues Rock Reviews Top 20 Albums. This year, Dan does something a little different to his fiery electric rock blues in Wooden Thoughts — his first ever acoustic album. Performing live at the Lowlander during the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, Dan showcases some of the tracks on this latest album.
Report by Debbie Potgieter & Dumisa Lengwati
Othello is brought back to life in Jess Harrison’s Moor. With a range of different textual influences, the subversion of language and characters and the use of visual dialogue, this Shakespearean classic is transformed to suit a contemporary context. Moor has the same classic plot, but the use of isiXhosa, the reformation of key characters and the use of bodies as texts breathes new life into this piece of theatre.
Report by Raphaela Linders & Minette van der Walt
In the last battle of her performance cycle, “Anthea Moys vs The City vs Grahamstown” Moys fought against the East Cape Shotokan-Ryu Karate Club. The audience held their breath as Moys took on six black belt Karatekas. The Standard Bank Young Artist for Performance Art got badly winded when she was not able to defend herself from a powerful punch. Moys’ perseverance of character shone through as she continued her fight, smiling from ear to ear.
Ultimately, The City of Grahamstown was victorious, defeating Moys in all of her six performances. However, as Sensei Maureen de Jager puts it, “being a part of this performance, we are all winners”. Anthea Moys vs The City of Grahamstown has been a highlight for many festival goers and she successfully subverted the hierarchical order of art by placing the common person as subject, creator and spectator in her work.