Jul 6

Ityala lamawele

Category: 2016,theatre

Report by Athini Majali & Zizipho Majavu

Ityala Lamawele is a re-enactment of a book written by a legendary IsiXhosa writer, SEK Mqhayi. The play illustrates how IsiXhosa traditionally handle disputes and the language to do this.

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Jul 6

Pulp – The audience raves!

Category: 2016,dance

Report by Bracken Lee-Rudolph & Dillon Lutchman

Audiences were enthralled with Pulp from Cape Town’s Underground Dance Theatre. Pulp is a physical theatre which explores stereotypes of film noir genre in surreal archetypes in movement and dance.

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Jul 6

Sold! – Themba Mbuli, Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance

Category: 2016,dance

Report by Smangaliso Ngwenya & Ethan van Diemen

Colonisation, history and genocide are captured in a dance piece Sold! created by Standard Bank Young Artist Winner for Dance, Themba Mbuli. This piece follows the journey of twenty skulls of German genocide victims back to Namibia, their home. It specifically focuses on four female skulls to retell history, colonisation and genocide through the experiences and the gaze of women.

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Jul 6

Bird/Fish

Category: 2016,art

Report by Athini Majili & Dillon Lutchman

Visual artist Kristin Hua NG-Yang brings together dance theatre and visual art in her new performance piece title Bird/Fish. The public art installation is the first NG-Yang has embarked on and one of her most personal works yet; deploying the use photography and dance to emphasise the notion of diversity in art forms. The exhibition is meditative on life’s journey, inevitable oblivion and detail to art itself. The Bird/Fish concept is one which NG-Yang has articulated through her eastern influenced works.

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Jul 6

GA(Y)ME(N)PLAY

Category: 2016,dance

Report by Mihlali Ntsabo & Tsholofelo Tselaemang

GA(Y)ME(N)PLAY; a physical theatre piece choreographed by Rhodes University Masters Drama student, Kamogelo Molobye, explores conceptions of masculinity and the challenges faced by black queer men in society.

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Jul 6

Blonde Poison

Category: 2016,theatre

Report by Kellan Botha, Nontobeko Gumede & Sarah Knight

Fiona Ramsay teams up with director Janna Ramos-Violante in this powerful one-woman performance. Playing Stella Goldschag, a German Jewess in wartime Berlin, Ramsay delivers a powerful performance which delves into ideas of race, beauty, and the high cost of survival in a dangerous world. Through emotive monologue and lighting, “Blonde Poison” delivers a sombre truth: good people can be driven to terrible deeds when their survival and the survival of those they love are at stake.

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Jul 6

1976 Musical

Category: 2016,theatre

Report by Zondelela Njaba & Afika Lulo Jadezweni

A musical rendition of the history of apartheid South African told though song, dance, hip hop, poetry and multimedia. It is a reflection of the past, interrogation of the present and hope for the future. Throughout the musical there is a focus on the transition from boy to man. The director, Jerry Pooe, says this is a metaphor for how change is essential for growth and progress. The live band adds a sense of the South African authenticity.

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Jul 6

Siya Makuzeni – Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz

Category: 2016,jazz

Report by Sebastian Burger & Ethan Van Dieman

Siya Makuzeni Is fast becoming a South African Jazz notable. Describing herself as a vocalist, trombone player, composer, arranger and a music producer, she is making waves in the South African scene with her undeniable talent. Fusing multiple genres within her performances, she played two shows at the 2016 National Arts festival in Grahamstown accompanied by her newly formed band that she hopes will enable her to push her career forward. A serious jazz performer to look out for.

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Jul 6

Vat en Sit

Category: 2016,theatre

Report by Athini Majali & Zizipho Majavu

‘Vat En Sit’ is a common South African expression to describe an unmarried couple that stays together. This is theatre about a young woman who moves out of home because of circumstances that lead to her rape. After struggling to cope with what happened to her she then moves in with her boyfriend. Their ‘vat en sit’ relationship works well but the boyfriend later abuses her and things spiral out of control.

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Jul 6

House of Truth – Can Themba

Category: 2016,theatre

Report by Afika Jadezweni & Ethan Van Diemen

Multi award-winning theatre, television and radio actor and producer, Sello Maake kaNcube pays homage to Can Themba in this biographical play about the late writer’s life, writing and circumstances that inspired some of Themba’s most intriguing works. The play is one that explores some of the challenges and contradictions of being an intellectual, educated black man under the Apartheid regime caught between worlds.

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Jul 4

Mohau Modisakeng – Standard Bank Young Artist (Visual Art)

Category: 2016,art

Report by Mihlali Ntsabo & Tsholofelo Tselaemang

Violence, toil, labour and black pain are issues that Mohau Modisakeng, Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Arts 2016, often interrogates in his work.
The visual artist presented his work titled Lefa La Ntate – at the 2016 National Arts Festival.

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Jul 4

Ruth First: 117 Days

Category: 2016,theatre

Report by Kayleigh Tuck & Stephanie Shumba

An adaptation of Ruth First’s 1956 novel, Ruth First: 117 days is a remarkable solo performance of the incarceration of the white, female activist under South Africa’s apartheid system’s 90-day clause. Under solitary confinement, First was interrogated about her involvement in the Rivonia Trial, but refused to provide information to the security police.
Actress Jackie Rens dramatises Ruth’s painful and lonely days in prison as she fears for her children, her family and her friends of the anti-apartheid movement. Director Marcel Meyer explains his effective choice of set for Ruth’s story, while Jackie Ren provides a detailed account of Ruth’s character as a phenomenal woman.

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Jul 4

Days like these

Category: 2016,dance

Report by Smangaliso Ngwenya & Zizipho Majavu

Days like these is a Verbatim Theatre production that uses multiple projections of images, voices and dancing bodies. It is based on six dancers who collaborate in physical and spoken-word storytelling of their everyday memories.
The choreographer Lliane Loots tells how the production is a response to the words of Nigerian author Ben Okri.

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Jul 4

Avigail Bushakevitz – Standard Bank Young Artist for Music

Category: 2016,music

Report by Kayleigh Tuck & Michael Dorfling

Avigail Bushakevitz, a South African born in Jerusalem, is a gifted violinist and winner of the 2016 Standard Bank Young Artist award for music. As a child, her mother supported her love for piano and violin and would drive her the 400 kilometres from George to Cape Town every fortnight. The violinist captivated the audience at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival with her pianist brother, Ammiel. Avigail speaks of her history, her favourite compositions and her advice for other young artists.

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Jul 4

Thenx Ladies! – Aza-nya is Five-to

Category: 2016,theatre

Report by Afika Lulo Jadezweni & Athini Majali

Aza-Nya is Five-to is a sketch comedy that satirizes the South African condition through song and theatre. We chat to Kitty, MoMo, Zethu and Tumy about Aza-Nya, being woke and women in a male dominated field. They explain their use of satire as a tool that brings to light serious issues that are usually taken lightly. In their National Arts Festival debut they cover race, patriarchy, our education system and safe sexual practises. Aza-Nya is Five-To is a good dose of Black Girl Magic.

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