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Friday, September 20, 2019

EMASISWENI


(Pictures by AJ Blackwardii)

Madundubala Arts proudly presents Emasisweni; an exciting day of celebrating Nguni Heritage through music, dance and traditional wear. It will take place tomorrow (September 21, 2019) at the Stable Theatre in Durban.
 
The organisation has chosen to partner with Mhayise Productions in this exciting event that is packed with activities suitable for both young and old. Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winner for Dance (2018), Musa Hlatshwayo will be the creative and programme director of this event as he guides the audience through the programme. 

“Madundubala Arts as an organisation is concerned with the preservation of Nguni Cultural Heritage. It notes with concern the change of attitude, particularly in the youth who favour American culture and turns its back on traditional isiZulu food, dance and dress. Whilst there is nothing wrong with new trends, if it means turning your back on your own rich cultural heritage, this is regrettable. Afro hairstyles are smothered beneath western wigs and young men wear baggy rap trousers low on the hips to reveal a bum cleavage, unaware of the origins of this custom that originated in American prison culture. Our intention with this event, and the purpose behind the development of our organisation, is therefore to say “azibuye emasisweni.”” says Professor Dennis Schauffer; coordinator of Madundubala Arts that was founded by Bheki Ngcobo.


The programme will highlight four (amongst the many) traditional isiZulu Music and Dance styles i.e. isicathamiya, iNgoma, Masikanda, and Indlamu. Specific items have been created and carefully curated into a concert that celebrates these music and dance styles while reminding the audience of the characteristics of these traditional Nguni dance/music styles. This event will be performed by a cast of more than 30 versatile dancers under Hlatshwayo’s tutelage. This music and dance concert will see Hlatshwayo presenting a brief introductory lecture on each of the styles that will be highlighted while his versatile performers creatively interweave the programme with other exciting additional spectacular dance.

“Madundubala Arts have come up with an exciting initiative that speaks to the core of what this month is about. The team and I have been working hard in preparing for this one-of-a kind event. I am particularly excited about this showcase as my dancers have been working hard in revisiting these dance styles and their authenticity.


"I am also excited about the other items that we have worked on which will serve as the creative thread to the entire programme while giving the day that spice and that tantalising twist. It’s going to be beautiful, colourful, tasteful and definitely unforgettable. I’m grateful to Stable Theatre for allowing us to stage this event in the centre - and for their continued support throughout our endeavours,: says Hlatshwayo. 

The event takes place on September 21 from 09h30 to 12h30. Entry is free of charge.

Attendees are encouraged to show up in their most vibrant and most colourful traditional and or expressive attire as the organisation will be filming and documenting the event for purposes of circulating the recordings to provincial research libraries and to National Cultural Archives.

There will be security guards on site.  There is plenty of secure parking space inside the centre. Come early to celebrate with us, our Nguni Cultural Heritage. For bookings and queries contact Prof Dennis Schauffer at profds@mweb.co.za or on 083 650 7817.


The event takes place at Stable Theatre behind the centre at the ballroom dance square/ underneath the bridge. 

Stable Theatre is at 115 Johannes Nkosi Street (formally Alice Street) in the vicinity of the Warwick Triangle in town.

This event is proudly sponsored by the National Lottery Fund.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

HILTON ARTS FESTIVAL: QUANTITATIVE TEASING


(Daniel Mpilo Richards)

If you have been out of South African for a while, this is a clever history of where we are today. (Review by Caroline Smart)



I was so hugely impressed when I first saw Daniel Mpilo Richards in Mike van Graan’s Pay Back the Curry, with original direction by Rob van Vuuren, at the Hilton Arts Festival in 2016 that he has been the top of my booking list ever since.



Richards has won two Naledi Theatre Awards and a Standard Bank Ovation Award and this year he took a break from his film studies in Britain to perform at the 2019 Festival in a show titled Quantitative Teasing. It was a delight to enjoy once again sketches from State Fracture and Land Acts.



We revisit Derek Hanekom, the tour guide from Rainbow Nation Tours whose job it is to encourage the visitors to South Africa to invest in the country. He promises they can even see the leopard at Nkandla. The process is hilarious as he answers questions from the group. He proudly notes that the Table Mountain cable car in Cape Town is the only car that hasn’t been hijacked. He explains that they will be accompanied by the police and another security group – whose job is to look after the police!



Richards is disarming and fast-talking. He is extremely versatile, a good mover and has an excellent command of accents. One highly amusing number sees him taking Old MacDonald Has a Farm and singing it a la former Prime Minister John Vorster, the late Nelson Mandela as well as Cyril Ramaphosa.



Another fun number is immediately recognisable as soon as he assumes a chicken posture. He’s a chicken activist and energetically promoting chicken rights.



Accompanying himself on the guitar, he changes Hallelujah to Hello, Looters! He also sends up the word “privilege” and pulls it apart letter by letter. The section dealing with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet set in the Cape Flats is hilarious. He plays three people – a black Romeo, a Cape Coloured Juliet and a white director.



Another section sees him as an Aborigine believing that the Australian government can help the genocide situation by assisting black South Africans to relocate to Australia!



A special message to men urging them to live life in peace with Imagine All the People was beautifully handled.



If you have been out of South African for a while, this is a clever history of where we are today. If you haven’t moved out of the country, you’ll appreciate the cleverness of Quantitative Teasing even more! – Caroline Smart



For more information on the Hilton Arts Festival visit www.hiltonfestival.co.za

HILTON ARTS FESTIVAL: OFFBEAT BROADWAY 5


(Paul du Toit, Lindy Abromowitz & Anton Luitingh)

They manage to infuse most of their numbers with satirical comment about South Africa’s many challenges – a delight to laugh at them rather than stressing about them, albeit for an hour or so. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Offbeat Broadway, now in its fifth edition which is subtitled Behaving Badly, recently played the Hilton Arts Festival and was a pure delight from start to finish.

Ably directed by Alan Committie, the show features Anton Luitingh, Paul du Toit and Lindy Abromowitz, the highly talented threesome who started the format 19 years ago, Casually dressed with Luitingh mainly seated at the grand piano, they massacre and mistreat Broadway shows.

As they say: they’re going to “slaughter every holy cow” and proceed to do just that! Especially Cats, which they really pulled apart!

The stage is dominated by a large screen which carries some hilarious visuals while the programme bounces merrily along as they give well-known and highly popular numbers from Broadway musicals their own special treatment.

They manage to infuse most of their numbers with satirical comment about South Africa’s many challenges – a delight to laugh at the problems rather than stressing about them, albeit for an hour or so.

Among the fun and nonsense, there were some very beautiful and powerfully-handled numbers such as You Took My Life With You from Ghost The Musical and Tomorrow Will be Mine which represented a tribute to cathedrals as well as the poignant and heart-rending Bui Doi – They Are All Our Children, Too from Miss Saigon.

Another impressive section dealt with the full history of the Broadway musical – starting in 1927 with productions such as Show Boat, Anything Goes, Oklahoma and South Pacific running through to Kinky Boots and Frozen in 2017.

If this show comes your way, don’t miss it! – Caroline Smart

For more information on the Hilton Arts Festival visit www.hiltonfestival.co.za

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

INAUGURAL RHINO MUSIC FESTIVAL


(Qadasi & Maqhinga)

Many members of the local music community have come together to champion the fight against rhino poaching and wildlife crime by doing what they do best; holding a fun-filled day of music and generously giving their time for free.

The musicians have partnered with Project Rhino and will be hosting the inaugural Rhino Music Festival, aka Rhino Fest which will be held at Shongweni’s Stonehaven Castle on October 5. The event will start a11h00 and will feature live music all day until late from stars such as Nibs van der Spuy and Guy Buttery, Calamity Jam, Tiffany Sheppard Band, Adagio, Dan Chiorboli and Vusi Mkhize, Rastas at Work and Kholwa Project, to name a few.

Also starring at the event will be Project Rhino Ambassadors Qadasi and Maqhinga. The Durban area was chosen for the event as it has always been blessed with a wide variety of great musical styles, so you can expect abroad spectrum of music from pop, rock, Zulu maskandi to isicathamiya, reggae, Indian traditional, blues and a fusion of “world music” type acoustic folk.

The event aims firstly to get as broad a multi-cultural and family orientated audience as possible and to raise urgently required funds for all Project Rhinos’ initiatives. Secondly, it is to have a unique day of high quality and diverse music, with informative conservation talks from experts.

All of this can be enjoyed whilst sampling products and wears such as craft beers, gin and food from local producers, at a stunning venue.

(Dan Chiorboli)

“I have always been passionate about the bush and conservation from a young age’, says Artistic Director of the festival, the world-renowned Dan Chiorboli. “The real tipping point for me was working closely with Kingsley Holgate on a Transfrontier project and getting to understand wildlife in a deeper sense. I also remember being profoundly moved by a talk that Ian Player gave and the passion he displayed about the role of the environment and the rhino world in particular.

“With the state of the economy as it stands, I hate to ask musicians to play for free,” adds Chiorboli, “but I’ve had relationships and great respect with many of these immensely talented artists that go back a long time and there was immediate “buy in” from everyone which has been extremely heart-warming and moving and I thank them all very sincerely”
 
(Nibs van der Spuy)

Project Rhino believes the severity of wildlife crimes is not getting the attention it should. Crime is a significant threat to the country and wildlife crime is no different. South Africa’s largest population of rhino has been halved in 10 years resulting in a decreasing white rhino population. Conservationists know all too well how bad the situation is but unfortunately most people consider the problem has been resolved. This year already has seen (as of 30 June 2019) the country lose a further 316 rhinos.

“Having different sectors of the community coming together for this cause is brilliant as it shows that people do care. The event will showcase our cultural heritage which is in support of our natural heritage. It will help keep people aware of what is going on while supporting our efforts and having a pleasant day out at the same time” says Project Rhino Coordinator, Chris Galliers.

Tickets R150 available at the entrance.

Project Rhino is an association of like-minded organisations facilitating rhino conservation interventions aimed at eliminating rhino poaching and securing the white and black rhino populations in South Africa. The organisation recognizes that the work in conserving and protecting rhinos from the threat of poaching is symbolic of the broader threat faced by all wildlife and that all wildlife will benefit from actions taken by Project Rhino.

For information on Project Rhino contact Chris Galliers,Project Rhino Coordinator, on 083 687 5961 or email: info@projectrhinokzn.org or visit www.projectrhinokzn.org

For information about the event contact Carlien Esterhuizen, Project Rhino Assistant,  on 083 312 4014 or email: info@projectrhinokzn.org