national Arts Festival Banner

Sunday, December 27, 2009


(Pic: Sikelela Magxala and Ngcebo Nzama of Cato Manor Vibe!! in “Moses”)

Newsletter from Musa Hlatshwayo at Mhayise Productions.

Extracted from newsletter from Musa Hlatshwayo at Mhayise Productions:

Another year has come and gone with its challenges and triumphs. This year proved to be a great success for Mhayise Productions with the quality of the work that was produced, the workshops and seminars facilitated and the warm reception of our annual production, Moses, as well as the network that we created with other artists and organizations.

Our production season; Moses marked the company’s return to the Durban stages after international performances that starved local audiences of the company’s artistic offering. This production was staged in July at the UKZN’s Square Space Theatre. Moses is a dance theatre choreopoem following a dream led by two youngsters and two females whose journey takes us through some of the issues involved in redefining our political identity post Thabo Mbeki’s ‘I am African’ era. While literally dividing the theatre into three performance areas, the work presents a collage of poetry, contemporary dance, physical theatre, music and traditional chants and sounds as the soundscape of the work. Moses featured Cato Manor Vibe!!’s Ngcebo Nzama (KZN Dancelink’s best Newcomer for 2007/2008 and Footsteps to Fortune 2009’s finalist), Sikelela Magxala, Phumzile Masina, Busi Deyi, Musa Hlatshwayo himself and theatre technician Wesley Maherry as production designer.

Media response included: “…a powerful moving work, beautifully lit and staged…” Caroline Smart. ( July 24 09) and “…illuminates…an interesting confluence of open and confined …”Gisele Turner (Daily News Tonight. July 28, 09).

“For the extraordinary ability to work with young aspiring artists and professionals and produce work that is entertaining, challenging and thought provoking, the KZN Dancelink judges decided to give the Durban Dance Choreographer of the year 2008-2009 Award to Musa Hlatshwayo.”

These were the words of programme director Peter Taylor as he announced the award at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre early this year. Musa received the coveted award - Choreographer of the year 2008-2009 for the work Amens!, Giyani Lusha (produced by KZN Dancelink featuring 108 dancers from KZN Dancelink’s member organizations) as well as Moses; Mhayise Productions’ season for 2009.

Musa Hlatshwayo also walked away with the KZN Dancelink for Best Costume Design for Amens! - the work created for the DUT Dance Specialists for 2009. This award was jointly awarded to Hlatshwayo, Mdu Mtshali, Sifiso Khumalo and Sifiso Majola who all presented work under the production season; Rejected Angels which took part in August at the Courtyard Theatre. More information and images of these projects can be downloaded on our Facebook group; Mhayise Productions.

Mhayise productions also stretched its wings through fostering workshops and seminars with Megan Lamb’s Dance Academy, the Field Band Foundation, Minette De Klerk’s Dance Academy, McCord Hospital and a number of local schools to name but a few. We also launched our group on Facebook which is expanding by the day to try and create a network of formidable international artists who will form part of our regiment. We also offered some of the Cato Manor Vibe!!’s trainees an opportunity to showcase their acquired skill and technique, gain work experience on a professional level while earning an income in the process. The quality of the work showcased the success of Cato Manor Vibe!! as a training project as well as the strong bond that Mhayise Productions shares with Cato Manor Vibe!!.

Look out for our local tour of Musa Hlatshwayo’s Moses starting with a return season at the Square Space Theatre, then moving to The Studio Theatre in UKZN Pietermaritzburg, The Goethe Institute in Johannesburg as part of the Johannesburg Dance Umbrella 2010, the National Arts Festival 2010 and possibly the theatre near you! Our international friends will enjoy the pleasure of the return of the internationally acclaimed Umthombi as well as Moses in a number of international festivals. Also watch out for the anticipated build up to our annual production for 2010, currently untitled, which will be staged in November at the Square Space Theatre. To keep yourself updated on our workshops, performances and interesting collaborative projects and interventions planned for 2010 please send us a request to join our group ‘Mhayise Productions’ and we’ll accept. Our heartfelt ‘thank you’ to everyone who contributed to our success for the year 2009. “