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Friday, August 5, 2011


(Pic by John Hogg: Lebo Mashile in “Threads”)

Always a red letter event on South Africa’s national arts calendar, this year marks the 15th South African Women’s Arts Festival (SAWAF) currently hosted by The Playhouse Company in Durban until August 14.

Comprising a compelling mix of comedy, drama, dialogue, open-mic poetry, dance, music and the visual arts, SAWAF highlights the impact women make in our country. While SAWAF offers a wealth of exciting performances, it also presents invaluable opportunities to debate and discuss important issues that affect the lives of contemporary women, and indeed society as a whole.

This year’s festival components include: Rajesh Gopie’s epic The Coolie Odyssey, running in the Drama until August 7; award-winning Durban actress Shika Budhoo’s acclaimed debut one-hander, Shikaland, playing in the Loft from August 5 to 7.

SAWAF 2011’s gala production, Dance for a Cure, will be presented in the Playhouse Opera Theatre on August 5 at 19h30. Staged around the theme of ‘Winds of Change’, this gala event combines stunning fashion design with live music and song, and will be interpreted by a host of stellar local dancers, performing to Astor Piazolla’s breathtakingly beautiful Four Seasons. Three Cities Group, a leading hospitality provider in South Africa, will sponsor Dance for a Cure in terms of hotel accommodation in Durban, consisting of six double rooms and 20 single rooms.

Threads, Moving Into Dance's magnificent stage work starring poet Lebo Mashile and seven dancers will be presented in the Drama on August 12 and 13.

Other SAWAF attractions include an evening of Comedy in the Playhouse Opera on August 6, with a line-up of stars of the Stand-up genre; a not-to-be-missed Open Mic session featuring inspiring poets; a high-profile Dialogue session, centring on the topic of Nation Building; and an exhibition of art work by women from the Eastern Cape.

For more information about the line-up of artists and programmes featured in SAWAF 2011, contact the festival hotline on 031-369 9456 or log onto