Dance Umbrella 2017, a celebration of 29 years of South African contemporary Dance, proudly presented by Dance Forum, is funded by the Department of Arts and Culture and the Gauteng Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, in partnership with the National Arts Council of South Africa, Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud (IFAS), the Goethe Institut and Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council.
The focus of the 2017 Dance Umbrella is ‘young’ featuring mostly up and coming choreographers who have been challenging the mainstream and are generating interest on all levels.
The Festival had its beginnings when two journalists, Marilyn Jenkins and Adrienne Sichel, both with a passionate interest in contemporary choreography and dance, approached the Vita Awards, requesting that they initiate a contemporary dance festival in South Africa; and the Vita Dance Umbrella, under the aegis of AA Life and Vita Promotions (under the directorship of Philip Stein) was launched in Johannesburg in 1989. Dance Umbrella, an annual festival, has become the platform for new South African work – and is considered to be the place to show and see work by both artists and
international programmers. It includes new commissioned work by South African companies/choreographers; invited international companies; young artists; a series of workshops and/or master classes and discussions and debates regarding the dance industry. Today the Festival, under the artistic directorship of Georgina Thomson, is widely acknowledged as the premier contemporary dance festival in Africa.
Announcing the 29th year of the Festival, Thomson said: “At the first Dance Umbrella only 16 choreographers presented works; at this year’s festival more than 50 new works will be presented and with our focus on predominantly young artists, Dance Umbrella 2017 is proud to present the rich, home-grown talents of these young choreographers.”
The full programme, with 13 commissioned works, 13 new works and six Johannesburg premieres, includes: Nhlanhla Mahlangu’s The Workers CHANT at the Workers Museum, Newtown Johannesburg on February 23 and 24 at 19:00 – the Workers CHANT celebrates those unsung heroes who built the city of Johannesburg with their bare hands; the black migrant workers who lived in compounds – the Workers’ Museum was a compound – and also the atrocities experienced by men, women and children during those times.
Moeketsi Koena and Gaby Saranouffi’s Corps at the Wits Downstairs Theatre on February 24
and 25 at 19:00 – Corps explores the transporting links that connect the real and the unreal through photography and dance and it creates a link between today’s world and the past through the ancestral history of South Africa, Madagascar and France. Production: Inzalo Dance and Theatre Company (South Africa), Vahinala Dance (Madagascar). Co-Production: Centre Chorégraphique National de Nantes (France), I’TRÔTRA International Dance Festival (Madagascar) Support and Partnerships: Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud (IFAS).
Jazzart Dance Theatre’s new work Space by the artistic director Sifiso Kweyama, at The Wits Theatre on February 24 and 25 at 20:00. This work highlights the choreographer’s connection to a space he once occupied. He longs for this unrestricted space…which allowed him to be free… to be himself.
Mamela Nyamza’s De-Apart-Hate – a potent weapon to make the oppressor understand that he/she is human and not superior over other human beings; the work is a discourse that starts with the struggles of South Africa as a nation without dwelling on race and ideology, at the Wits Amphitheatre on February 24 and 25 at 21:00. De-Apart-Hate was created in residency at the University of Maryland at The Clarice Performing Arts Centre, Washington USA.
The Fringe Programme on Sunday February 26 at 10:00 at the Wits Theatre will feature nearly 30 new works from young choreographers. The programme includes Julia Burnham (Vuyani Dance Company), Thembinkosi Puwane (Eastern Cape), Qiniso Zungu and Teresa Mojela and promises to be a discovery of new and exciting contemporary dance and performance.
The South African born choreographer Rudi van der Merwe’s installation work Trophée, on February 25 and 26 at 15:00 in a park in Johannesburg is an outdoor performance with a strong affinity to visual and land art and with a reference to the submission of women (trophy wife), of nature (hunting trophy) and the other by means of war throughout history. Produced by Skree Wolf; Co-Production: Festival Antigel (Geneva); Support: Republic and State of Geneva; Touring support: Pro Helvetia Johannesburg.
On Tuesday, February 28 and Wednesday, March 1 at the Wits Theatre at 19:00, a Triple bill, will feature Moving into Dance Mophatong’s Oscar Buthelezi and Sonny Boy Motau’s new works: Stuck Souls (Buthelezi) reflects on the world today as it becomes lost in waste and asks “How do we stop this?” and I am NoT… (Motau) speaks to self-discovery and venturing into new and unknown spaces within ourselves: both body and mind, and Vuyani Dance Theatre’s Lulu Mlangeni with the solo.
Also on February 28 and March 1, at the Wits Downstairs Theatre at 20:00, Songezo Mcilizeli will premiere Perspective. Perspective generates imagery framed within socio-political themes; it commits to exploring diverse culture and evolution and it investigates everyday life scenarios, constantly re-creating the imagery via the body; and at the Wits Amphitheatre at 21:00, Dawn by the Katlehong-based choreographer Lucky Kele, explores the relationship between cultures and how we observe the traditional practices in moving time and space. It was originally created at a cultural exchange in Abidjan, Ivory Coast where cultural conversation between Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and South Africa took place.
Fana Tshabalala collaborates with Constanza Macras/Dorky Park from Berlin, Germany with In The Heart of the Country at the Wits Amphitheatre on Thursday and Friday, March 2 and 3 at 19:00. A physical exploration inspired by the “impossible dialogue” between blacks and whites, in JM Coetzee’s literature and Njabulo Ndebele’s book, Rediscovery of the Ordinary. This work, created in residency in Germany and South Africa, is a co-production between Constanza Macras/Dorky Park and Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative at Ebhudwleni Arts Centre, Mpumalanga, with funding by the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the Goethe Institut South Africa and Dance Umbrella.
LADY, LADY by Gaby Saranouffi, Desiré Davids and Edna Jaime at the Wits Theatre, Thursday March 2 and Friday March 3 at 20:00, presents an experience into a female universe, built up by the personal journeys of three female artists from different countries within the Southern Africa region (South Africa, Mozambique and Madagascar). They share, search, explore and exchange their realities in order to give voice to various commonalities, challenges and images. Production by Centre Cultural Franco- Mozambican – CCFM (Maputo); VAHINALA Dance Company (Madagascar); Co- production: I’TRÔTRA International Dance Festival (Madagascar); The Floating Outfit Project South Africa – supported by the National Arts Council; Support and partnerships: Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia; Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation, Institut Francais and Institute Francis Afrique du Sud.
Also on March 2 and 3, at The Nunnery at 21:00 is Down to Earth by Kieron Jina and Marc Philipp Gabriel – this dance duet deals with constructed identities that are shaped by more and more complex constellations, than by merely geographical origins and social upbringing. Down to Earth is a co-production with Tanzfabrik Berlin (Germany) and University of Johannesburg Arts and Culture (Johannesburg), supported by the International Co-Production Fund of Goethe Institute (Germany) and Dance Umbrella Festival (Johannesburg).
Detritus for One by Alan Parker, a physical theatre solo work with design by Gavin Krastin, is at the Wits Downstairs Theatre on Friday and Saturday, March 3 and 4 at 18:00. The work explores the notion of “performing the archive” and the potential ways in which performance can be used to archive past dance works for an audience in the present. Detritus for One draws together dance, spoken word, puppetry and visual image. It is funded by the National Arts Council and Dance Umbrella 2017.
Cape Town choreographer Kirvan Fortuin, who has also worked in the Netherlands, will present When they Leave, a triple bill of works at The Wits Theatre on Saturday, March 4 at 19:00 and Sunday, March 5 at 14:30. When they Leave which is technical, high-pitched and creative in unusual ways, will take the audience on an entertaining and interactive journey through the world of the performers.
Tutu by Tamara Osso at The Nunnery on Saturday, March 4 at 21:00 and Sunday March 5 at 15:30 explores the choreographer’s white identity in relation to other identities or constructs (be they apparent or ephemeral). Starting as a ballet dancer, the artist learnt that within structure there is freedom. Collaborators: Osso, Laura Cameron, Counterspace, Rabbit Productions and Visual Frontier. Both performances are Sold Out.
Closing the festival on Sunday, March 5 is the Young Artists Programme where six young choreographers will present new works: Thami Tshabalala (K-Mad Dance Company); Douglas Sekete (Koketso Dance Project) and Khaya Ndlovu from 10:00 at the Wits Downstairs Theatre and Phumlani Nyanga (Vuyani Dance Theatre); Seodigeng Keaoleboga; Ashleigh Joubert, Bonwa Mbontsi and Tegan Peacock (ReRouted Dance Theatre) from 11.15 at the Wits Amphitheatre.
“In addition to the jam-packed programme the festival will also host, between February 27 and March 4, a series of Master Classes at the Hillbrow Theatre Dance Studio which will be facilitated by selected choreographers and there’ll also be the popular Face to Face conversations with choreographers”, says Thomson.
Dance Umbrella 2017 is funded by the Mzansi Golden Economy Fund, Department of Arts and Culture; the Gauteng Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture and the National Arts Council.
Tickets from R20.00 to R120.00 are available from Computicket 083 915 8000 or www.computicket.com or call 011 492 2033 to reserve tickets.
For block booking discounts and programme updates, please call 011 492 2033 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To book a place for the Master Classes please call Lethabo at 011 492 2033.
For the Dance Umbrella 2017 programme, updates on the Master Classes and Face to Face interviews please visit www.danceforumsouthafrica.co.za
Save the date! Showtime Management’s 10th Anniversary Production of RENT IN CONCERT takes place at Montecasino’s Teatro on Monday, 15 May 2017 at 8pm. Tickets are now on sale at Computicket. Presented by Showtime Management, this celebratory one night fund-raising concert features the much loved iconic and popular numbers from the stage production of RENT including Seasons of Love, Out Tonight, Without You, Will I and Take Me Or Leave Me performed by the original South African cast who reunite especially for this concert. They last performed together to rave reviews in the Tony and Pulitzer Award winning musical production of RENT, produced by Showtime Management ten years ago at the Alexander Theatre in Braamfontein and then Artscape, Cape Town.
I confess, I’m an official Renthead! From the first time I saw the show onstage at The Alexander Theatre I was hooked! So maybe I arrived at the Rent party a little later than others – but at least I got there, and I never left!
“One is tempted to return just to relive the glorious music,” raved the Tonight on 20 July 2007 and now “Rentheads”, fans of the musical and theatre-goers are invited to take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy RENT IN CONCERT. Based loosely on Puccini’s La Boheme, the musical production of RENT follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished friends struggling to make it in New York’s East City Village as they struggle with relationships, drugs, loss, love, creativity, HIV/AIDS and paying their “rent”. This concert version presents the entire score sung and performed with minimal staging. It’s all about the music, the songs and the strength of the beautiful voices that will have audiences singing along or sitting mesmerized, longing for more. All proceeds go to HospiceWits whose “no end to caring” motto resonates with RENT’s themes of love, losing a loved one to a terminal illness, friendship and support. The music and lyrics written by Jonathan Larson performed by the South African cast tell the touching story though song.
“HospiceWits has provided the highest quality of care and support to hundreds of thousands of hopeful patients and families affected by life threatening illnesses in Johannesburg over the past 38 years. The funds provided by this event will be used for the continuation of that care in our compassionate environment which enables patients to feel supported and encouraged on the journey of life threatening illness.” says Joy Ruwodo, Marketing Manager, HospiceWits.
The cast is passionate about the concert and eager to give of their time to support HospiceWits. All the 2007 leads – including Shaun V who is flying in from Dubai – and some from around the country, sees Duane Alexander, Aubrey Poo, Zane Gillion, Thokozani “Zano” Nzima, Talia Kodesh, Sivan Raphaely and Ilse Klink together with fellow cast members Chantal Herman, Jaco Van Rensburg, Anton Luitingh, Megan Victor-Carelse and Lorri Strauss on stage on 15 May. New to this staging will be Phillip Schnetler and Nicholas “Nicksoul” Nkuna, who are looking forward to joining the original performers.
What started as a light-hearted Facebook chat about getting together for the 10th Anniversary of RENT is now becoming a reality. Hazel Feldman and Tony Feldman of Showtime Management, the original producers of RENT are lending their full support to RENT IN CONCERT and Montecasino, the concert host is providing the Teatro as the concert venue. Technical companies Gearhouse Splitbeam, ProSound and Computicket have donated their services while Music Theatre International New York and the Jonathan Larson Estate has waivered performance royalties, therefore greatly assisting in raising funds for Hospice Wits.
The concert also reunites the 2007 creative team of choreographer Jill Somers with Anton Luitingh and Duane Alexander who will recreate their performances in RENT as well as co-direct the concert version. Music Supervisor, Bryan Schimmel will once again, lead the band.
“Rent radically changed the Broadway musical in the 1990’s, so in keeping with our vision to continually provide world class entertainment that is unique to our venue, the Teatro at Montecasino is thrilled to be hosting this once off event to raise money for a very hardworking organisation such as Hospice Wits” Bryan Hill, General Manager, Teatro
No day but TODAY! Tickets for this one night only concert are limited and patrons are encouraged to book at Computicket as soon as possible. #RentConcertSA
BOOKINGS: Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000, visit www.computicket.com or visit your nearest Computicket service centre.
AUGUST 5, 20h00 AT THE TEATRO, MONTECASINO
This live appearance will include a Q & A session and messages from the other side
The seminar will begin with an interactive question-and-answer session, after which Edward will then connect with the Other Side and give messages to the audience from family and friends who have crossed over.
No one attending the seminar is guaranteed a reading.
John Edward has brought a fresh, honest and thought provoking attitude to the world of psychic phenomena. As a medium, author and lecturer, he has, over the last three decades, helped thousands with his uncanny ability to predict future events and communicate with those who have crossed over to the Other Side. Deeply compelling, often startling and occasionally humorous, John’s down-to-earth approach has earned him a vast and loyal following.
In 2000, John pioneered the psychic phenomena genre with the television program Crossing Over with John Edward on the Syfy network. It was the first television show syndicated worldwide devoted to psychic mediumship and it would go on to run for four seasons. John followed up the success of Crossing Over with John Edward with another television program, John Edward Cross Country, which debuted on the WE network in 2006 and ran for three seasons.
ANDRE THE HILARIOUS HYPNOTIST is back in town at The Studio Theatre at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre until 19 March, wreaking all sorts of havoc with unsuspecting (although willing) members of the public.
His easy-going, friendly personality and unprepossessing stage presence do not at first inspire you to believe that this man might have incredible powers of persuasion; the sort of influence that could convince someone that they are a cannibal and can speak only in cannibalise or make someone else completely forget their names or believe a visible person is invisible.
However, five minutes later once he has a group of volunteers on stage who instantly nod off into a somnambulant state whenever he says the word “Sleep”, you realise that this man really knows something about the art of hypnosis. And, when you’re convinced that at least one of his volunteers must be a set-up, Andre performs a pretty nifty test on the hapless hypnotees that makes you think otherwise.
ANDRE THE HILARIOUS HYPNOTIST doesn’t try to fool the audience into thinking he’s a special being with magical powers. He explains everything as he goes along and within minutes he has the entire audience in stitches of laughter as he creates his own form of hypnotic humour.
For close on two hours, Andre gives you a hilarious demonstration of just how easy it is to confuse the brain, at the same time his volunteers become the stars of the show without even knowing it.
This show is great fun and suitable for all ages.
ANDRE THE HILARIOUS HYPNOTIST is now showing at the Studio Theatre at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre from Wednesdays – Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 5pm and 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. The season runs until 19 March. Tickets are just R120 and bookings are at Computicket.
When Montecasino invites you to an appointment with ‘Mr Grey’ …
It’s February, the month of romance, and Montecasino got the Valentine’s ball rolling early with the first Movies@Montecasino pre-screening of the year with the latest 50 Shades franchise release, 50 Shades Darker, on 7 February.
50 Shades Darker is an erotic romantic drama and sequel to the 2015 film, 50 Shades of Grey. It is based on a novel of the same name by E.L. James, and stars Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey.
Officially opening in theatres on 10 February, 50 Shades Darker is arguably one of this year’s most eagerly anticipated movies, and Montecasino’s reward card holders, media, celebrities, influencers and Facebook competition winners, were treated to an exclusive early peek into the intriguing world of Christian and Anastasia. Before the beguiling couple filled the screen, guests were treated to champagne and a decadent Lindt chocolate dessert…a taste of things to come..
And now Montecasino are giving you the opportunity to attend exclusive movie events!
To stand the chance of attending an exclusive Movies@Monte pre-screening, simply become a Montecasino rewards member and/or follow them on Facebook www.facebook.com/montecasino
Take a look at some of the photo’s of this week’s gorgeous event and make sure you stand a chance at being at one in the future!
Fall in love with nature, art and the blues in the Cradle of Humankind this Valentine’s Day
On Sunday, the 12th of February 2017 NIROX Sculpture Park, in association with Caleo Wealth Management, MINI and the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, invite you to celebrate Valentine’s Day with that special someone with a collection of South Africa’s finest Blues’ musicians, surrounded by the serene beauty of the NIROX Sculpture Park.
The exciting line up of musicians include:
– Albert Frost
– Gerald Clark
– Ann Jangle
– Gunshot Blue
– Tidal Waves
– Manny Walters
The spectacular surroundings of NIROX Sculpture Park offer an oasis in which to enjoy a day of leisurely romance.
One can also take a romantic walk around this scenic venue to view the beautiful art and sculptures on display.
Delicious, healthy and locally sourced cuisine, courtesy of the Epicurian Emporium – a collective of high-end diverse food traders – will be available for purchase. The curated bar will offer champagne, wines, lavish cocktails and local craft beers for those wishing to toast this special day.
Lovers and friends are invited to enjoy a day of fine food, Blues legends, nature and art.
Co-producer of the acousticsNOW concert series at NIROX, Lloyd-Anthony Smith is excited to be hosting this event, following the previous 2 successes. I had the opportunity to pose some questions to him.
How did the ‘Valentines Blues’ idea originate?
Our music programme consists of various different genres – folk, jazz, classical, roots, instrumental guitar – and we had always wanted to host a blues concert: thus Valentine’s Blues was born. A celebration of Love and the Blues. Often two closely related topics.
And from there … how long until the actual event came into being?
Due to our now established music programme, once we have a new idea/theme/concept we are generally able to produce the concert easily from there. By way of example we hosted our first ever opera at NIROX Sculpture Park last month; Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’ was performed in our outdoor amphitheatre.
How did you go about finding such a beautiful, perfect venue?
I see NIROX as a great gift to the World. The Foundation exists to foster the arts and hosts various sculptors, painters, poets, photographers, dancers, musicians, etc from all corners of the globe. NIROX Sculpture Park is a curated space of undulating lawns, meandering waterways and dams and large-scale contemporary sculpture neatly nestled in the Cradle of Humankind.
Why Blues? Why not Jazz … many would argue that it’s just as romantic?
Apart from already having a successful springtime jazz concert ‘Jazz in the Cradle’, Love and the Blues are often entangled in each other. But all musical genres carry a degree of romanticism.
How do you source your participating musicians, or do they request participation?
We look to foster young musicians who we believe should be given the opportunity to perform to a discerning audience. Added to that we also host more seasoned professionals but encourage/challenge them to perform in different formats to their usual set-ups. This balance sets the tone and flow for the day.
Any plans to do ‘Valentines Blues’ in any other cities?
Valentine’s Blues has its home at NIROX…
Why in Joburg? (Not that we’re complaining AT all!!!)
Thanks entirely to the pristine surroundings of NIROX Sculpture Park in the and the Foundation’s kindness in allowing us to host this programme on their premises.
What can people expect when they come to this year’s event if they’ve never been before?
Guests can look forward to a glorious day of Music, Food, Art & Nature in the Cradle of Humankind. Gates open at 10h00 with the music programme commencing at 11h00. Epic festival cuisine will be on offer courtesy of the Epicurean Emporium, as well as other accoutrement including champagne, cocktails, a Bombay Sapphire gin & tonic bar, oysters, desserts, artisan ice-cream, coffees, etc. The festivities conclude around sunset.
And if those attending have attended either of the previous 2 Valentines Blues events, are there any surprises in store? Anything new on the program?
Somewhat ambitiously we are hosting NIROX’s largest-ever artists residency in the preamble to the concert. We have invited the entire line-up to stay at NIROX for the 2 days preceding the concert for a chance for the artists to engage, collaborate and rehearse for Sunday.
In addition, we have invited additional instrumentalist to supplement each set by way of cello, flute, saxophone, harmonica, keys, bass, lapsteel slide guitar and voice to create an entirely unique production.
What’s the over-riding message you’re trying to convey with your event?
The event is first and foremost a showcase of the invited artists. This access to the arts, coupled with a beautiful natural environment and curated food and beverage selections, creates a space for guests to enjoy and engage in the experience.
What you’ll need to know:
Gates open at 10h00.
Tickets are available for online pre-sale from www.acousticsnow.org at R330.
Tickets for sale at the gate at R360 – subject to availability.
Kindly note no food or drinks allowed on the premises, these may be bought on site.
Bring a picnic blanket for your comfort and allow NIROX Sculture Park to host you and your special person.
Attendance is restricted. Right of admission reserved.
Tickets for children under 12 are R165 online and R180 at the gate.
Infants aged 2 and under enter free of charge.
(While children are welcome, parents are required to ensure that they do not disturb the performance).
Faircity Roodevallei hosts Nianell and Gauteng Opera
Faircity Roodevallei in Pretoria has planned the perfect date for couples to celebrate Valentine’s Day. On Saturday 11 February 2017, they will host the inimitable Nianell, accompanied by the Gauteng Opera. Dining options offered by the hotel include a picnic basket or a summer finger fork buffet.
Guests will enjoy the afternoon in a peaceful setting on the banks of the Pienaar’s River, listening to the captivating voice of Nianell – a world-class, platinum-selling, international artist and proud South African success story. Nianell has shared the stage with artists like Christina Aguilera, Westlife, Diana Ross and Shakira. In 2010, she performed with the legendary Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli, at the Celebrate Africa event held during the FIFA World Cup.
With the mission of wanting everyone to experience the joy of Opera, the Gauteng Opera will bring an air of elegance and sophistication to the afternoon. South Africa has incredible talent, and the Gauteng Opera takes great pride in identifying and nurturing individuals to deliver riveting operatic performances.
The romantic rendezvous does not need to end after the concert! Accommodation can be booked at Faircity Roodevallei, including a leisurely breakfast the following morning. There is also the option of booking a serviced apartment at Faircity Grosvenor Gardens.
– Concert ticket R180.00
– Picnic Basket for two R375.00
– Summer finger fork buffet R155.00 per person