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DANCE UMBRELLA 2017 IS SET TO CHALLENGE THE MAINSTREAM!

dance-umbrella-2017Dance 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.”

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Workers CHANT Photo Credit – Evans Mathibe

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

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Corps Photo Credit – Denis Rion

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.

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De-Apart-Hate Photo Credit – Oscar ORyan

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.

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Perspective Photo Credit – Songezo Mcilizeli

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.

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Lady, Lady Photo Credit – Val Adamson

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.

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When They Leave Photo Credit – Joshua Walter

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.

Other partners include the French Institut South Africa; Goethe Institut Johannesburg; Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia; Splitbeam; Outreach Foundation; Wits Theatre and Creative Feel Magazine.

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 info@danceforum.co.za

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

 

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PLAY CLUB INVITES YOU TO COME AND PLAY!

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SO … WHAT IS PLAY CLUB?

IT’S A GRASSROOTS POP-UP THEATRE INITIATIVE TO BUILD COMMUNITY IN AND AROUND THE ARTS INDUSTRY.

aka: Our Story

Who doesn’t love a good story? It moves us. It challenges us. It drives us. It gives us hope. It inspires us. And theatre-people can tell a GREAT story.

Enter: US!

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Photo from Play Club’s The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, 2012 – Cape Town

Play Club was founded in Cape Town in 2012 by American-born producer and director, Drew Bakker. To say that Drew is passionate about theatre, music and all it encompasses would be an understatement, but even more so, his enthusiasm for sharing his love of the industry with others is infectious. Hence his creation of a community that comes together to interact and inspire, creating vision and inspiration amongst like-minded people both within the theatre industry, and with those who share common interests.

Since Play Club’s beginnings, we’ve gone on to bring together over 1,000 (and counting) top actors from stage and screen, directors, producers, coaches, professors, drama students, reviewers, bloggers, theatre-lovers and general creative people, birthing a varsity group, live podcasting world-wide, CONNECT Stage+Screen Magazine (and its’ current incarnation: PROMPT Magazine), two peer theatre awards, hosting 40 industry play readings (and counting!), most making their South African debuts, an All-Star Charity reading of STEEL MAGNOLIAS as well as three All-Star Readings of THE AUDIENCE, introducing our newest city, Durban, to join Johannesburg and Cape Town, all creating our very own version of Inside The Actor’s Studio. We’ve been interviewed and featured in the Cape Times, BroadwayWorld South Africa, Fine Music Radio, Glitter Toast Blog amongst others.

Our pop-up venues have appeared across the Mother City at Alexander Bar, Sanders South Africa (in a gorgeous living room showroom big enough for the 100+ that attended) and in numerous living rooms across Joburg and Cape Town. We have been in residence at Miao in the heart of the de Waterkant and are currently home at Redhill School in Sandton and ACT Cape Town in the heart of the CBD.

From a monthly Play Club, we saw the birth of bi-weekly Play Club (a mainstage title followed by an indie title) and the bi-weekly Film Club with an all-star international panel. We also brought in the monthly New York piano-bar cabaret, featuring stars from the stage in an informal concert, Parlo(u)r Songs. A highlight was Drew’s Barely Legal Showtunes, showcasing 13 of the best up-and-coming musical theatre actors 25 and under, quickly selling out and adding a second performance to meet the standing-room only demand.

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Cape Town Play Club tends to be rather laid back! 🙂

All of this was with a simple drive: inspire community.

Our story of inclusiveness, hope, opening dialogue and breaking down walls continues now in our fifth year, a home for artists, waiting with a spot just for YOU. Many have likened us to “church”, a recharge with other creative folks and a place to fall back in love with what you fell in love with to begin with.

“Inspiring community” isn’t just a catchy tag-line (if we say so ourselves). It’s the very core of why we do what we do: to inspire people to come together, but also to be a lighthouse of inspiration within that community.
Are you an actor looking to dive into cold-reading great new material and to play?
A drama student wanting to learn how leaders of the industry approach a script for the first time?
A theatre-lover that wants to have a completely new experience, seeing a play from the ground up?

There’s a place waiting for you! Come and play. Leave the driving to us: enjoy the ride.

Enter: YOU!

Our celebrity Play Club reading of THE AUDIENCE is happening in Joburg and Cape Town on 30 January 2017, and in Durban on 29 January 2017 …

 What are you waiting for? RSVP and check it out for yourself!

 RECENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

IS IT JUST FOR MEMBERS? Play Club is open to everyone and anyone that loves the arts. It’s a playground for actors, directors, designers, creative folks, book lovers, theatre lovers and everyone in between. If you join us regularly, join us and save R20 a Play Club!

I HAVE A QUESTION. CAN I CALL SOMEONE? Of course! Our contact details are at the bottom of our website.

IS THIS COMING TO (insert city here)? Each city will be essentially reading the same play and the structure of the evening will be the same, but, between the actors and the people that attend, each Play Club is completely different to the one before it. It makes it super special and super unique to where you attend. But to answer the question, it’s a very special one-night-only event!

IS IT A PLAY? IS IT ON STAGE? Part of the magic of doing a show is the first time a cast gets together, sits around a table and tears apart the script you’re about to live for the next season of your career. Your English Lit class reading of OTHELLO this is definitely NOT. For this, you’re a fly-on-the-wall, reading along with some of South Africa’s finest actors and you get to see a brand new play as it would be approached from the “ground up”. If you’re a theatre-goer, it’s a completely different and wonderful experience to see a play deconstructed. And to anyone else, it’s a chance to watch artists get to play. Afterwards, we open the floor to a great talkback about the piece, the process and whatever else comes up.

WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT?! For us, we are driven by community and inspiring dialogue amongst theatre-makers and theatre-goers, as well as creating a platform to inspire the arts community. The play is just a means of bringing us together. Come to network, come to meet other crazy creative folks or just come to experience a play that is unlikely to hit our shores anytime soon. There’s something for everyone!

HOW MUCH IS IT? We’re a not-for-profit community initiative and work off suggested donations to cover our expenses. R50 is the suggested donation for general public, with Play Club Members, SAGA Members ad Students at a suggested R30. We’ll have someone at the door when you arrive. Cash is great. We also have SnapScan.

CAN I UPDATE MY RSVP? Yep! Just re-enter your email details and it’ll pull up your existing reservation that you can update. Please let us know if anything changes, should someone on the waiting list be able to join us.

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The stunning setting for our Joburg reading of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – July 2016

WORLD AUTHORITY ON MEXICAN CUISINE TO VISIT SA THIS MONTH

Culinary ambassador Abigail Mendoza to visit Gauteng and Cape Town 

abigail-mendoza-1Abigail Mendoza is recognised globally as an authority on traditional Mexican cuisine and is so highly regarded in her own country that she has been appointed as culinary ambassador by the Mexican Government in recognition of her role in promoting Mexican culinary culture throughout the world.

Abigail Mendoza – who will be visiting South Africa from November 16 to 23 – is an ethnic Zapotec from Oaxaca, one of the cradles of Mexican cuisine. She will be sharing her knowledge of a cuisine which is recognised as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.

She started her food journey as a five-year-old watching her mother grind nixtamal, a traditional preparation of corn that enhances its nutritional value and allows for its cooking as dough. Her mother Doña Clara taught her to grind the home-prepared nixtamal, pat the tortilla dough into perfect thin rounds and bake them on the wood-fired griddle.

Aside from travelling the world promoting her cuisine, Abigail Mendoza runs the restaurant Tlamanalli in Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, with her sisters Rufina and Marcelina. In her restaurant, Abigail melds her family’s ethnic heritage into artful Zapotecan fare. Abigail’s cooking is known by her amazing mastery of ingredients such as maize, squash, pumpkin seeds, black beans, chilies, tomatoes, chocolate, zapote, cacti, and mezcal, all of which are native to Mexico.

Oaxaca in southwestern Mexico is considered one of the culinary capitals of Mexico. The mountainous state is home to one of the largest indigenous populations in Mexico, which have created a rich and diverse cuisine. Oaxacan food has made its mark on the global food map and attracts culinary tourists from around the world.

Abigail Mendoza has also written the book Dishdaa’w (Zapotec meaning “the word woven into the infinite meal”) and says: “Food itself has a soul; the soul is transmitted in food’s preparation and its enjoyment.  We are all part of the whole, and the whole is part of each of us.”abigail-mendoza-2

Abigail Mendoza is being brought to South Africa by the Mexican Embassy under the auspices of the Mexican flagship initiative “Ven a Comer”, which stands for “Savour Mexico: come and enjoy our cuisine”, as a gesture of friendship towards South Africa and an opportunity for a meaningful intercultural dialogue.

The Ambassador of Mexico, Mauricio Escanero, says, “Both Mexico and South Africa are nations rich in history cultural diversity. We are delighted that Abigail will to be able to share her knowledge of traditional Mexican cuisine and meet with South Africans who promote and cherish South African food heritage.”

MZANSI YOUTH CHOIR ANNUAL GALA CONCERT 2016

Look at the awesome talent we have in our beautiful country!Glitter & Toast's photo.

One night only:
Saturday 27 August at 7:30pm
The Mandela Stage @ Joburg Theatre

The Mzansi Youth Choir will be staging a glittering Annual Gala Concert taking place on The Mandela Stage at Joburg Theatre on Saturday 27 August at 7:30pm for one night only.

The Mzansi Youth Choir Annual Gala Concert 2016 is a FREE CONCERT which promises to be an exciting assortment of local and international music that will incorporate elements of traditional music, pop and jazz as uniquely performed by The Mzansi Youth Choir.

Mzansi’s exquisite youthful sound, sensational choreography, pulsating energy, buoyancy, vibrancy and devotion to South African music is an experience not to be missed.

This 90-minute concert will include all the favourite renditions they are known to perform with such flair including their popular Hugh Masekela Medley, Circle of Life, Homeless, Pata Pata and African Dream. They will also be performing their newly released single Say Africa for the first time.
Say Africa was made famous by Vusi Mahlasela, its positive lyrics inspired by Africa. The Mzansi Youth Choir likes to portray a true yet overwhelmingly positive story about their country and continent in their recordings. The song was recorded in Johannesburg and mixed in San Fransisco by Grammy Award winning acapella producer, Bill Hare. Bill has worked with top international acapella groups such as The Pentatonix and King Singers.

To download “Say Africa”:

https://itunes.apple.com/…/a…/say-africa-single/id1139211823

Enjoy this video for a behind the scenes look at Mzansi Youth Choir:

https://youtu.be/xu-34ryXkb0

Enjoy Mzansi Youth Choir’s hit “Africa Rise” video here (it gave me chills!):

https://www.youtube.com/watch…

The choir was established in July 2003 with the aim of affording talented, underprivileged teenagers and young adults (14-24 years) the opportunity to proficiently perform locally and abroad. The choir consists of 45 choristers from Soweto and other areas in and around Johannesburg. The word Mzansi means south in isiZulu and is also the township slang word for South Africa.

This concert is FREE to the public but advanced booking is essential as space is limited.

As to why the concert is FREE to the general public, Ralf Schmitt, Music Director of Mzansi Youth Choir explains; “The Mzansi Youth Choir would like to thank South Africa and more particularly the people of Johannesburg for their incredible support of the choir and there is no better way to do that than by giving them a FREE concert to enjoy. Over the past 13 years we have been able to provide countless young South Africans the opportunity to showcase and develop their talents on local and international stages. This concert also gives those that haven’t had the opportunity to see the choir perform before, to come along and join us and share in the magic”.

Bookings can be done through www.joburgtheatre.com or by calling the Joburg Theatre Box Office on 0861 670 670 or through Webtickets.

The theatre has a no-under-3-years-of-age policy to ensure the comfort of all patrons. The concert is 90 minutes with no interval.

The Mzansi Youth Choir Annual Gala Concert 2016 has been made possible through the generous support of AVBOB.

 Glitter & Toast's photo.

MARIANTHE PANAS – A MOST MODEST DIVA

SUPREME DIVAS – Celebrating Fabulous Women of Song

Can you believe it’s August already?! Finally, that month where we celebrate strong, dynamic, successful, wonderful women! Well, we really should be honouring them all the time, and we do, but in August we really make a song and dance about it and where better to do that than on The Mandela stage at Joburg Theatre, where they’ll be doing it in spectacular fashion with Supreme Divas.

The show will run from Thursday 11 August to Sunday 14 August for four performances only.

Supreme Divas will delight audiences old and young as they celebrate the powerhouse female singers that have become legends through their music over the past few decades.

Homage is paid to “old school” divas including Etta James, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Donna Summer and many others while younger audiences will relish the celebration of hits from “new school” divas including Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Adele and others. A fitting tribute will also be made to a few of South Africa’s own divas including Brenda Fassie, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Miriam Makeba and Claire Johnston.

Taking centre stage will be the insanely talented vocalists Tia Herman, Lelo Ramasimong, Tracey-Lee Oliver and Elizca Coetzer, with Born To Perform teenage sensation Marianthe Panas joining them as she makes her professional theatre debut.

Marianthe PanasTeen sensation Marianthe Panas has represented KwaZulu Natal in The SA Championships of the Performing Arts (twice), competed in The World Championships of the Performing Arts in Los Angeles and Hollywood, winning numerous awards in both championships  – and all before she was her current age of 15.

In her hometown of Durban, she has performed at a number of events including The Durban Theatre Awards, Night of 100 Stars, The Durban Chamber of Commerce Gala Dinner, as well as with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra at The KZN Young Performers 2016 event.

In Johannesburg, she caught everyone’s attention with her showtopping performance in Born To Perform’s Gala Concert in July 2015 and again recently when she was one of the vocalists in the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra’s concert A Night With The Stars.

Supreme Divas marks her professional theatre debut.

I was particularly taken with the notion of a 15-year-old performer taking to the stage with such experienced artistes, and instantly wanted to chat to her, convinced that this absolutely had to be a Diva in the making; would she be over-confident, precocious and petulant? Surely you’d have to be to hold your own, taking to the stage with the combined experience of your fellow performers?

Unfortunately, due to time and distance constraints, we haven’t yet been able to meet, and had to manage with an email interview. I was immediately completely charmed by Marianthe’s evident maturity and level-headedness, 2 things that will most definitely stand her in good stead for the career that she clearly wishes to pursue.

Here’s my Q & A with Marianthe, and you’ll see what I mean (I’m the ‘J’, she’s the ‘M’ and some of my comments are added in her answers in brackets):

I’m really looking forward to meeting you, and to seeing the show, but in the meantime … a few questions (and no pressure J).

J: Take me through what would be a ‘normal’ day for you, when you’re not rehearsing for a show or a competition.

M: Well, I would be at school until 14h30. After that, I would either be attending hockey practice, dance, acting or singing classes. I’m part of the KZN Youth Choir & rehearsals are from 5 to 9pm every Friday.

J: So you’d already won numerous awards and performed and participated in competitions overseas before you were 15; do you feel like you’ve had to grow up a lot quicker than others who are the same age as you?

M: I haven’t actually thought about that. Well, I haven’t felt like that before. I’ve been singing from a very young age so I’ve grown up performing. I do feel as though I’ve matured faster than some girls in my grade, but I love doing what I do so there isn’t a case of feeling as though I need to grow up a lot quicker. I turned 15 in May & trust me… I act itJ

J: Who’s your biggest Diva inspiration and why?

M: Idina Menzel. She was the lead in the original cast of many musicals I grew up watching. She performs with so much passion & has an amazing vocal range. She has also stayed so humble. [In case you don’t know, Idina Menzel is the voice behind Frozen’s Queen Elsa. That’s right … Let It Go! And she’s just been cast as Bette Midler’s character CC Bloom in the TV remake of Beaches.]

J: And who inspires you most in the non-performing world?

M: My twin brother. He got a virus in his spine, which paralysed him from his waist down for about 3 months when we were 12 years old. Although, he can now walk – he is not 100% recovered. He has a dropped foot & needs to wear a brace on both feet. To this day, he has never complained or given up. That takes a lot of guts to do so I always look up to him for inspiration.

J: Give us a playlist of your all-time favourite top 5 songs/pieces of music – any and all genres?

M: Don’t Rain on my Parade – Barbara Streisand [One of my all-time favourites too!]

I knew you were trouble – Taylor Swift

Stone Cold – Demi Lavato

Bound to You – Christina Agulera

The Story of Us – Taylor Swift

 J: Do you read? If so, what do you read?

M: I love reading mystery & fantasy. My all time favourite book series is Pretty Little Liars & the Mortal Intruments. (I’m kind of obsessed)

J: You’ve been given the opportunity to play the leading role in the movie of your choice … which movie do you choose, and which role? And (most important) who do you choose as your leading man and why?

M: I would pick The 5th Wave. I would play the role Cassie as she tries to find her missing brother in an alien apocalypse. [Yes, it’s Sci-Fi!] She is as a strong willpower and the love she has for her brother is never-ending. I would choose Chris Hemsworth – duh! [Like she said … a typical 15 year old!]

 J: What do you have to say to our world leaders right now? (Don’t be shy!)

M: I’m not so clued up in politics, but I would say all leaders seem to think of themselves instead of their people. They get richer and the poor get poorer. [Darling, you think you’re not so clued up in politics, but you seem to have summed it all up in a nutshell right there … spot on!]

 J: What are some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned so far from fellow performers?

M: STAY HUMBLE! Don’t act like a Diva or a know all. There’s always something to learn from someone else more experienced than you.

J: And finally … where would you like to be in 5 years’ time? (Sorry, I know it’s a really boring, clichéd question, but it has to be asked – there’s such a vast ocean of difference between 15 and 20!)

M: Hopefully studying Musical Theatre. My biggest dream in life is to perform on Broadway.

Isn’t she just so lovely and grounded? I can’t wait to meet Marianthe in person, and I really appreciate her taking some time out to answer my questions.

Supreme DivasThe Supreme Divas will be onstage along with a dynamic 9-piece band led by Music Director Llewellyn George. Audiences will thrill to instantly recognisable hits including R.E.S.P.E.C.T., Somewhere, If I could turn back time, I’m every woman, Hot Stuff, Stop in the Name of Love, Vulindlela, Valerie, Unqombothi, Do You Know where you’re going to, If I were a boy and many more.

This is the ultimate concert experience, honouring a selection of the many women who’ve made an indelible mark on the local and international music industry.

Joburg City Theatres will be producing the show.  “We want to portray South African talent at its best,” says Claire Pacariz, Executive Producer for Joburg City Theatres.  “And with Women’s Day on August 9th, we thought it would be an ideal time to honour legendary women in song.”Supreme Divas Poster

Performances for Supreme Divas run from Thursday to Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm on The Mandela Stage at Joburg Theatre.

Tickets range from R150 to R250. These are available by visiting www.joburgtheatre.com or calling 0861 670 670, as well as through Webtickets.

For group bookings of 10 or more, please contact the theatre directly on (011) 877 6853/6815.

Supreme Divas is proudly brought to you by Joburg City Theatres in association with The CoLab Network and directed by Timothy Le Roux.  Vocalists will be dressed by Hollywood Costumes.

 

SOUNDS OF CELEBRATION III

COLLABORATION … COHESION … CELEBRATION … and a COMPETITION!!!

Sounds of Celebration IIIEducation Africa and Sydenham Shul are thrilled to present ‘Sounds of Celebration III’. This unique event features musical performances by over 150 children and a guest appearance by Jewish singing sensation Choni G. The concert is a joyous and uplifting tribute to social cohesion, performed by talented young artists and representing a wide spectrum of cultures across our beautiful rainbow nation. The goal is to foster unity and positive interactions among young learners by facilitating cross cultural exchanges through music and in the process benefiting disadvantaged learners and communities.
The concert concludes the third year of the ‘Sounds of Celebration’ project in which NGO Education Africa has collaborated with Sydenham Shul to uplift disadvantaged communities around Johannesburg. Education Africa currently runs 9 projects that address various educational needs in South Africa. Their most recent grassroots endeavour has developed an ongoing scheme aimed at bringing musical training, through the establishment of marimba hubs, to a wide number of communities. This exciting project has already established marimba hubs at the Ithute Primary School in Alexandra and the Daveyton Zama Montessori School where over 250 children attend marimba lessons on a weekly basis, and an additional set of marimbas was donated to Stoneridge Primary School in appreciation for the outstanding marimba work being done at that school. With this year’s proceeds a new marimba hub will be established in the Boys and Girls Club in Protea Glen, Soweto.
This year’s exceptional event coordinated by Education Africa’s musical director Joan Lithgow, is themed ‘We are the world. We are the children’, and will include musical pieces on mbira, kora, djembe drums, marimbas, pipe bands, penny whistles, bouzoukis, violin, jazz band, and will also feature choirs, acrobats and dancers.
The organisers are presenting two matinees which are free concerts for 2000 disadvantaged youth in the Gauteng area. These young learners will have the opportunity to hear talented peers perform in a world-class venue. An educational booklet, allied to the CAPS curriculum, has also been prepared and will be supplied to each child. The final performance, formally presented by David Bloch, takes place on Tuesday 15 March at 20:00 and is open to the public. All performances take place at Emperors Palace, Theatre of Marcellus. Tickets are reasonably priced between R60 and R120. Bookings can be made through Ticketpro For more information about the project and the concerts contact Education Africa 011 685 7300 or Sydenham Shul 011 640 5021.
Participants include: Pops Mohamed, Yeshiva College, , Jack Lerole Penny Whistle Ensemble, Jeppe Boys High School, King David Linksfield Primary School, Saheti School, St Benedict’s College, St Dominic’s Boksburg, Zama Montessori School, Pendo Masote on violin, Vuyani Dance Studio & Jewish singing sensation: Choni G

TO WIN TICKETS TO THIS ONE-NIGHT-ONLY PERFORMANCE, TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS BELOW WHAT THE THEME OF THE CELEBRATIONS III CONCERT IS. (Entries close Thursday 5 March 2016, 17h00.)

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