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Rewarding the best of the best at #NAF16

Published on 10 July 2016

Artistic excellence was celebrated at the National Arts Festival this morning when the winners of the 2016 Standard Bank Ovation Awards were revealed at a ceremony that also honoured outgoing National Arts Festival Artistic Director Ismail Mahomed.

Commenting on the impact of the awards, Mahomed said: “The Ovation Awards have earned a significant gravitas in the arts sector. They have become a barometer for audiences and visiting arts managements about productions that should not be missed. Artists at the Festival have been bold and have used their talents and skills to engage with burning issues in the most creative ways.”

Standard Bank Standing Ovation Awards

The 2016 Standard Bank Standing Ovation Award was presented to the French Institute of South Africa and the Embassy of France for two decades of supporting visionary collaborations and exchanges between South African and French artists.

A Standard Bank Standing Ovation Award was also presented to Gary Gordon in honour of his longstanding creative energy in South Africa’s cultural life and his enormously significant contributions to the vitality of the National Arts Festival’s Main, Fringe and Arena programmes.

A surprise Standing Ovation Award was presented to Ismail Mahomed, who ends his tenure as Artistic Director of the National Arts Festival at the end of July. Speaking at the announcement, National Arts Festival CEO Tony Lankester recognised the nine-year commitment that Mahomed had made to the Festival, saying that he had “transformed the programme, filled it with richness and left a lasting legacy of excellence”.

The Standard Bank Ovations Awards are only given to new productions on the National Lottery Fringe. Once a production has been awarded an Ovation Award, the company is invited to propose a new work to the following year’s Arena programme.

The National Lotteries Commission contributed R10-million to the Fringe this year, and assumed naming rights to the event. Says National Lotteries Commission media representative Sershan Naidoo: “The National Lotteries Commission is honoured to have been the principal funder of the National Lottery Fringe and congratulates all the worthy Ovation winners. The NLC is proud to have been able to provide a platform for the talent that has been recognised at this year’s National Arts Festival.”

Of the more than 318 productions and performances submitted to the National Lottery Fringe this year, 232 were premieres and were eligible for consideration for an Ovation Award.

Tracey Saunders, the chair of the Ovation Awards panel, said: “The new productions on this year’s programme ranged from the staging of familiar South African texts to established international scripts, deeply personal monologues to epic family sagas and some ground-breaking new texts straddling the terrain in between.”

Saunders went on to say that despite economic constraints and the general feeling of malaise gripping the country, the National Lottery Fringe continued to excite and entertain and, more importantly, provoke conversations and ask questions of us as individuals and society.

Hazel Chimhandamba, Head of Group Sponsorships at Standard Bank, commended all the 2016 winners. “Standard Bank applauds the efforts of all the individuals involved in the Festival and the organisations that contributed to its success. We are very proud to be associated with awarding those who represent South Africa’s artistic landscape,” she said.

Other awards

Also announced today were the Student Theatre Awards, the Adelaide Tambo Award, and the winning stories in this year’s Short.Sharp.Stories anthology, Die Laughing.

The full list of 2016 Standard Bank Ovation Awards

2016-OvationAward-logoGold Award – Theatre

COMPANY: Rust Co-Operative
GENRE: Theatre

Silver Award

COMPANY: Artscape
PRODUCTION: Ityala Lamawele
GENRE: Theatre

COMPANY: Alan Parker
PRODUCTION: Sacre for One
GENRE: Dance

COMPANY: Rust Co-Operative
PRODUCTION: The Graveyard
GENRE: Theatre

COMPANY: Artscape
PRODUCTION: Die Glas Ennie Draad
GENRE: Theatre

COMPANY: Explosiv Productions
GENRE: Theatre

Ovation Award

COMPANY: Kristin Hua NG-Yang
GENRE: Dance

COMPANY: Matt Newman
GENRE: Theatre

COMPANY: Sibikwa Arts Centre
PRODUCTION: Chapter 2 Section 9
GENRE: Theatre

COMPANY: Theatre for Africa
GENRE: Theatre

COMPANY: Uyabona Ke
PRODUCTION: Falling Off the Horn
GENRE: Physical Theatre

COMPANY: Artscape
PRODUCTION: Henrietta with Love
GENRE: Theatre

COMPANY: One Shushu Day Artistry
PRODUCTION: Msaki and the Golden Circle
GENRE: Music

COMPANY: Nombasa
GENRE: Music

COMPANY: Hungry Minds Productions
PRODUCTION: Out of Bounds
GENRE: Theatre

COMPANY: Lebo Leisa
GENRE: Theatre

COMPANY:Neo Motsatse
GENRE: Music

COMPANY: Bloom & Stone
GENRE: Comedy

COMPANY: Liquid Fusion
GENRE: Dance

COMPANY: Moving into Dance Mophatong
PRODUCTION ‘…feathers…’
GENRE: Dance

COMPANY: Klara van Wyk
PRODUCTION: You Suck: and Other Inescapable Truths
GENRE: Comedy

COMPANY: UJ Arts & Culture (a Division of FADA)
PRODUCTION: For Coloured Girls Who Have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf
GENRE: Theatre

COMPANY: Lexi Meier
PRODUCTION: Fabric of the Universe
GENRE: Performance Art

COMPANY: ExploSIV Productions
PRODUCTION: Thenx Presents Aza-Nya is Five-To
GENRE: Comedy

COMPANY: Daneel van der Walt
PRODUCTION: Dani and the Lion
GENRE: Cabaret
AWARD: Ovation

Merit Award

COMPANY: Sibonele Dance Project
PRODUCTION: Abangawona (The Unseen)
GENRE: Dance

COMPANY:Umsindo Theatre Projects
PRODUCTION: 10 Days in a Shebeen
GENRE: Theatre

COMPANY: Slindile Mthembu
PRODUCTION: Milked Voice
GENRE: Theatre

COMPANY: Well Worn Theatre Co
GENRE: Theatre

COMPANY: Outreach Foundation (Hillbrow Theatre)
GENRE: Theatre

Encore Award

COMPANY: ExploSIV Productions
GENRE: Comedy