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Sneak peeks: music, mourning and magic

Published on 2 April 2018

Here are another three works on the Main line-up at this year’s National Arts Festival – a dance work that explores African identity; a performance work that plumbs loss and mourning; and an exhibition of photographs celebrating 20 years of the Dance Umbrella.


Presented by Pro Helvetia Johannesburg

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][DANCE] Since snatching independence from Portugal in 1975, Mozambique has been a land of social and political rifts that have seen an inflexible communist model gradually make way for a fragile democracy. The performance explores the idea of today’s African body: a post-colonial, plural body that has absorbed the ideals of nationalism, modernity, socialism and freedom of expression. The performance is accompanied by a guitarist, who explores the marrabenta music, a musical form born in the 1950s from a mix of local and European influences.


Elegy / Photo: Sean O'Toole

Gabrielle Goliath’s ELEGY

[PERFORMANCE ART] Goliath has presented ELEGY performances in various parts of the world, and will be presenting the Eastern Cape premiere of the work at this year’s National Arts Festival.  The performance itself brings together seven female vocalists who enact a ritual of mourning. Collectively sustaining a single note over the course of an our, ELEGY performances commemorate the lives of women and LGBTQI individuals raped and killed in South Africa.

Photo:  Gabrielle Goliath, Elegy, 2015 / Sean O’Toole


DU30: 3 Decades of Dance Umbrella

[EXHIBITION] In 1988 Vita Promotions launched the Vita Dance Umbrella in Johannesburg. The focus of the Dance Umbrella was to offer a free and open platform to any form of dance as long as it was a new contemporary work. The first edition of the festival opened in February 1989 with 14 choreographers presenting work. This exhibition features a selection of 30 photographs by JOHN HOGG and SUZY BERNSTEIN that captures the story of the Dance Umbrella from its 1988 inception to the final edition in 2018.


  • Dance Umbrella 2012. ‘daddy, i’ve seen this piece six times before and i still don’t know why they’re hurting each other’, a piece by Robyn Orlin with Gerard Bester, Toni Morkel, Nelisiwe Xaba, Dudu Yende, Pule Molebatsi and Thulani Zwane / Photograph by: John Hogg/Dance Umbrella



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