@Fest Performance art prickles

Performance art prickles

Festival audiences will be able to immerse themselves in an unusual array of performance art presentations in conventional and unusual festival spaces. Audiences can expect provocative works from many acclaimed performance artists, including the likes of Mauritian-born architect/artist/performer Doung Anwar Jahangeer, Standard Bank Encore Award winner Gavin Krastin, conceptual artist Randolph Hartzenberg, Brett Bailey’s Third World Bunfight, Steven Cohen and new media artists Gerald Machona and Athi-Patra Ruga. Cohen makes his debut appearance at the National Arts stage together with Nomsa Dlamini, his 90-year-old co-performer in The Cradle of Humankind.

Brett Bailey’s Third World Bunfight company has maintained its position at the forefront of South African performance throughout its sixteen-year history, and has a strong international presence. Tickets to his Grahamstown performances typically generate the highest demand, and 2012 should be no different. This year, in his production Exhibit A, he will be exploring the theme of human zoos where, between the mid 19th Century to the Second World War, people from the non-Western world were exhibited.

Presented as part of The French Season in South Africa, the Cien Non Nova Theatre Company will make its South African debut with two productions: Vortex and Afternoon of a Foehn. Both are highly innovative pieces of work which utilise an artificial wind chamber to delicately and magically manipulate plastic dancers.

Free performances will be available every day during the 11-day Festival as a part of the Public Art programme, which is aimed at entertaining family audiences. Presented as part of The French Season in South Africa, Nounouche – The Sideshow will stop at a number of places, catching the public by surprise and inviting them to step inside and play. Lunchbox Theatre will weave a bit of storytelling magic to help a wedding party challenge a group of greedy developers to conserve the natural environment, in The Tree Show. The China Fujian Art Troupe of dancers, acrobats and musicians work together to play Chinese instruments in a spectacular way that will mesmeris e their audiences.  Festinos can also take a bus journey from the Drostdy Arch and be entertained by taxi-styled praise poets and singers en route to a site-specific performance at one of Grahamstown’s most historical sites, St Philips Mission School.

The Festival will end with colour and frivolity in a Street Parade, where anyone with an ounce of enthusiasm can join a throng of giant puppets, stilt-walkers and 25 cartoon characters to parade through the streets of Grahamstown.

– Correspondent –

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