Posts Tagged ‘national arts festival 2012’

With the Festival in full swing, the sea of neon-orange reflective vests shows a heightened security presence.

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A selection of some of the best photographs taken by CuePix photographers in 2012 – selected by the CueOnline team.

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There is a seat in the Guy Butler Theatre in a three-seat row for the gods reserved for people with very short legs. I got it last night for Mango Groove, the hugely photogenic poster children for this year’s Standard Bank Jazz Festival. Odd that. Not that the band doesn’t boast a couple of jazz musicians but Mango Groove are pop. Their crossover music includes township grooves from the ’50s to the present-day, even some reggae. You need to dance to it. And they were booked into the Guy Butler Theatre. Even odder that.

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I always try to go to the essential of what is needed to create an image and a movement,” explained Cindy van Acker, a Geneva-based choreographer currently touring her minimalist dance work in South Africa for the first time.

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A ragtag group of society misfits, two ill-starred lovers from the great Can Themba’s literary canon and a gaggle of nosy neighbourhood gossips were the big winners at the 2012 Student Theatre Festival. This year the Festival upped the stakes in this important talent-incubator festival by offering a number of incentive awards for the nation’s students, courtesy of a sponsorship from the South African Post Office.

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Fred Abrahamse’s charming version of “The Dream” is relatively traditional, as was his production for Maynardville 10 years ago. That, however, was set in the ’60s; this production is set in contemporary Africa where the Athens of Greece becomes the Athens Game Lodge. 

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From their first sensitively executed phrases, the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus conductor Anne Tomlinson coaxed a finely controlled vocal blend from the ensemble. Throughout their performance, perfectly proportioned textural balance mingled with flawlessly merged overtones, evenly produced vocal tone, and gloriously positioned head voice sounds; the latter especially convincing in the soprano tessitura. Equally persuasive was their faultless intonation, especially obvious when performing sustained major triads. This choir impressed with their disciplined response and professional demeanor.

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At the age of 14, in her very first grade 8 drama class, Princess Zinzi Mhlongo (25) fell in love with performing art – and it slowly began to take over her life. Two years later, she auditioned for a place in the Witbank Youth Theatre and by the time she matriculated, she had performed with them at Festival on three separate occasions. This year she’s back – as 2012’s Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Theatre. She is directing Trapped on the Main programme; her first written piece. “Writing has to be the most difficult thing I’ve done,” Mhlongo laughed, miming a gun to the head. “But it’s so rewarding, I’m so proud of myself!”

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 South Africa is in a critical period as it stands in a political vacuum caused by the ANC and exacerbated by the end of an epoch of intellectualism among black people, Dr Xolela Mangcu said yesterday at Think!Fest’s Free Thinker series.

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For 20 years, Tracey Derrick travelled South Africa taking pictures of small communities of refugees, sex workers, street children and prison workers, giving them a voice through her black-and-white pictures.

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