What's On - Events
10 DAYS OF THE ARTS IN SEPT
Tue, 14 August 2012If you’re thinking about taking a trip this September don’t go to the beach or go hiking, book yourself into one of Joburg’s fancy boutique hotels with your partner and experience a cultural event you'd normally have to travel abroad for.
This week saw the launch of Arts Alive – the Johannesburg International Festival of the Arts – dubbed ‘10 Days in September’, taking place from 1 to 10 September.
This is the 20th year the city has played host to one of the country’s premier showcases of live performances, literature, film, debate, art, and theatrical productions. Think of an art form and they probably have it covered.
There are 35 performances or events over 10 days, so make sure you have nothing else in your diary. Take time off work, get a dog sitter and see as much as you can.
The festival is, of course, showcasing African talent, but it also brings us talent from all over the world. It’s too good to miss; an exciting time for locals, visitors and for the city of Johannesburg itself.
The inclusion of Dance umbrella 2, the internationally acclaimed contemporary dance festival, dishes up eight programmes all under the watchful eye of curator Georgina Thompson.
Included is the Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Dance Bailey Snyman’s provocative look at the universal struggle of gays doing their military service, Moffie. (I think the title says it all.) The piece saw recent Grahamstown audiences torn between loving and hating it.
Another gay must-see is Afternoon with Foehn, (a Foehn is a dry wind). Directed and choreographed by Phia Menard it plays with gender, puppets and plastic bags to create a beautifully unusual performance.
You can win brownie points by taking your favourite nephew or niece to the Chinese Puppet show; I’m sure you’ll enjoy it just as much as they will.
Jazz on the Lake is another event not to be missed. Multi-award-winner Thandiswa Mazwai, one of the finest talents to have emerged from Africa in the past decade will, along with stars such as Lira, perform alfresco at Zoo Lake.
And if you fancy something very different, in which all your senses are stimulated, then a ‘must-experience’ is SenCity at Bassline in Newtown. This party event, all the way from Amsterdam, is a unique way of getting the most out of your night.
With expressive dancers, a SenseFloor, taste sensations, video projections, light effects, sign interpreters and hairdressers, it’s described as "mind blowing". It’s been a while since I’ve had my mind blown, so I’ll be at this one.
Joking aside, Arts Alive 2012 really is going to be a special time for performers and audiences alike in Joburg. Don’t miss this world class event (and then dare complain that there’s nothing to do in Egoli).
My top five ‘must-see’ events:
1. Moffie: 6 September – The Market Theatre: @ 20:30 – ONE performance only!
2. Jazz on the Lake: 2 September - Zoo lake.
3. Sencity: 1 September – Bassline, 10 Henry Nxumalo Street, Newtown.
4. Afternoon with Foehn: 8 & 9 Sept – Museum Africa: @ 10:00, 12:00 & 14:00.
5. Dada Masilo’s Swan Lake: 8 September @ 18:00 & 9 Sept @ 14:30 – Dance Factory.
For more information on these and all the other events, visit www.arts-alive.co.za.