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Detours 2014 sho starts

Detours 2014 sho starts

 

Arts Correspondent

 

The Detours festival at Wits Theatre, which runs up to 17 May, has works that include Nighflower, a collaboration between Jeanette Ginslov and Juanita Finestone-Praeg, You are Delicious by Wits alumni, Leigh Nudelman Sussman, Strand’d by Tumelo Maloka, as well as a special viewing of the top 10 films selected for the international ‘60 seconds dance’ film competition. 

  Presented on Thursday was simple, obsessive choreography and images of insects projected onto the mosquito net, as well as a haunting mixture of insect sounds, Claire evoked her childhood experience as seen from within this cocoon. Through this combination of visual elements, sound and choreography she will attempt to critique her own privilege and the way it isolates one from the pressing issues of what it means to be South African. The rest of the evening was spent in the Downstairs Theatre, watching Caught by Nomcebisi Moyikwa of First Physical Theatre, eXist by Kwanele Thusi and Tiishang Aphane’s The Three Monkeys.

  Caught is a choreographic revelation and investigation of the film form. With reference to ways of viewing, the dominant idea of the ‘male gaze’ and dominant classical narrative cinema, Caught explores how the notion of the ‘erotic’ and ‘exotic’ are encoded within a certain patriarchal order. 

  This work is a physical interplay between two women who are caught in a half room with a light bulb as their only source of light. Using the visual lance of the camera as a choreographic exploration, Caught questions the cinematic voyeurs gaze as violent, political, sexual and personal.

  Kwanele Finch Thusi’s eXist demonstrates the choreographer’s trilogical intention behind illusion and perceived forms of existence and reality. As the final work in a three- part trilogy, eXist attempts to raise the questions of normativity and morphed identity. Exploring the obsession with technology, which allows an individual to be more than one person at the same time, the work questions ability to shift identity, shed skin and become new. The camera is the ‘third eye’ but can we truly trust its authenticity?

  The Three Monkeys is a new work choreographed by Tiishang Aphane. In the Western world, the phrase ‘the three monkeys’ is often used to refer to those who deal with impropriety by turning a blind eye ; ‘hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil’. Here various meanings are ascribed to the ‘monkeys’ and the proverb, including associations being of good mind, speech and action.

 

 

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Joburg Theatre to host Chekov festival

Brenda Sakellarides

 

The brilliance of Russian playwright Anton Chekhov will be celebrated in a vibrant Festival at the Fringe at Joburg Theatre from 4-16 June. In 2004, the inaugural Chekhov Festival was presented under the auspices of the Joburg Theatre. 

  In the space of two short weeks a company of nine directors and 23 actors performed a rich array of Chekhov stories and plays to an enthusiastic Festival audience. Attesting to the spirit of ensemble playing and innovative theatre making, the Chekhov Festival received two Naledi Theatre Awards nominations that year.

  Ten years later and the Joburg Theatre will play host to the second Chekhov Festival from 4–16 June 2014. A fine ensemble of 30 actors and directors will stage three different programs from the writings of arguably one of the most influential playwrights of the 20th century.

  Anton Chekhov inspired many authors of the 20th century and continues to inspire new generations with his complex characters, universal themes and his ability to make the ordinary extraordinary. He has been acknowledged as the most performed playwright in the world; second only to Shakespeare. 

  Up to 110 years after the playwright’s  death he still continues to attract and charm many of the world’s finest actors, directors and theatre companies.

  The Chekhov Festival is the brainchild of Johannesburg based actor, director and producer Andre Stolz. His enduring passion for the timeless brilliance of Anton Chekhov is reflected in his careful programming of the two-week festival. 

With each program audiences will be treated to a variety of works including short story adaptations, favourite one act plays and dramatic readings. Highlights include Brothers, by the late Reza de Wet, which explores the relationship between Anton Chekhov, his brother Alexander and Natalia – Alexander’s fiancé. 

An undoubted creative coup is the premiere of Oppad, the Afrikaans adaptation of On the Road –the short story, which inspired Sergei Rachmaninoff to write his Fantasy for Orchestra Op.7 popularly known as The Rock. Alice Smith translated the work from the original Russian into Afrikaans. Conceived as a chamber piece, Oppad comprises six performers: four actors and two musicians. 

The main themes of Rachmaninoff’s exquisite and emotionally charged music will be played by celebrated musicians Zanta Hofmeyr (violin) and Kutlwano Masote (cello). Andre Stolz directs.

Chantal Nativel will direct the perennial favourite, Rothschild’s Fiddle, with Greg Melvill-Smith, David Butler and Lynne Maree. The Festival also includes a mini Chekhov Film Festival.

 The Full Program for the 2-week-long Festival will be available at www.joburgtheatre.com and on the Chekhov Festival Facebook page.

The cast includes stage veterans Kevin Smith, Lionel Newton, David Butler, Lynne Maree, Greg Melvill-Smith, Sello Sebotsane, Craig Morris, Karen Retief and Tessa Jubber. The younger generation of actors includes Zethu Dlomo, Gustav Gerdener, Danielle Retief, Ryan Dittman, Jaques de Silva and Stiaan Smith.

 

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Another country

Photography

18.04.2014 – 13.07.2014, Opening Reception 11.05.2014, 16H00

Johannesburg Art Gallery

Another Country © Photo: Reiner Leist. Jacana

Photographer Reiner Leist emigrated from West Germany to South Africa in 1988, where he stayed until he took up residence in the United States in 1994. During his time in South Africa – which constituted a significant period of transition to democracy – he started taking portraits of ordinary and extraordinary South Africans. Fifteen years later Leist returned in search of these individuals to take a second set of images for the photographic essay Another Country.

According to the artist: “Since 1988, more than 200 South Africans have shared their perspectives on the country and their personal histories with me. These narratives have had a large impact on my view of the world, and influenced me in my professional capacity. In 1993, one year before the nation’s first democratic elections, the participants were invited to collaborate with me in the publication South Africa: Blue Portraits which was published in the same year. Each person was asked to choose a background for a portrait in black and white; 73 of these were included in the final publication. In 2009 I began to revisit the participants in order to find out how their living circumstances had changed since our last discussion sixteen years ago, through the lens of the original photographs. The new narratives form the content and the inspiration for Another Country, the follow up publication. In Another Country, black-and-white portraits are followed by new colour portraits of the participants or, in some cases, of surviving sons or daughters, a grandson, a new bearer of an office or position, or a visitor to the same site. The images are accompanied by edited versions of new interviews. .”

Another Country, is published by Jacana and accompanies the exhibition at the Johannesburg Art Gallery.

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