I Am Somebody

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Sirqus Alfon is the story of a group of friends who started out as street performers and ended up on big stages. Using their personalities as a starting point for drama and physical tension, the performers of Sirqus Alfon weave an infectious spell of unbridled insanity. Chaotic adventure with technical hi-jinx that you have never seen on the stage before makes Sirqus Alfon a unique artistic experience.

Hailing from Sweden, Sirqus Alfon presents I AM SOMEBODY – a unique high-tech musical innovation for the internet generation (and everyone else). Skilfully crafting an interactive comedy performance imbued with rhythm, humour and a touch of magic, they represent a genre entirely of their own in which the audience gets to be the star of the show.

Sirqus Alfon has been touring internationally since 2004 – from Chinese theatres to refugee camps in Palestine to burlesque clubs in New York. They have worked with the Swedish National Touring Theatre, Cirkus Cirkör, and Clowns without Borders. Sirqus Alfon appeared on Season 12 of America’s Got Talent and won the Pick of the Fringe Award at the 2017 Adelaide Fringe.

Featured Artists:  Martin Östman, Erik Rosales, Henrik Strindberg
Company: Sirqus Alfon

Creators: Martin Östman, Erik Rosales, Henrik Strindberg
Outside eye: Hugo Hansén
Assistant Choreographer: Sofia Södergård
Costume Design: Helena Andersson
Makeup Design: Agnes Kenttä
Creative Producer: Follow the Rabbit / Josefin Lindberg
Photo Credit: Klara Granberg

The Boat

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THE BOAT is a new collaborative piece led by choreographer and dancer Themba Mbuli. It is inspired by the African migrants who have crossed – and are still crossing – the seas from Africa to Europe in search of ‘a better life’.

Guided by true African stories, the work remembers the human cost and what has been lost – the heritage, culture, humanity and wealth of African people – while celebrating the light that still remains in Africa. By focusing on the sense of belonging – in our own skin, in our own land and in our own communities – it brings up issues of mental and spiritual indoctrination, colonialism, borders, power and domination as well as sociopolitical interaction and culture. Written by Billy Langa (Tswalo), the stories are embodied through dance, with live music by Xolisile Bongwana.

Themba Mbuli was the Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance in 2016. Mbuli is an associate project manager and a co-founder of Broken Borders Arts Project, together with Fana Tshabalala and Thulani Chauke.

Director: Themba Mbuli and Billy Langa
Written By: Billy Langa
Choreographer: Fana Tshabalala and Thulani Chauke
Music Composed By: Xolisile Bongwana
Featured Artists: Themba Mbuli, Fana Tshabalala, Thulani Chauke, Billy Langa and Xolisile Bongwana
Company: Broken Borders Arts Project

Going Back to the Truth of Space – SBYA Kitty Phetla

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Choreographer: Kitty Phetla
Music composed and performed by: Nduduzo Makhathini
Producer: Lindsay McDonald

In a first in the history of the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards, the Young Artist for Dance, Kitty Phetla, joins forces with a previous winner for Jazz – Nduduzo Makhathini (2015) – in a brand-new production. Together, they offer a tribute to ‘the divine lineage of souls’ who occupy, inform and influence their spaces and their work. Going Back to the Truth of Space reveals a journal of religion, a practice of ritual, and a struggle for restoration between Phetla, a dancer, and Makhathini, as both artist and healer.

SYLPHIDES-humans-fishes-birds

 

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SYLPHIDES- humans-fishes-birds is a dance creation by Hannah Ma in collaboration with her company “The People United”. SYLPHIDES- humans-fishes-birds is inspired by the romantic ballet “Sylphides” and swarm movements of fishes and birds.

“Sylphides” was the first non- narrative ballet that featured “dance” only without a storyline and was based on the romantic idea of weightlessness, immortality and an eternal existence. SYLPHIDES- humans-fishes-birds takes these ideas further and is part of Hannah Ma’s ongoing long term research on group movements, archaic rituals, intercultural communication and holistic approaches to connect to a higher self.

Production: hannahmadance ( Tufa Tanz/ GER, Han SúN Gathering/LU)
Coproduction: National Arts Festival Grahamstown (ZA),  Ministry of Culture Rhineland- Phalatinate (GER), Fondation Marienburg (LU)

With the support of: Tufa Trier (GER), Trois C-L Centre Choreographique Luxemburgeois (LU)

MAIN 2019 – DANCE

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On the Main Dance programme at NAF2019:

  • The Boat – Broken Borders Arts Project Themba Mbuli, Fana Tshabalala Thulani Chauke, Billy Langa, Xolisile Bongwana
  • Spirit Child – The Q Dance Company Dancer & Choreographer: Qudus Onikeku
  • Amawethu – Conceived, choreographed and directed by Luyanda Sidiya, assisted by Phumlani Nyanga.
  • SYLPHIDES- humans-fishes-birds is a dance creation by Hannah Ma in collaboration with her company The People United. Inspired by the romantic ballet “Sylphides” and swarm movements of fishes and birds.
  • The Wanderer a contemporary dance theatre work from Hannah Ma and The People United about the search for traces of home and the longing for rituals that transcend cultural boundaries.
  • Encryption – Kristi-Leigh Gresse with Mzamo Kunene and Nomakhwezi Becker.
  • Step into Africa – the 34/18 Youth Dance Company under the direction of Wendi Abrahams.
  • In PINK MON€Y, an international collaboration between South Africans Annalyzer, Kieron Jina and Mbali Mdluli, Dutch artists Djana Covic and Nico de Rooij along with Antje Schupp from Switzerland, the theatre becomes an LGBTIQ+ club.

 

Udodana

UDODANA, a full-length dance theatre work by Standard Bank Young Artist Musa Hlatswayo, premiered at the 2018 National Arts Festival.

Black Privilege – 2018 Featured Artist Mamela Nyamza

Black Privilege, a brand-new work by 2018 Featured Artist Mamela Nyamza, premiered at the 2018 National Arts Festival.

Phuma Langa – 2018 Featured Artist Mamela Nyamza

Concept, Design, Choreographer & Director: Mamela Nyamza, 2018 Featured Artist

PHUMA-LANGA is a call for a renewed social cohesion through artistic meaningful themes, mostly derived from the Ndebele culture, but also running across all the experiences derived from the history of South Africa.

Hatched – 2018 Featured Artist Mamela Nyamza

Choreographer: Mamela Nyamza | Featured Artists: Mamela Nyamza, Amkele Mandla | Company: Mamela Nyamza

This year’s Featured Artist Mamela Nyamza reflects on her life as a mother and as an artist in her work HATCHED, an autobiographical work that seeks to convey the deeply personal and challenging issues of culture, tradition and a woman’s evolving sexuality within the customary rites and rituals of marriage. It grapples with questions of identity, highlighted by the dualities of her life – a mother and a performer; a South African and a dancer. All photos: Jan Potgieter

NATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL FEATURED ARTIST

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Trailblazing dancer and choreographer Mamela Nyamza is this year’s Featured Artist, recognising her contribution to the South African cultural narrative. She has been invited to bring multiple works to the Festival.