Westhuizen Duo Touring with Mack's "American Groove"
From the Press Release: "A spirit of artistic innovation with a range of national, continental and world premieres in theatre, dance, music and visual art will be celebrated at this year's National Arts Festival, running from 30 June – 10 July in Grahamstown.
"The artists come from everywhere, all disciplines, and are amongst the most excellent, courageous, thoughtful, provocative and iconic," said Jay Pather, National Arts Festival committee chairperson. "The Festival attracts the best administrators and production crew that help mirror a complex and vast nation on many fronts. From jazz to drama, installation art to comedy, we draw innovation and excellence from a variety of cultures. So we attract the most discerning, wide cross section of audiences," he added.
The main programme DANCE stage welcomes Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance Mamela Nyamza with Isingqala and amaFongkong. This double-bill features a solo work by Nyamza and a collaborative production with the Adugna Dance Theatre Company from Ethiopia. In creating Amafongkong, Mamela says that her intention was to hold an open space to explore the notion of 'collaboration' in all its complexities, to see how and where similar and different bodies could meet in movement. The project collaboration between Nyamza and the Ethiopian-based Adugna Dance Theatre is supported by Art Moves Africa.
Headlining the main THEATRE menu is Standard Bank Young Artists Ward winner for Drama, Neil Coppen, with his latest play Abnormal Loads. It is set in a fictional battle-field town known as Bashford, nestled in the once war ravaged valleys of Northern KwaZulu-Natal. With a narrative that whisks audiences through two centuries of South African history, Abnormal loads presents a theatrical universe where the past runs in tandem with the present and events shift seamlessly from the grandeur of a battle-field in 1879 to the intimacy of the bedroom in 2011. Movement, sound, music, multi-media and shadows combine to create breathtakingly original theatrical experience.
The Westhuizen Duo presents a programme, which includes the staple of the duo-piano repertoire: Rachmaninoff's monumental Suite No. 2, Op. 17 for Two Pianos together with works by Schumann and Poulenc. They will also perform the world première of Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph's It Takes Two to Tango and the South African première of American Groove for Two Pianos, by Evan Mack (USA).
Award winning director and producer Lara Bye is bringing Night, Mother to the Festival. This Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Marsha Norman deals with themes that resonate with universal relevance gives Sandra Prinsloo and Annette Louw the opportunity to showcase their talents in the broken and beautiful love story about a mother and daughter in crises.