Sibikwa at the National Arts FestivalThe Famous Idea Trading Company
To celebrate 22 years of performing at the National Arts Festival, Sibikwa is returning to Grahamstown with a feast of entertainment, cuisine and festivities.
The Recreation Hall, an exciting revamped venue in Albany Street, will host this unique all-African dinner, dance and theatre party from 20 - 24 June.
Based in Benoni, east of Johannesburg, Sibikwa is a flagship for cutting edge contemporary southern African art. The key figures behind their new venue in Grahamstown this year are multi-award winning doyennes of SA community theatre, Phyllis Klotz and Small Ndaba. "When it comes to what is young and happening in southern Africa arts, we are it," said Klotz.
South African festinos will be keen to soak up the new shows and the latest dance moves, and international World Cup soccer fans will be able to participate in authentic, contemporary African arts, culture and cuisine. Klotz and Ndaba say their glitzy new African venue this year feels like a complete re-invention. "We are coming home to throw a wonderful, fun and freedom-filled African arts party!" said Klotz.
They are excited that they are this year able to provide on - and off-stage experiences of drama, dance, music, cuisine, arts, and craft. "We think visitors will be amazed to walk straight into a genuine African vibe and become part of the fusion everything that is both hip and traditional in southern Africa," said Ndaba.
For anyone wanting to experience the modern, 21st century African vibe, this venue is the place to be. Visitors will enjoy South African and Mozambican cuisine, umqombothi African beer, vibey and hip SA and Mozambican music, all presented under a typical African marquee.
"Sibikwa is about African performance which touches all the core senses, the heart, the mind, the body. It's a whole, authentic African reality," said Klotz. "For international visitors, such as our soccer fans, Sibikwa will serve as a portal into our African life," she added. Just don't expect fake leopard print and tourism trinkets.
Sibikwa artists include Busi Zokufa, who trained with the Handspring Puppet Company, Elton Landrau, who performed in The Tempest, and Andries Mbali, who was assistant director of the South African international feature film, U-Carmen eKhayelitsha.
The programme at the Recreation Hall starts at noon on 20 June with Famba, a pulsating display of traditional Mozambican dance to contemporary music. At 2pm The Eye of the Storm sees seven dancers from the Sibikwa Arts Dance Company blending African dance with contemporary Japanese Butoh dance forms. It's choreographed by Boaz and Anike Barkan from Copenhagen, Denmark, who trained in Japan and New York with Min Tanaka of Body Weather. South Africa's Cherice Mangiagalli is the director.
At 4pm it's the time for the audience to go African with Rhythm Falls, presented by the 12-member Sibikwa Arts African indigenous orchestra. The audience will be invited to join in the African rhythms, and Festinos will beat drums, clack sticks, and rock and roll to tribal poly-rhythms, directed by Neo Leleka.
At 7pm it's adult entertainment time with Ma Lindi - the Sex Strike, a raucous comedy interspersed with spicy songs and spirited African music and singing. It's directed by the acclaimed Klotz and comes with an age restriction of 15. The work is loosely based on the 410 BC play Liysistrata, written by Aristophanes in which the power of war and sex is explored. In order to stop war, women must say "Hay‘khona!' (no) to sex with men.
Sibikwa will also be performing at the Memorial Hall with African Animal Tales at 10am on 20 and 21 June. These renowned story-tellers will offer children and adults a wonderful array of tales, just like the ancestors did, with a great deal of drama.
Tickets cost R40 for adults, R30 for students, R30 for Friends of the Festival and R30 for a block booking. First performance tickets are discounted to R30. Tickets are available through Computicket, or at the Festival's ticket office.
Note to editors
The Sibikwa Community Theatre Project was born in 1988. It has grown into an organisation that not only teaches arts and culture, but is also involved in many projects including job creation. TOTAL supports a community play festival which has a job creation component for the winners. They have a 1 year learnership supported by a grant from MAPPP -SETA. They have an internship which was supported by a Norwegian student organization- a year of professional preparation in the arts industry. They create jobs by offering our various services marimba, drumming, dancing singing for events and in that way also generate income for Sibikwa. They have an ad hoc professional theatre company, permanent professional dance co.
Contact: Phyllis Klotz 083 324 1909.
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National Arts Festival
Dates: Thursday, 3rd July 2014 - Sunday, 13th July 2014