What's On in Gauteng - August 25 to September 2Jennifer de Klerk
Jennifer de Klerk: Couples twirled at the Coca-Cola Dome last weekend as Andre Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra played the joyous Blue Danube.
It seems some people still know how to waltz.
It was one of many highlights on a programme chosen for the orchestra’s 25th birthday. Unfortunately the King of Waltz was only in Joburg for the weekend and the echoing Dome is hardly the most appropriate venue – every comment he made about the romantic hall brought a ripple of laughter.
To be sure, they tried, with a stage bedecked with roses, the men in impeccable formal black and white and the women in sumptuous ball gowns. There were many memorable moments, from soaring notes of Nessun Dorma, to the fiery Bolero, the rhythms of Russia, a comic interlude with a zither and our own Soweto Gospel Choir in full voice, joining with Strauss choir for a spirited “I Love Him” from the movie Sister Act.
Varied, polished, accessible and enlivened by the maestro’s warm wit and the wry lift of his tell-tale eyebrow (seen close up on the big screens), this was truly an unforgettable evening.
There are four festivals on the go this week.
The Drama for Life Sex Actually Festival at the University of the Witwatersrand offers film, poetry, theatre, dance, debate, workshops and visual art, all themed around HIV and Aids education – among the productions are Through Positive Eyes, Iago’s Last Dance, Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth and the site specific Between, which explores locations in Jeppestown and City Suburban.
The UJ Arts THATSOGAY festival opens on Tuesday with the Snowman, which explores the dynamics of an isolated group in Canada when they discover the body of a prehistoric boy frozen in the ice.
On Friday the International Exhibition of Black Music opens at Museum Africa, running through to December. There are various interactive musical exhibits which visitors can explore with a smartphone and headphones.
Also on Friday the MTN Festival kicks off at Montecasino, running until October. There are all kinds of activities planned, from gaming, to comedy, to film, to wine and dine. On the entertainment front there are concerts with Johnny Clegg and Jonathan Butler and, of course, the SA Tattoo.
The Nando’s Jozi Comedy Festival is at Parker’s at the complex this weekend, with Defending the Caveman with Alan Committie at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre and comedian Marc Lottering in I Don’t Work on Sundays in the little Studio.
From Thursday dancer and choreographer Dada Masilo is presenting her acclaimed Swan Lake at the Dance Factory until September 9, before she and her team of 13 young dancers leave on a tour of Europe.
The serious dramas The Blue Iris and Delirium are running at the Market Theatre and Dianne Simpson’s Rose Red is at the Old Mutual Theatre on the Square in Sandton.
In Pretoria on Sunday The Classics Meet the Pops in BTE VO1SS morning concert at the State Theatre and the opera Don Giovanni is at the Breytenbach Theatre this weekend.
If you are looking for a fun night out, the Barnyard Theatres have shuffled their musical tribute shows – Moonshadows is at RIvonia, Seven Wonders at Cresta and Glory Days has moved to Boksburg.
Jennifer de Klerk is editor of Artslink.co.za. For more information on these shows and other events nationwide see www.artslink.co.za