Provocative dance challenges cultures

Mamela Nyamza is known for her socially relevant dance ethos
Mamela Nyamza is known for her socially relevant dance ethos

If you are an arts lover, you may already have circled June 28 to July 8 on your calendar, the date of the 44th National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

If not, do so now because this year’s featured artist is dancer and choreographer Mamela Nyamza, who is known for her acclaimed and challenging work.

Nyamza choreographs and directs the provocative piece Phuma-Langa, which will be at the NAF from July 2 to 4, presented by The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative.

It has been described as calling for “a construction of the soul, and indeed a recall for a renewed reconciliation among all South Africans”.

Nyamza says she drew inspiration from the Ndebele culture among other diverse historical South African experiences, as a way of depicting renewed social cohesion in Phuma-Langa.

I am trying to reach a milestone where we can revive and promote the diminishing good within our various cultures.”

“My hope is to be innovative in this production from the performances to the message I want to get across. I am trying to reach a milestone where we can revive and promote the diminishing good within our various cultures,” she said.

Performed by Nicholas Aphane, Shawn Mothupi, Lorin Sookool, Thulani ‘Latish’ Mgidi, Nomfundo Hlongwa, Francesca Matthys, and with costume design by Sasha Ehlers and lighting by Thabo Pule, this production was funded by the National Lotteries Commission.

Bookings are already open for this production, with tickets ranging from R75 and R80. The full programme does not only offer live performances, it also expands artistic horizons through the Festival of Film and Ideas, and explores a new sphere this year with the Creativate Digital Arts Festival, where technology and creativity meet.

There also is the chance to catch the Standard Bank Young Artist’s as they unveil their new work. Few festival goers miss the Standard Bank Jazz Festival, always an expression of jazz talent from our own continent and beyond.

Tickets will go live for general booking on May 2 at www.nationalartsfestival.co.za, where you can see the full programme. Further information: (046) 603-1103 or e-mail: info@nationalartsfestival.co.za

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