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A SOUTH AFRICAN SIDDHARTHA (article first published : 2000-03-1)

The spice of India, the richness of Africa and the traditions of classical dance are integrated in A South African Siddhartha. Conceived, directed and choreographed by Jay Pather and featuring Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre, the piece is based on a novel by Herman Hesse and runs in the Playhouse Drama Theatre from March 10 to 19. The work follows Prince Siddhartha's journey into enlightenment and his subsequent elevation into Buddha. This pilgrimage is located in South Africa at the dawn of the millennium and offers insightful reflections on both the fragmentation and reconciliation that currently occupies the country.

Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre will be joined by two prominent dancers from India, Jayati Bhatia, previously seen in Mahatma v/s Gandhi, and acclaimed kathak specialist, Vaibhav Joshi, as well as award-winning Durban dancer, Quinton Ribbonaar. Designed by Sarah Roberts, with original lighting and visual design by Logan Shunmugam and music by Jurgen Brauninger, the work tells the story of a prince born into a rich tradition of religious ritual who rejects this for a way of life that is more austere and politically principled. With this rejection comes the realisation that his troubles have only just begun.

A South African Siddhartha provides an excellent backdrop for the melding traditional African dance (Zulu and Xhosa), classical Indian dance (Orissi and Bharatha Natyam) and contemporary dance.

Performances are at 19h30, with Saturday matinees at 14h30 and Sunday performances at 18h00. There will be a show for pensioners on 14 March at 11h00. Tickets: R30 (R25 for students and pensioners; R10 for schools’ and pensioners’ performances). Book at Computicket. For credit card bookings, Dial-A-Seat on (031) 369 9444 or call TicketLine on (031) 304 2753. For groups bookings or entire performances, call Nanjini on (031) 369 9446.




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