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HIP KULCHA (article first published : 2005-06-13)

Here's calling all theatre-goers either young or young-at-heart! Diarize the weekend of June 18 to 19 for Hip Kulcha, the Playhouse Company's salute to National Youth Day (which this year falls midweek on June 16). The two-day festival, now in its second year, promises all the buzz of last year's highly successful festival launch.

The line-up includes a sizzling main stage concert, a vibrant cross-cultural dance programme, a drama double bill that has its finger on the social pulse of life in South Africa, as well as searching youth discussions, fun kiddies activities, and free stage events outside the theatre, on Smith Street.

Hip Kulcha's main event is a concert that teams Kwaito star Mandoza and the local pop scene's Danny K, in celebration of their recent CD collaboration. This must-see event takes place in the Opera theatre on June 19 at 20h30.

With the energy and exuberance of youth, Sharp Sharp Dance's performers take a journey through where and what and how young people are dancing today: they revel in the traditional, and the rootedness that offers; they make waves in the townships, using new music and new subjects; they experiment with the contemporary; and they mix and match the popular, Bollywooding their boots off! Under the Artistic Directorship of Smeetha Maharaj of Nateshwar Dance Academy (currently celebrating its 25th anniversary) the youthful members of KZN DanceLink burst onto the stage as cultures connect!

Sharp Sharp Dance participants include the Hlanganani Traditional Orchestra (Indlamu); Uyaba Dance Company (Kwaito); Nateshwar Dance Company and Uyaba Dance Companies (Kwaito & Indian Folk Dance); Minette De Klerk Dance Academy (Bollywood); Siwela Sonke Dance Company (Gumboot Dancers); God's Golden Acre Dancers (Asimbonanga), and Mary Ann Salvage Dance Academy. Catch them all in action on Drama stage on June 18 at 14h30.

Hip Kulcha's double bill of gripping one-act dramas will be presented in the Loft on June 18 at 15h00 and June 19 at 15h00 and 18h00. This featuresLand Ahoy, a play by Dylan Edy and Marc Kay about seven homeless men living in an Umbilo alleyway that they have converted into an imaginary pirate ship. Performed in a realist style, the script uses humour to tell the story of a group of people adrift in the modern world. By focusing attention on the homeless, ignored by society unless they directly influence us, the play encourages people to accept responsibility for more than just our own individual lives.

This production will be presented in tandem with Vivian Moodley's In Love All By Myself, which explores and gives insight into the psyche of an abused child who is driven to murder. While this compelling stage work does not provide all the answers, it does pose pertinent questions which stimulate debate. One such question is: "How many silent victims are there at your institution?"

Other exciting components to look for in this year's Hip Kulcha are a Saturday morning youth conference to be held in the Grand Foyer at 11h00. Sunday's roster offers face-painting, clowning and juggling by master of the genre, Aldo Brincat in the Porte Cochere from 12h30 to 13h15, with rap poetry, pantsula and hip hop on the free stage of the Playhouse/Transnet truck in Smith Street from 11h00 to 14h00.

Hip Kulcha tickets range from R20 to R75. Booking is through Computicket.




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