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SA WOMEN’S ARTS FESTIVAL 2008 (article first published : 2008-07-20; last edited : [an error occurred while processing this directive])

The Playhouse Company has announced details of its 12th South African Women’s Arts Festival (SAWAF), which runs at The Playhouse in Durban from July 29 until August 16.

This annual showcase of the impact women make on the lives of South Africans enjoys a national profile on the arts calendar. True to form, this year’s festival comprises cutting edge productions of poetry, music, drama and dance, and features the talent of noted women in their fields of performance art.

SAWAF’s 2008 programme opens on July 29 with Duma Ndlovu’s acclaimed stage drama, The Game to run until August 10 in the Playhouse Drama. It features a star cast of big-name actresses, including Leleti Kumalo, Sindi Dlathu, Mary Twala, Lucia Mthiyane, Phumelephi Mthombeni and Simpiwe Ngema.

The musical production, Women of Dzonga (Women of the South) runs from August 6 to 9 in the Playhouse Loft. This features a powerhouse line-up of women performers in a mixed medley of show-stoppers from a variety of genres. These include mbaqanga music, domba dance, accapella singing, contemporary dance, kwasa kwasa, and even items from Sophiatown, among other elements. The production portrays the way women celebrate important moments in their lives both in traditional and modern culture, supporting each other in the process.

SAWAF’s 2008 Gala Concert features one of South Africa’s most enduring music legends, Letta Mbulu providing a high energy act with phenomenal box office appeal on August 10 in the Playhouse Opera at 15h00. A much loved audience draw card, Letta is a South African Music Awards for Lifetime Achievement honouree whose performances fill her listeners with joy. Popular local star Swazi Dlamini brings further clout to the event. Celebrity poet Lebo Mashile will be the event’s programme director.

Other SAWAF attractions include an Open Mic Poetry session (admission free) in the Grand Foyer on August 9 at 16h00 with Gcina Mhlophe as the anchor artist and an all-stops-out Battle of the Women DJ’s in the Grand Foyer on August 10 from 17h30. This celebrates young women who have made their names in the local and national music industry as DJ’s. Featured celebrities in this field will include DJ Sindo, DJ Zinhle and DJ Sem.

Desiré Davids’ ground-breaking dance fusion piece, New Classics, makes a welcome return to the Playhouse Drama from August 14 to 16. This challenging stage work features the choreography of one South Africa’s leading dance luminaries and has been created on five leading Durban dancers who have each won acclaim at home and abroad. They are Zinhle Gumede, Louise Fraquet-Golding, Lucile Sproull, Quinton Ribbonaar and Davids herself. The production also features guest appearance by Zulu traditionalists, Omama Boxolo (The Mothers of Peace).

Booking for all SAWAF productions is through Computicket on 083 915 8000 or The Playhouse Box Office on 031 369 9540.




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