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WOMEN'S ARTS FESTIVAL (article first published : 1999-07-22)

The Playhouse Company, with generous sponsorship from Transnet, is to present The 1999 South African Women's Arts Festival from August 5 to 8. The main aim of the festival is to celebrate, entertain, educate and lobby so that every woman has an equal chance to succeed in a field that affirms her artistry and talent, and rewards creativity and hard work. This year’s programme, as always, contains a variety of theatre, music, dance and visual arts displays.

The festival kicks off with a conference in the Playhouse on August 5 from 10h30 to 13h00 which explores the challenges and opportunities for South African women in the arts as the millennium approaches. Panelists are Krijay Govender (journalist, playwright and director), Lliane Loots (choreographer and director of Flatfoot Dance Company), Ntombenhle Nkosi (executive director of the King Shaka Arts and Crafts Centre) and Alice Anne Martin (poet and the founder of the Newlands East Physically Challenged Group).

The Gala Concert in the Playhouse Opera on August 6 at 19h30 features two of South Africa's top female performers, Letta Mbulu and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.

Karen van Pletsen, Xolisa Gqoli and Crystal Tryon appear in Me and My Voice with arrangements by Chris Letcher and Martin Sigamoney. The band includes Philani Ngidi on bass, Sean Peterson on drums with Martin Sigamoney on keyboard and tenor saxophone. Late Nite Jazz with Jiqa on August 6 at 22h00 and August 8 August at 20h00 in the Opera Bar offers free performances with Xolisa Gqoli on vocals, Feya Faku on trumpet and fluegelhorn, Susan Barry on keyboards, Philani Ngidi on bass and Sean Peterson on drums.

There are wide-ranging dance and drama programmes and these items are covered separately under the various disciplines. There will be an arts and crafts exhibition in the Inner Foyer with a fine art exhibition in the Alhambra Room.


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