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JOHANNESBURG'S ARTS ALIVE (article first published : 2004-08-14)

Johannesburg's Arts Alive International Festival in September will continue to reinforce the City's Newtown label as the cultural hub of the African continent in the year that the country proudly celebrates 10 years of democracy. There's a strong African component to this year's festival line-up with Koffi Olimede from the Congo and Senegal's Cheikh Lo along with our very own stars Suthukazi Arosi, Busi Mhlongo and Jabu Khanyile set to unite Africa. American rap sensation 50Cent is this year's international star while big name South African artists like Arno Carstens; Watershed; the jazz trio of Nana Coyote, Steve Kekana and Joe Nina and WONDERboom will be performing at the Festival.

Audiences can expect a festival that is cutting-edge, innovative and professional. It will run over a more intensive period - for four days from September 2 to 5. The festival organisers hope to attract diverse audiences by offering a wide range of music and arts styles.

The majority of events will take place in venues in the core Arts Alive village in Newtown; drawing people back to the city centre. Events will also be held in satellite venues in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. The programme line-up includes:

September 2 from 20h00 till 23h00: A Comedy Show at the Newtown Music Hall. Some of this country's top comedians - including David Kau, John Vlismas, Riaad Moosa, Tshepo Mogale and Krijay Govender - take to the stage to get the Arts Alive International Festival underway. Tickets R50.

September 3 from 22h00: A Freedom to Dance at Carfax until the early hours of the morning. This is a cutting edge youth cultural event to celebrate 10 Years of Democracy with a line-up including Frankie Feliciano from New York and Cut Killer from Paris along with DJ Fresh, DJ Monde, Vinny da Vinci, DJ Naked, DJ Ready D, DJ Waxxy, Pitch Black Afro, Tumi and the Volume, Squatta Kamp and Amu. Tickets R60. September 3 from 20h00: A Jozi Rocks at the Newtown Music Hall till midnight. A collection of South Africa's finest artists Arno Carstens, Watershed and WONDER boom - celebrates rock the Jozi way. Carstens former lead singer for the Springbok Nude Girls is the 2004 SAMA Award winner for best rock album. Watershed has emerged as one of the most commercially successful SA rock bands in the last five years while WONDERboom has played extensively locally and internationally. Tickets R80. September 3 from 20h00: Africa Unites at the Turbine Hall in Newtown till midnight. African artists representing some countries within the diaspora, they include artists like Koffi Olimede, Cheikh Lo, Jabu Khanyile, Busi Mhlongo and Suthukazi Arosi. Tickets R150.

September 4 from 20h00: 50Cent for Jozi at The Dome @ Northgate till midnight. A concert featuring 50Cent, Zola and Kabelo. 50Cent first made waves on the hip-hop scene in 1999 when he released the song How To Rob that took verbal shots at all the big names in rap. Tickets from R150.

Jazz on the Lake at Zoo Lake on September 5 from 22h00 until 17h00. All day music concert which features The Trio of Nana Coyote, Steve Kekana and Joe Nina; Sakhile; Louis Mhlanga; Thandiswa Mazwai; Prince Kupi; Swazi Dlamini and Tribe. Entrance is free.

Arts Alive International Festival of Dance at the Dance Factory in Newtown on September 3, 4 and 5 at 19h30 (Sunday at 14h30). Don't miss this innovative dance programme featuring Sylvia Glasser, Mxolisi George Khumalo, Sello Pesa and PJ Sabbagha. Tickets cost R25 to R50.

September 4 and 5 at 20h00:Biro by Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine at the Market Theatre. This multi-media solo performance piece is based on the true account of an HIV positive African's journey through Uganda, Cuba and America. Tickets are R40. September 3 and 4 at 19h30: Johnny Boskak is Feeling Funny at The Market Theatre. This is the acclaimed Grahamstown hit which is a one-man tour-de-force showing off Greig Coetzee's writing and vocal delivery skills. Tickets R40.

September 3, 4 and 5 at 10h00 to 16h30: Visual Arts in the inner city include CowParade and the Jo'burg Art Bank at the Johannesburg Art Gallery.

Supporting Theatre: The Naledi award winning Big Band Blast is Harry Sideropoulos's spectacular musical starring Ian von Memerty, Ilse Klink and Jolette Odendaal. It plays at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre until September 5. Also playing at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre the South African BalletTheatre's Swan Lake.

Booking for all events is at Computicket. The City of Johannesburg is the host, main sponsor and key stakeholder of the event. Visit the Arts Alive website on www.artsalive.co.za




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