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TRADITIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL (article first published : 2004-09-25)

For the first time, the Playhouse Company proudly presents its International Traditional Arts Festival, an eclectic two-day programme of theatrical events acknowledging the traditions, arts and heritage that shape South Africa’s collective contemporary culture. This exciting break-through programme will be staged at The Playhouse in Durban on October 2 and 3.

Gala Concert: A stellar performance line-up for the festival’s Gala Concert on October 2 at 17h00 in The Opera includes TV announcer Vuyo Mbuli as MC; the internationally acclaimed praise poet Zolani Mkhiva; recording star and music icon Madala Kunene; Vaibhav Joshi and the Nateshwar Dance Company in Folk Dances of India. Also in the line-up are maskanda superstar Phuzekhemisi; the acclaimed Aangika Dance Company, specialists in Punjabi dance from Northern India; the Nyoni Kayiphumuli musical group under Brother Clement Sitholi, playing traditional Zulu musical instruments; the Mahonga Cultural Group from Machibini in the Eastern Cape, performing umgqungqo, traditional Xhoza song-dance; and Sibusio Cele’s highly popular, KwaMashu-based Hlanganani Traditional Orchestra, locally famed as a fusion marimba group.

The gala concert programme also includes a prestigious awards ceremony, to be led by praise poet Mkhiva, honouring distinguished contributors to the preservation of traditional arts in the KwaZulu-Natal region. Honorees include Princess Constance Magogo, Prof Themba Msimang, Gcina Mhlophe and Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s Joseph Shabalala. Gala Concert tickets cost R35 and booking is strongly advised.

Iscathamiya Extravaganza: On October 2 this much-loved, annual Is’cathamiya Festival will be hosted by Vicky Masuku and Thanda Ndlovu of Ukhozi FM. This marathon cultural event starts in The Opera at 21h00 and runs through the night. Tickets cost R20.

Indlamu Competition: The final leg of the Playhouse’s Traditional Arts Festival programme on October 3 from 10h00 will be devoted to an Indlamu Competition, to be held in the complex’s Drama Theatre. Entrance is free.

“Our Traditional Arts Festival is mounted as a salute to all the artists who help keep our many-sided cultural identity alive through sharing their performance skills with our audience,” says Playhouse Company Artistic Director, Linda Bukhosini. “This benchmark event at the Playhouse offers a unique opportunity for all members of our community to experience each other’s cultural expressions in a spirit of celebration. We extend a warm welcome to all our patrons.”

More details or bookings can be made through Computicket on 083 915 8000 or visit www.computicket.com, or through the Playhouse’s Dial-a-seat facility 031 369 9555.




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