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INTERNATIONAL TRADITIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL (article first published : 2005-09-15)

The Playhouse Company will present its second International Traditional Arts Festival on the weekend of September 24 and 25. The festival programme centres on a Saturday evening concert in the Playhouse Opera with Ladysmith Black Mambazo among the headline acts.

SABC television luminary Vuyo Mbuli is the festival concert’s MC, introducing the wide-ranging talent line-up representing various traditional performance genres. This year’s artists include: the celebrated praise poet Zolani Mkiva; the 10-member Nyemako Mbira Crew ensemble; Shakeel and Vivek Isseri of the Ustad Ravi Foundation for Indian Music; widely acclaimed star muso Zim Ngqawana; Johnny Booyse and his Boereorkes; and an excerpt from the cultural fusion act, Acapella Crossover, with local groups Prisma and NBA Champions.

The second half of the programme will feature among others the White Eagles Polish Folk Dance Group; Ladysmith Black Mambazo; and the renowned London-based Sarod virtuoso, Wajahat Kahn. The concert begins at 19h00. Pre-booked tickets R35 or R50 at the door (R25 children under 12 years and pensioners). Book through Computicket

Leading up to this mainstage event, a Saturday morning conference will be held in the Drama theatre with discussion around the theme, Cooking in the Melting Pot - The Race between Arts and Culture. Speakers will include Prof Sihawu Ngubane and scholars from Mowat Park High School, who will debate whether English as a language of instruction hinders the sustaining African traditional culture. Also on the conference roster will be the noted SA playwright Duma kaNdlovu, who will deliver a paper titled Exploring the Notion of the African Aesthetic and Meeting the Challenge of Retaining Culture through Performance Art.

The final component of the festival programme will be a full-scale Zulu Dance Competition in the Drama Theatre on September 25 from 10h00 to 16h00. This will include more than 30 dance groups from across KwaZulu-Natal competing in the categories of Indlamu, Amawubo and Ishanyameni dance. Adding his own unique brand of star attraction to the event, radio and TV celebrity ‘Juba Special’ Dlamini will host the day.

A ground-breaker on the South African national arts roster, The Playhouse Company’s Traditional Arts Festival enables communities of different cultures to reach out to others through the performance of their individual creative expression. Increasingly people around the globe are trying to discover their roots as an identity anchor in today’s fast-changing world. The Playhouse’s Traditional Arts Festival plays a key role as a host for the indigenous performance art forms, and as a boost for cultural tourism.

The festival programme centres on a Saturday evening concert in the Playhouse Opera with Ladysmith Black Mambazo among the headline acts




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