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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

CELEBRATE DURBAN (article first published : 2004-09-7)

In September, the city of Durban celebrates its cultural diversity with a varied line-up of programmes.

Ghandi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace is an exhibition running at the Durban Art Gallery from September 11 to 22. This international exhibition will be hosted by the Gandhi Development Trust (GDT) in conjunction with Diakonia Council of Churches, Art Works Trust, The Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Trust, Ukusa designs, World Conference on Religion and Peace, Kendra Cultural Society, South African Communist Party, BAT Centre Trust, Durban Institute of Technology- Art Gallery and Greater Durban Film School, Departments of Education KZN and the Department of Health KZN.

Significantly this year marks the 10 anniversary of South African democracy, the 50th anniversary of the Women's Charter and the formation of the Federation of South African Women and the centenary of Gandhiji's first ashram, the Phoenix Settlement, a place where his life transformed. The events during the exhibition will comprise panel discussions, videos, interactive quizzes, indigenous games, story telling and a host of other interesting activities for the youth. All the groups that form the committee will undertake some activity relating to their particular fields. There will be a variety of affiliated events: readings in the library basement, workshops, a peace graffiti wall, storytelling (including a visiting storyteller from the states), 12 human rights-themed films, educator and human rights workshops

Also running at the Durban Art Gallery will be the Ranjith Kally Retrospective due to open mid-September. This retrospective exhibition of Durban photographer Ranjit Kally who turns 80 this year features important historical photos relating to political events as well as Durban in the 50ís. This will be the first major exhibition of this work held in an art gallery.

From September 17 onwards, Durban residents and visitors need to be geared up for the CowParade. Durban will be the first in South Africa to welcome a huge herd of colourfully decorated life-size fibreglass cows. CowParade South Africa is the latest incarnation of a wild and successful art exhibition where dozens of fibreglass cows are transformed into works of art. It is an art exhibition with a difference. The canvas is a lifesize fibreglass cow that has been adorned, decorated, painted, re-imaged by local artists and displayed for public view and interaction. A further aim is to generate funds for a worthwhile charity, CHOC- Childhood Cancer Foundation of South Africa. CowParade has run successfully in major cities worldwide - New York, Chicago, London, Dublin to name a few, and kicks off in Durban at Red Eye on September 17.

The Durban Art Galleryís highly successful initiative, Red Eye, will take place on September 17 launching the eagerly-anticipated Celebrate Durban/eThekwini season. A highlight of the event will be the once- off Durban screening of William Kentridge's 9 Drawings for Projection - a big screen compilation of the nine videos made by Kentridge since 1999. Undoubtably South Africa's most famous living artist, William Kentridge will attend the showing of this production. The films are to be screened in the Durban City Hall accompanied by the music of Phillip Miller performed live by the Sontonga Quartet. . Ticket sales open at 17h30 at the main entrance of City Hall, Church Walk on September 17. The screening starts promptly at 18h30 and the production is sponsored by Standard Bank.

Running at the Durban Art Gallery from September 17 will be the 120 metre long Keiskamma Tapestry. Made by a group of 60 women in the Eastern Cape, it reflects the history of the region. It is a fine example of a narrative story of a part of South Africa's heritage which is told in pictures. Story telling and a choir accompany the show. This will open at Red Eye on September 17 at 18h00.

Aubrey Siliyana has great talent in performing arts and owns an industrial theatre company (Impilo E&T). Last year he was invited to perform at the Natural Science Museum during Celebrate Durban and his performances were a great success. The plays that Aubrey will present this year promote Nature and Environmental Conservation, a core function of the Natural Science Museum. A popular play is "The voice of the Tree" which is about plants, trees in particular. It addresses conservation issues around trees, such as their destruction, the danger of alien plants and what the Durban community can do to preserve trees and plants. This is done in a story that features song, theatre and dance with fascinating props.

Aubrey Siliyana has great talent in performing arts and owns an industrial theatre company (Impilo E&T). Last year he was invited to perform at the Natural Science Museum during Celebrate Durban and his performances were a great success. The plays that Aubrey will present this year promote Nature and Environmental Conservation, a core function of the Natural Science Museum. A popular play is "The voice of the Tree" which is about plants, trees in particular. It addresses conservation issues around trees, such as their destruction, the danger of alien plants and what the Durban community can do to preserve trees and plants. This is done in a story that features song, theatre and dance with fascinating props.

One of the key events on the KZN cultural calendar is the sixth The Standard Bank Awesome Africa Music Festival which will be held for the second time in Durban's Albert Park after last year's festival was applauded by organisers, the public and the community alike as being the best ever. (see separate story)

Flavours of Durban is a culinary delight featuring delicacies from all corners of KZN. The public will have an opportunity to taste test the various foods available and will also be able to purchase their favourite items. This year Flavours will incorporate arts and crafts from various crafters around KZN. 75% of the area will be focusing on the foods and the other 25% will focus on arts. Flavours of Durban will be situated in Albert Park, next to the Tropicale Restaurant. There is no charge for the public to enter in and the event runs from September 24 to 26.

The Durban Music School in conjunction with Cell-C and eThekweni Municipality will celebrate 10 years of democracy with the biggest Youth Music Festival ever presented in Durban. The organizers promise two days of non-stop music and entertainment from 11h00 to 16h00 hours on September 24 and 25. Most of Durban's orchestras and bands will entertain the public free of charge, outside the Durban Music School. The programme includes KZN Philharmonic Orchestra, East Coast Choristers, Durban Girls College Junior and Senior Choir, the KZN Youth Windband. Marching Bands will include the South African Defence Force Band Durban, and Field Band Foundation.

Leading sarod virtuoso of India, Wajahat Khan, makes his debut with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra in a concert titled East Meets West to be performed in the City Hall on September 23. The conductor will be David Murphy and the programme will include Mozartís Symphony No. 25; Khanís Sarod Concerto, and Beethovenís Symphony No.5

This will be the African premiere of Khanís exuberant Sarod Concerto. Described by the composer as a "synthesis of two great classical traditions", it was orchestrated by conductor David Murphy and is perfectly contrasted by two popular masterpieces, Mozart's Twenty-Fifth and Beethoven's Fifth Symphonies. This concert forms part of the "Celebrate Durban Week" festivities.




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