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

DURBAN HERITAGE MONTH (article first published : 2008-07-20)

Stand by for a marvellous line-up of events in September during Heritage Month.

The Yebo Millionaires Gold Cup National Ballroom and Latin American Dance Championships, one of South Africa’s most established and glamorous dancing showcases, returns to Durban on September 6 in the Durban City Hall. The Durban Blue Lagoon Indian Ocean Festival also takes place on September 6 with a music concert embracing all of Durban’s cultures – traditional and contemporary from Indian, modern, folk and bhangra to kwaito and pantsula. If you’re interested in embracing a Durban culinary “special”, then head back to Blue Lagoon the following Sunday for the Coca Cola Bunny Chow Barometer which aims to find the best bunny-chow in the city!

The weekend beginning September 12 sees Durban Meets Cape Town Jazz Encounters at the Durban City Hall on two nights with artists such as Allou April; Robbie Jansen; Moreira; Lesley Kleinsmith, Vernon Castle and Gloria Bosman. The DUT Annual Cultural Experience takes place at Curries Fountain on the Friday and Saturday, signifying the growth and unity of the merger between ML Sultan and Natal Technikon (now the Durban University of Technology). Over the same weekend, highlights of the Glenwood Festival include the KZNPO Proms Concert and the Davenport Road Market.

The following weekend’s programme will see the streets of Durban coming alive on September 20 with the Float Street Parade accompanied by municipal vehicles, as well as drum majorettes, and live jazz bands. The Bay of Plenty Festival at North Beach which celebrates 40 years of Durban music with an eclectic mix of musicians all of whom have a Durban connection - including Incha; Ladysmith Black Mambazo and PJ Powers. Then there’s the Cardinal’s Concert in Emmanuel Cathedral with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra performing sacred and classical music in the beautiful surroundings of the Emmanuel Cathedral.

Maskandi Legends, a celebration of one of the oldest and most traditional forms of African cultural heritage, takes place on September 20 at Umlazi Megacity. There’s also the Durban Fashion and Jewellery Extravaganza in Jamison Park which sees a dramatic fashion extravaganza featuring innovative top designers offering unusual, daring, trend-setting bold jewellery. Also on September 20 is the Zidlekhaya Umkumbane Jazz Festival (Homebrew) in Chesterville which promotes up and coming KZN jazz artists as well as participating jazz clubs from as far afield as Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Northwest provinces.

Rounding off the month’s events is the Durban International Blues and Jazz Heritage Festival which takes place at Wilson’s Wharf from September 23 to 28. The Halala eThekwini Newlands Heritage Festival on September 24 is a day long programme of entertainment mostly sourced from the Newlands area. The event coincides with the 30th anniversary of this vibrant suburb. Traditional dance has been identified as a unique and popular art-form that is loved the whole world over and this is featured in the Celebrate Durban Traditional Dance Festival on September 24 in the Pinetown Civic Centre.

The Cell C Durban Music School Street Festival takes place on September 24 and includes the KZN youth and other wind bands, SA army marching band, field bands, a jazz band and choirs. The SATMA Awards 2008 programme features a cultural parade from the City Hall with traditional groups and drum majorettes, a workshop, exhibition and the awards ceremony.

The Trots Afrikaans Fees at the Amanzimtoti Civic Centre is a fun, family and interactive three day festival celebrating the music, food and lifestyle of the Afrikaans community. The popular Isicathamiya Festival taking place on September 27 in the Playhouse Opera involves more than 170 groups from different municipalities who compete for the coveted prize. On the same day, the BAT Centre offers the Youth and Heritage Concert which will include a full programme of music, dance and poetry.

The 12th Poetry Africa festival just makes it into the September programme where more than 20 poets, predominantly from South Africa and elsewhere on the African continent, will participate in an extensive week-long programme that includes performances, readings, music and book-launches.

The 50th Anniversary Celebrations of Kwa Mashu focus on the Inanda Heritage Trail and INK area throughout September.

Apart from the exhibitions appearing in the venue itself, the Kizo Art Gallery has taken over a large section of Gateway for its ambitious multi-layered annual Heritage Art Exhibition. This sees a wide range of artists from all over South Africa many of whom continue to work in their individual mediums during the exhibition.




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