Dance production ‘Kiu’ returns to State Theatre

KIU. Photo by Sanmari Marais)
KIU. Photo by Sanmari Marais)

Straight from the National Arts Festival, the dance production “Kiu” returns to the State Theatre for a homecoming season from 13 to 22 July.

Kiu was curated for the Main Programme at the National Arts Festival (NAF) this year. The annual festival is one of the largest arts festivals on the African continent and one of the largest performing arts festivals in the world by visitor numbers.

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The production Kiu performed to nearly full houses and had resounding standing ovations at the Rhodes Theatre at Grahamstown on 1 and 2 July. Now the production returns to the State Theatre where it premiered last year. Tickets are R100 at Computicket outlets nationwide and online – Tuesday’s are half price.

KIU. Photo by Sanmari Marais)
KIU. Photo by Sanmari Marais)

Kiu, the Swahili word for thirst, is a diverse narrative signifying the critical age of drought in Africa and the significance of preserving water. Inspired by the ancient African rain dance, ‘Kiu’ is a plea for rainfall. It is written, directed and choreographed by University of Pretoria and Tshwane University of Technology’s part-time Drama Lecture, Mduduzi Vincent Nhlapo.

A poignant and unbridled quest for redemption to quench the thirst that seems to be destabilizing humanity, this thirst is highlighted as human’s great desire leading to dystopia and civil unrest. “Kiu is a profound and moving dance experience. Raw, sensitive, intense, hostile, sensuous, meditative and soul-searching. Performed to hauntingly beautiful live Afrocentric music,” urges Nhlapo.

KIU. Photo by Sanmari Marais)
KIU. Photo by Sanmari Marais)

Nhlapo’s name was not new to the National Arts festival as many would recall him being the Golden Ovation award winner with the production ‘Anatomy of Weather’ (2011) by Bailey Snyman and Nicola Haskins that performed in Amsterdam Fringe and was rated the highlight of the festival. He is an acclaimed playwright, choreographer and performer who is known for his robust, controversial, provocative and cutting-edge political content and resistance. His stance is known in theatre works such as ‘Who stole the E-toll’, ‘The absent figure’, ‘Revolution by the dead’, ‘Rocks and Roses’. More recently he choreographed the latest Freedom musical by the State Theatre’s artistic Director Aubrey Sekhabi.

Mdu Nhlapo: Director/ Choreographer
Thapelo Shosana: Music Director/ Composer
Wilf Carter Mahne: Technical Director/ Stage Manager
Mbongeni Mabila: Lighting Designer
Lungile Cindi: Set designer
Performers: Nommangaliso Tebeka, Eutychia Rakaki, Nhlanhla Nzuza, Bongani Mthombeni, Invention Ramaise, Mdu Nhlapo, Tebogo Diphethlo Lungi Mahlangu.
Band: Thabo Rapoo (Drummer); Cromwell Modungwa (Percussionist); Thebe Mmushi (Musician); Nonhlanhla Dube (Vocalist); Samkelisiwe Madlala (Vocalist); Nompumelelo Bucwa (Vocalist).

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