We’re half way through 11 days of amazing at the 2016 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, on the whole the weather has been good with one very cold day so far, and even that, not as cold as predicted. Today promises to be a warm day, so this might be the day to wander the village green, take the kids to the fun fair on Fiddler’s Green and to track down buskers, street theatre and projects like Semi-Gloss.
Semi-gloss is a public art piece developed by Francois Knoetze (Cape Mongo) in collaboration with Grahamstown based performers Ayanda Nondlwana and Siyabonga Bawuti from the dance troupe Via Kasi Movers, as well as fellow locals Monwabisi Dondashe and Athenkosi Nyikilana of Phezulu Stilt Walkers. The piece takes the posters discarded on the streets and walls of Grahamstown after festival, and uses them to pick away at the glossy side of festival, to reveal the violently segregated city that remains once festival is over.
Feel the same way about mimes as many do? Well how about seeing a mime in a real glass box for a change? Suggestion Box #EverythingMustFall sees mime artist Richard Antrobus in a glass suggestion box on the Drostdy Lawns where audience members can place suggestions in the box. The show runs twice today, at 12 and at 2pm, and transforms from frivolous fun, into a mirror that interrogates the social and political fabric in which we find ourselves.
If you’re at the festival with children, the family friendly show One Man One Light is one of the shows the Artsvark team are looking forward to attending today. At R10 a ticket for children, R20 for adults, invite friends and try to introduce a child who may not otherwise get the chance, to the magic of theatre. This show inspired by the Italian cartoon series La Linea is described as a playful romp between the medium of light and man. This highly imaginative production was well received at the Hilton Arts Festival in 2015, and extended to 20 minutes for this year’s National Arts Festival.
Last year, we had the pleasure of being introduced to the Kmad Dance Company, their work I AM starts today at 15:30 with 25% discount on tickets. This dance work is inspired by the haunting photographs of Christian Samson that capture mental disorders such as insomnia, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression. This show takes these images and translates them into movements that explode into something unique and original.
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