THE ARGENTINIAN Cultural Week running until July 26 (with some shows extending beyond) is a stunning prelude to a programme of artistic collaboration between Argentina and South Africa.
The line-up includes exhibitions, dance performances, a theatre production (see story above), and music collaborations, and is the first of many events to run from July until the end of next year as part of a continuing exchange programme between Argentina and South Africa.
The two-year season will include performing arts, music, design, film, literature, publishing and creative economy development, and the artists involved will participate in festivals, co-productions, residencies and exhibitions as well as at fairs and conferences.
“We are proud to present some of the best of Argentina’s culture to the South African public, and indeed to pave the way for increasing artistic exchange with Latin America,” says Argentinian ambassador Renato Carlos Sersale Di Cerisano.
The Cultural Week starts with the Gauteng premiere of the thought-provoking theatre production Cooking with Elisa, to be staged at the Auto & General Theatre on The Square in Sandton until August 2.
Thursday is the official opening of two solo photographic exhi- bitions at Joburg’s Museum Africa in Newtown including Ausencias (Absences) by Gustavo Germano and Lo Que Se Ve (What Can Be Seen), a retrospective by Adriana Lestido, running concurrently until late August, with Ausencias continuing until the end of September.
Both photographers are internationally acclaimed and award-winning, and their exhibitions resonate with South African narratives. Lestido’s work reflects on a multiplicity of themes relating to the challenges faced by women in society, including a powerful focus on women and children in jail, while Germano’s show is a devastating, personal and melancholy series of works about “The Disappeared” – people who went missing during Argentina’s Dirty War.
On July 26 and 27, for two performances only, Argentina’s tango virtuoso, Rodolfo Mederos, and his trio will play with the New Skool Orchestra from Pretoria. After some long-distance collaboration on scores, Mederos himself will spend three days in a mini residency with about 40 young musicians who form the New Skool Orchestra.
Under the musical direction of Tshepo Tsotetsi, the trio and orchestra will then perform two full concerts at two different venues, on Friday at the Soweto Theatre and on Saturday at the Brooklyn Theatre in Pretoria.
The music will be a fusion of the soulful Argentinian tango and contemporary African orchestral arrangements. The concerts are free to the public, but tickets should be reserved in advance.
As a finale to the two-week programme, the Combinado Argentino de Danza and South Africa’s Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative (FATC) will present performances of a new dance piece on Friday and Saturday in outdoor public spaces from Sandton to Soweto.
Created during a 10-day residency at FATC’s studio on the University of Johannesburg campus, the piece will showcase the best of these companies in a fusion of contemporary, street, hip hop and traditional dance from Argentina and South Africa,complete with live DJ Villa Diamante.