Pupils present wealth of art

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The PUPILS of South Africa’s leading art school will be showcasing their creative skills in music, drama, dance and art from tomorrow until Saturday during the five-day celebratory Festival of Fame.

The exciting programme that has something for everybody will fill every performance and gallery space at Joburg’s National School of the Arts (NSA), as well as all three performance spaces at the Joburg Theatre, with the help of two major sponsors – the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and Rand Merchant Bank.

The Mandela stage will be home to the popular Broadway hit musical Sweet Charity, giving the NSA performers a chance to shine across all the disciplines. Joining them on stage will be adored former student Christopher Jaftha, recently seen in the title role of Aladdin. At the directorial helm are Janna Ramos- Violante and Mark Hawkins (see interview).

The dance department’s sumptuous Dance Spectrum programme of classical ballet and contemporary, Spanish, jazz and African dance is certain to thrill audiences of all ages.

The music department will stage Freedom Songs, a reflection of the voice of the people as they look back on 20 years of democracy. Choral Showcase will feature choirs from a number of schools.

The NSA drama department will present Ndu Msimanga’s production of Eugene Ionesco’s classic absurdist play The Bald Prima Donna and Thoriso Raphela’s production of the Joyce Carol Oates drama Stand Before You Naked. Both will play at The Fringe at Joburg Theatre. While The Bald Prima Donna examines existential rituals, Stand Before You Naked comprises soul-searching monologues about love, pain, sorrow, heartache and loneliness.

Pupil Chelsea Moses will present her original work The Picketts at the space.com and pupil Sboniso Thombeni will direct a physical theatre piece titled Tikkun Olam.

In addition Jenine Collocot directs an inventive Commedia Hamlet. Matthew Ribnick appears in his ever-popular The Chilli Boy at the Fringe. NSA alumni Denel Honeyball directs The Same Old Story, a sequence of comic one-woman monologues by Franca Rama. Lake is directed by Daniel Buckland and Princess Mhlongo directs Clown for Hire featuring Batsile Ramasodi as a struggling circus clown.

Moving Into Dance Mophatong presents Sylvia Glasser’s iconic work Tranceformations at The Fringe, and the art department will host a series of exhibitions in the NSA Gallery. The popular Alumni Art Exhibition showcases the work of past students in the Downstairs Dance Hall.

Emerging and established bands will perform every lunchtime on the Coca Cola truck and a cultural fashion show will dazzle in the Main NSA Hall every afternoon. The musical Time Warp features the vocal talents of learners and teachers.

For more info check www.festivaloffame.co.za.

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