A Howl in Makhanda. Picture: Supplied
A Howl in Makhanda. Picture: Supplied

Shows to look out for at the Virtual National Arts Festival day 6

By Entertainment Reporter Time of article published Jun 30, 2020

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The coronavirus pandemic has forced people, organisations and event organisers across the globe to think of innovative ways to inform, educate and entertain fans using the different digital platforms. 

The National Art Festival has heeded to the call, ensuring that art, music and theatre lovers are treated to a special visual festival during the national lockdown. This is one historical moment as the festival is held digitally for the first time in over four decades.

As the virtual annual festival enters its sixth day, we look at some of the shows you can enjoy at the comfort of your home.

With the schools gradually reopening its doors after a three-month break, a show worth checking out is “A Howl in Makhanda”, which interrogates societal issues of race, class and privilege through the experiences of learners at a boarding school.

The semi-autobiographical work centres around two black and two white South African teenage schoolgirls. The play follows the struggle and resistance of girlhood and makes visible the normalisation of the criminalising of black bodies. The play also explores the themes of sexism, peer pressure, religion, family, loyalty, freedom and identity.

Watch the trailer below:

Another compelling show to look out for is a music and visual art piece titled “Posthuman,” a joint work between award-winning composer and musician Franco Prinsloo and visual artist Sonya Rademeyer. 

The project was created within the confines of the lockdown and across geographical distance, challenging traditional methods of creating. 

Having done collaborative work before, the duo managed to interpret one another’s work in a way that oscillates collectively, making it in itself a ‘dance for two’ (pas de deux.)

Dancing with my Past. Picture: Supplied

An annual highlight is the Eastern Cape talent segment.

This year will be no different as the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture presents “Dancing with my Past”. This production is a fusion of music and dance in storytelling, showcasing the indigenous music and dance styles found only in the Eastern Cape. 

These inter-generational and multi-disciplinary performances will light up the stage and screen with their uniquely African dance.

What would a festival be without music? 

Viewers will be treated to the sound of one Mzansi’s young saxophonist and composer, Linda Sikhakhane.

The 28-year-old star has played with many respected South African artists and also shared the stage with many international artists such as Gregory Potter, Sly & Robbie, Brian Thusi, Jerry Kunene, Andile Yenana, Marcus Wyatt, Philani Ngidi, Sazi Dlamini, Feya Faku, McCoy Mrubata, Afrika Mkhize, Herbie Tsoaeli, Nduduzo Makhathini and many more. 

He has also been involved in many projects as a mentor and teacher of music to young pupils nurturing their talents. 

Music lovers will also be treated to Peter Martens’ unique talent. After a 12-year hiatus from orchestral music, Martens has recently made his come back to the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra as their principal cellist. 

He shares Johann Sebastian Bach’s Six Solo Cello Suites, which offers a guide to nearly everything a cellist can do. Featured in ballet, theatre productions and many film soundtracks, the Suites have inspired cellists and audiences alike.

Though the 11-day virtual festival ends on Sunday, July 5, viewers have the opportunity to watch their favourite shows until Thursday, July 16.

Event organisers confirmed that audiences can buy previous shows and watch them at their own convenience.

For the full program and more information on the festival please click here.

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