A file picture of a performance during a previous Vavasati International Festival at State Theatre. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
A file picture of a performance during a previous Vavasati International Festival at State Theatre. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Showcase of art, drama, song, dance opens at State Theatre

By Nokwanda Ncwane Time of article published Nov 29, 2021

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Pretoria - The 8th annual Vavasati International Festival has again started at the South African State Theatre and it promises to leave art lovers spoilt for choice.

The showcase of drama, music, poetry and dance – driven by women in the arts, was successfully launched at the opening event on the weekend, and will run until December 15 under banner “The Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke: 16 Days of Activism – Moving from Awareness to Accountability”.

This, the State Theatre explained, was in line with the national theme for this year’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign.

Spokesperson Erick Ndala said this iteration of the festival takes place as the latest crime statistics show an increase in rape, domestic violence, women and children abduction and child murders in the country. “The featured works, artists and workshops highlight and raise awareness on these devastating pandemics using the artistic torch,” he said.

Curator of the festival Nompumelelo Skhosana said it was befiting that they opened the festival on the same day as the 16 Days of Activism campaign and participating productions had a common theme of gender-based violence.

“This was a cry-out. Now look where we are today. This festival is engineered for and by women to provide a creating space for women to tell their stories,” she said.

It is tradition that Vavasati takes place during Women’s Month, August, but due to the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions during the month this year, the festival was postponed.

Ndala said the festival’s name – Vavasati – was a Xitsonga word meaning women, and it emphasises the power and strength that women possess when united in the face of adversity.

Various exhibitions including visual art, drama and music run from today until December 15, among them the “COLOURED” (visual art exhibition) by Mmatshepo Rakhalakane, which will run from yesterday to December 4.

Rakhalane, who will debut this solo exhibition at the festival, said the exhibition portrays stories about how women come into the world as only blank canvases and it (life) fills them with colour (experiences). Vavasati shows are R100; the exhibitions and workshops are free. Tickets available at Webtickets, online, Pick n Pay stores and at the StateTheatre’s box office.

Pretoria News

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