A scene from Amawethu (Brothers), part of a trilogy of works to commemorate Heritage Month at the State Theatre. Picture: Supplied
A scene from Amawethu (Brothers), part of a trilogy of works to commemorate Heritage Month at the State Theatre. Picture: Supplied

State Theatre marks Heritage Month with trilogy

By Goitsemang Tlhabye Time of article published Sep 8, 2021

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Pretoria - The State Theatre in Pretoria and Luthando Arts Academy will be kicking off Heritage Month with a trilogy of works to celebrate and restore the value of African works.

The collaboration, spearheaded by internationally renowned choreographer and veteran dancer Luyanda Sidiya, will showcase three of his pieces, with a focus on African heritage, culture and the performing arts.

The pieces will be hosted at the Luthando Arts Academy in Sebokeng from tomorrow until September 26.

“These three full-length works are part of the decoloniality project which we decided to use as a vehicle to conscientise and restore the value of African works.

“I hope people will come and join us in celebrating this month of heritage and enjoy the crucible of indigenous knowledge systems,” Sidiya said.

The first show in the trilogy is Umnikelo (Contribution), which focuses on the act of wilful submission towards a deity or a force transcending physical comprehension.

It will be feature Buhlebendalo Mda, the internationally recognised singer better known as one-third of award-winning a cappella group The Soil.

The second show, Siva, will feature choreographer, writer and director of Tswalo, Billy Langa. It looks into individual internal conflicts.

“As human beings, we tangle in our own disorder, disruption and disassociation. We constantly yearn for that which guides us to completeness, to oneness, and are in constant search within ourselves,” said Sidiya.

Siva will be showcased from September 16 to the 19.

Rounding off the trilogy will be Amawethu (Brothers) from September 23 to the 26, which Sidiya said told a human story that sought to rectify and reclaim who Africans were as a people from the culture and customs.

Sidiya said the show would focus on the distortions that predate the African slave trade that led African people to believe that their own spirituality had a demonic, pagan, uncivilised, barbaric and godless origin.

State Theatre spokesperson Thakgatso Setseta said most indoor events had been temporarily suspended, with a focus on outdoor events in compliance with the Covid-19 lockdown regulations.

Banele Sidiya, project co-ordinator and general-manager at Luthando Arts Academy, said they were excited about hosting the event at their academy as it had been long overdue.

Sidiya said as the academy was the first fully accredited artistic facility in the township of Sebokeng, they had a number of programmes in place to the benefit of the Vaal area’s artistically talented groups.

He said the academy, founded by Sidiya together with Thoko Seganye, had programmes such as an outcomes-based class for children from the ages of 5 to 18.

They also offer trainee programmes for 10 months giving vocational training which ends with an NQF 4 level certificate, for youngsters looking to study further in the arts.

Pretoria News

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