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State Theatre welcomes artists, audiences back after Covid-19 pandemic

The Kucheza Afrika Festival returns to the State Theatre. Picture: Supplied

The Kucheza Afrika Festival returns to the State Theatre. Picture: Supplied

Published Mar 7, 2022


Betty Moleya

Pretoria - The SA State Theatre has come out with a plan to get back on its feet after the harsh Covid-19 pandemic, and will be hosting the 2022 edition of the dance Kucheza Afrika Festival.

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The festival will take place from April 1 to 10, and marks the return to 100% live on-stage performances, with audiences in a relaxed level 1 setting.

“Following last year’s hybrid (live and online) instalment under limiting Covid-19 restrictions, this year’s programme is themed ‘to celebrate artists for their resilience in the face of adversity’ brought by the pandemic, which saw the entertainment sector hit hard, leaving scores of artists unable to fully practise,” it said.

Young choreographer of Kucheza’s Young Artists programme, Teresa Phuti Mojela, will present Ngwedi, a tribute to the late dancer and choreographer Themba Mbuli. She said getting back on stage after online performances was exciting. “When you have not done something in a long time, you end up being thirsty for it… When that time comes, you give it your all.”

Mojela said they looked forward to having an in-person audience, and performers would bring their A game.

Not being able to perform, Mojela said, impacted on their physical health. They could not train as they wished to but had online training and rehearsal sessions with other artists.

Another choreographer on the programme, Julia Burnham, will showcase Knots & Codes, which investigates the causes of misogyny, femicide and domestic violence. Other showcases include the work of dance maestro Vincent Mantsoe, 2021 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner Kristi-Leigh Gresse, Gregory Maqoma, Luyanda Sidiya, Bailey Snyman, Thami Tshabalala, Sbonelo Mchunu, Phumlani Ndebele, Muzi Shili, and an international act, Helge Letonje.

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The theatre said a new category called “Open Programme” had been added to the festival, inviting professional and young artists who were looking for a platform to create and/or present their work.

Pretoria News