Independent Online

Thursday, December 7, 2023

View 0 recent articles pushed to you.Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Theatre icon Gregory Maqoma delivers his last dance in farewell show

Gregory Maqoma in “Exit/Exist”.Picture: Arthur Dlamini

Gregory Maqoma in “Exit/Exist”.Picture: Arthur Dlamini

Published Sep 27, 2023


Gregory Maqoma takes his final bow on stage with his critically acclaimed “Exit/Exist” at The Baxter Theatre, which runs for three performances only from October 5 to 7.

The South African dance legend, revisits his critically acclaimed production at the Pam Golding Theatre, in honour of his 50th birthday on October 16.

Maqoma retires from dance this year and treasures this production as one of his ultimate favourites.

Through his award-winning storytelling, he has introduced the world to characters and storylines that remain resonant to this day and become widely known as a catalyst for breaking new ground as well as changing and elevating the arts landscape.

This short run at The Baxter follows the solo work’s hugely successful seasons at The Market Theatre and the National Arts Festival earlier this year.

Directed by James Ngcobo, the production reflects and explores the memory of Maqoma’s distant ancestor, Chief Jongumsobomvu Maqoma, one of the most renowned Xhosa leaders who was born in 1798, and arrested when he ordered the English colonisers to liberate the Xhosa land. He died at Robben Island in 1873.

Gregory Maqoma in “Exit/Exist”.Picture: Arthur Dlamini

Through his signature integration of traditional and contemporary dance, Maqoma invites audiences to reflect on who they are, where they come from, and how all of these facets, past and present, inform their personal and collective identities today.

The core of this piece is memory; rephrasing the notion of existence and the notion of simply existing, in order to exist.

Maqoma said, “The return of ‘Exit/Exist’ to the South African audience is not only befitting to the extraordinary journey I have taken so far but marks 150 years since the passing of my ancestor, Chief Maqoma.”

“The issue of land, that is emphasised in the work, is a trail of human misery and degradation, loss and hope.”

The productions sees the vocal contributions of Tobela Mpela, Sizwe Nhlapo, Lubabalo Velebayi and Sipho Mhlanga along with guitarist Giuliano Modarelli. The musical score is composed by Simphiwe Dana, under the musical direction of Happy Motha.

As supporting characters in the narrative, the entire cast is interwoven into his vibrantly kinetic world, creating rich visual scenes which punctuate his abstract exploration of race and political power, cultural tradition and personal legacy.

With his retirement, Maqoma believes his legacy is one of telling groundbreaking stories as a way of social commentary contributing to South Africa’s narrative, and proudly the world over.

The production runs at the Pam Golding Theatre at The Baxter for three performances only. Ticket prices cost R180 via Webtickets.

Fatima Sydow. Picture: Supplied

“A Song For You - Fatima Sydow”

Where: Artscape Theatre.

When: October 4.

Fatima Sydow has been instrumental in showcasing and giving traditional South African cuisine the attention, appreciation and recognition it deserves locally and abroad.

Her meals and recipes are an integral part of our rich South African heritage.

As such, the celebrity chef’s friends in the arts have come together to honour her.

Directed by Basil Appollis, the line-up includes Vicky Sampson, Jawaahier Petersen, Robin Pieters, Nuraan Boltman, Nur Abrahams, Alistair Izobell, Terry Fortune, Alfred Adriaan, Emo Adams, Donvino Prins, Salome, Madeegha Anders, Loukmaan Adams, Craig Lucas, and Tyrone Paulsen.

Tickets are R200 via Webtickets.

Bokani Dyer. Picture: Supplied

“Four Seasons Music Concert”

Where: The Wave Theatre.

When: September 29 at 7pm.

“Four Seasons Music Concert” concludes Heritage Month with SA’s world-renowned musicians as they take the audience down memory lane.

Presented by Blackground Events, and in partnership with The Wave Theatre, National Arts Council, the Department of Sports Arts & Culture as well as the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme, the 2023 edition of the “Four Seasons Music Concert”, themed “Cape Town influenced musicians” will be an intimate musical showcase about the influence of music in Cape Town as well as Cape Town having an influence on the musicians journeys.

Legendary saxophonist, flute player and composer, McCoy Mrubata, and acclaimed bassist, songwriter and producer, Victor Masondo – both renowned for their passion for grooming talent and community upliftment in the music industry - will pay homage to fallen greats such as the late Langa Jazz Legends, The Ngcukana Brothers (Duke, Ezra and Cyril); musical genius, Victor “Bra Vic” Ntoni; as well as tenor saxophone maestro, the legendary Winston Mankunku Ngozi.

This intimate setting will also include multi-award-winning jazz vocalist and composer, Nomfundo Xaluva together with Motswana-South African pianist Bokani Dyer.

Tickets are R200 via Four Seasons Music Concert – The Wave (