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National Arts Festival off to a great start

Performers in Afrika Sings by the Sonwa Sakuba Institute at the 2022 National Arts Festival. image: Mark Wessels

Performers in Afrika Sings by the Sonwa Sakuba Institute at the 2022 National Arts Festival. image: Mark Wessels

Published Jun 30, 2022

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It was a thrilling and celebratory weekend in South Africa with the announcement on the lifting of masks and other Covid-19 regulations. The National Arts Festival could not have been more entertaining without any restrictions in place.

Festival chief executive Monica Newton said the festival was very pleased with the initial turn-out. “It was difficult to know what to expect after a two-year hiatus, but it’s evident that arts lovers were ready to get back into theatres and galleries and the arts community couldn’t be more happy to be back on stage with a live audience. Everyone is feeling positive that the arts will thrive again.”

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2022 National Arts Festival

Newton said that although load shedding was an unwelcome inconvenience, the festival was able to mitigate the fallout through a combination of generators, emergency lighting and schedule juggling, and thanked audiences for their understanding of the situation.

Play at the 2022 National Arts Festival

Traders on the Village Green reported a powerful opening to the festival as rainy weather cleared and the sun came out for the weekend.

A full programme lies ahead with anticipated shows including singer Amanda Black, the Eastern Cape Philharmonic and Cape Town Opera, Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance Kristi-Leigh Gresse’s “Purgatory – A Working Title” and Standard Bank Young Artist for Theatre Thando Doni performing his work “Ngqawuse”. SBYA for Jazz, Vuma Levin, will also perform at the National Jazz Festival alongside a host of international jazz musicians.

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The weekend will also see more acrobatic circus acts from Urban Circus and captivating works from international artists Clara Delorme (Switzerland) and “Criminal Tribes Act Extended”, a work that forms part of the multinational collaborative Portals Next series.

Artists will be on stage exercising their creative right to express their work and audiences will be celebrating their freedom and enjoyment as the National Arts Festival brings the art home.

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The National Arts Festival is on until July 3 and the programme and ticket bookings can be found at nationalartsfestival.co.za.

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