The Artscape Theatre Centre will come alive with stories in August and September, in celebration of Heritage month.
Nigerian poet Ben Okri says: “We are stories that we tell ourselves.” While Heritage Month means different things for different people, Artscape will be celebrating heritage by telling stories and considering how narratives are reflected orally, written and in creative forms.
Through various disciplines, Artscape will question identity, with a focus on “who we are, what we are and what we have been”, encouraging young and old alike to reclaim and restore the important stories of our heritage, to challenge misappropriations and find healing.
Some of the highlights of the festival include a new piece by Indoni Academy Dancers, Inkundla (Thursday 27 to Sunday 30 August), which looked at the “theatre of life” and Siembamba (Thursday 3 to Saturday 12 September), a multilingual play which explores the life of a black domestic worker and the white child she helped raise.
Choirs from around the province will take to the stage alongside the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra on Sunday 13 September for the Western Cape Choral Music Association’s (WeCCMA) 2015 Choral Music Eisteddfod.
Fans of more contemporary sounds will be thrilled to hear that Freshlyground’s Zolani Mahola, rock queen, Karen Zoid and soprano Zanne Stapelberg will be bringing their hit show, Zoid. Zanne. Zolani to Artscape (Wednesday 23 to Thursday 24 September), as part of the festival.
Back by popular demand Izityhilelo Zobuze by Lingua Franca will explore the concept of circumstantial inheritance through sensational poetry and music from Thursday 17 to Saturday 26 September while Words of War by Anele Rusi will tell stories of our heritage and history through inspiring poetry and songs of celebration, on Thursday 24 and Saturday 26 September.
Much of South Africa’s heritage is tied up in the stories of our neighbouring countries, a point proven by Born Around Here, a production by Botswana’s Company@Maitisong. The piece tells the often unknown story of Botswana and other neighbouring countries contribution to the struggle for freedom in South Africa through the eyes of Botswana family.
Away from the stage, Artscape will host a dialogue titled Connecting Creatives on Heritage Day while Artscape’s Tunnel (mural area between Artscape and Civic Centre Parking) will become the backdrop for Ngokomzekeliso Wakhe (In His Image) – a performance art instillation by a multi award winner Chuma Sopotela on Thursday 24 and Saturday 26 September.
Bantu Biko said: “History works through people, and we have availed ourselves for history to work through us.” With their Heritage Festival, Artscape hopes to inspire theatre-goers to unearth their hidden stories and embrace their diverse identities.
The Artscape Heritage Festival will be on stage from Thursday 27 August to Sunday 27 September. Tickets are available from Computicket or Artscape Dial-a-Seat on 021 421 7695. Visit www.artscape.co.za for more information. Follow us on our social media platforms, and use the hashtag #AHF15.
More about Inkundla:
WHERE: Artscape Arena
WHEN: Thursday 27 – Sunday 30 August (matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday)
TICKETS: R80 (R50 for students, pensioners and block bookings)
Choreographed by Sbonakaliso Ndaba, Inkundla is a production by Indoni Dance, Arts and Leadership Academy, which was formally established in Gugulethu in January 2015 to provide high quality professional training to young performers with a lack of financial support in order to help them pursue and career in performing arts.
In African culture, “Inkundlu” refers to a valued place or platform where people engage with one another, telling their stories and seeking recognition, power, status, love or sometimes revenge.
The full length Inkundla also incorporates the highly acclaimed Inkululeko- which was choreographed for the Freedom Day Festival in Langa.