UJ Arts takes ƎVOLUTION X to the National Arts Festival

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) Arts & Culture is at the 2015 National Arts Festival with a quartet of bold productions from it ƎVOLUTION X programme.
“UJ’s vision is to be an international University of choice anchored in Africa, and the National Arts Festival is largest annual theatre festival on the African continent,” says Ashraf Johaardien, Head of UJ Arts Culture. “That our creative team and associates are at the festival in full force with four productions is our way of paying homage to the foundations and legacies that gave birth to UJ only a decade ago,” he explains.
From Monday, 6th of July, to Sunday the 12th festival-goers can expect cutting-edge contemporary works from the UJ stable including; the South African premier of Horror Story by Canadian playwright Greg MacArthur; a fresh take on Neil Coppen’s Tin Bucket Drum, directed and designed by ACT IMPACT Award recipient for Theatre, Jade Bowers; and 2014 Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award recipient What The Water Gave Meby Rehane Abrahams.
EVOLUTION X is UJ Arts & Culture’s performing arts programme for 2015. With signature productions, projects and collaborations, ranging from hallmark classics to cutting-edge contemporary works, EVOLUTION X imagines a journey from then to now, and into the next ten years. Taking EVOLUTION X On the Road, the following works are presented at the National Arts Festival:
What The Water Gave Me by Rehane Abrahams was the recipient of a Silver Ovation award at the 2014 National Arts Festival and is a Naledi Awards nominee for Best Production: Cutting Edge. Aptly described by Robyn Sassen as “a beautiful tale of spice, horror and colourful fish,” this solo work weaves the worlds of four characters and a storyteller together into a redemptive and transformative theatrical experience. The production, featuring Cheraé Halley, is directed by multi-award-winning Jade Bowers.
#ToyiToyi is a student dance work, which new UJ Arts & Culture Associate Choreographer, Kieron Jina, has been commissioned to devise with the student finalists from the 2014 UJ Can You Dance? competition. Jina envisages a celebratory performance piece, incorporating dance, video, and sound design that will explore the toyi-toyi as a form of cultural expression, “reborn and remixed for 21st-century South Africa”.
Horror Story by Greg MacArthur and directed by Alby Michaels for the Student Theatre Festival in Grahamstown is a South African premiere featuring UJ students Ebenhaezer Dibakwane and Sheraad Jacobs as two 16-year-olds living in the suburbs of Johannesburg. In the play the two teenagers attend the screening of a brutally graphic horror film based on true events. Growing obsessed with the movie, they decide to make a pilgrimage to the site where the actual murders took place to uncover the truth behind the myth.
Presented in collaboration with Jade Bowers Design and Management, Neil Coppen’s Tin Bucket Drum features Warona Seane and Matthew MacFarlane, and is directed by ACT impact Award winner for 2014, Jade Bowers. A fresh twist on the traditional conventions of African storytelling, the play follows the story of Nomvula, a spirited child born with a revolutionary heartbeat into a cruel and silent dictatorship.
National Arts festival Schedule:
What The Water Gave Me
Date: 06-11 July 2015
Venue: St. Andrew’s Hall
Date: 08-11 July 2015
Venue: Rehearsal Room
Horror Story
Date: 10-11 July 2015
Venue: Rehearsal Room
Tin Bucket Drum
Date: 08-12 July 2015
Venue: St. Andrew’s Hall
Tickets for all shows available from festival website: www.nationalartsfestival.co.za
About UJ Arts and Culture
UJ ARTS & CULTURE produces and presents world-class student and professional arts programmes aligned to the UJ vision of an international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future. EVOLUTION X celebrates ten years of arts and culture excellence at UJ and comprises signature productions, projects and collaborations ranging from hallmark classics to cutting-edge contemporary works. For regular updates follow @UJArtsCentre on Twitter or visit www.uj.ac.za/arts.
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