Don’t miss Usha Seejarim @ Gallery Momo
Oct29

Don’t miss Usha Seejarim @ Gallery Momo

While waiting for a very important pitch (VIP) at MTN headoffice a few years back (that big bold building situated way too far outside of our Jozi bubble but it’s ok cos they got larney furniture and fittings…) we were met in the foyer by an amused client who found the bunch of us staring awestruck, mouths agape at this massive cascading paperclip chandelier suspended from the roof. That was when we first heard the name Usha Seejarim; and we’ve never forgotten it since. Flash forward to 2009 and you too can stare dumbstruck at her work at the Momo Gallery – I miss going there for opening nights – always lots of wine, a fab crowd and good Jozi vibe.  Wine is important.  Oh ja, and by the way, of course we won the pitch. Usha Seejarim – Mine over Matter opening 5 november @ 18h30 – 20h00 concludes 30 november 09 # 52 7th Avenue, Parktown North, 2193,...

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Represent Review: Joy of Jazz 2009
Sep06

Represent Review: Joy of Jazz 2009

Represent shimmied in amongst all the Friday night jazz cats last weekend down in Newtown, Johannesburg at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz 2009 festival – see our photostory here and read our take below from our team Nkateko Siweya and Hloni Ditse – Sharpile guys! : It’s a Friday just after rush hour traffic – it’s the last winter weekend and there’s no sign of a cold wind or rainy clouds, I wonder why… A long stream of cars flows past in an absolutely uniform precision, going in the opposite direction. Where are they going? People are supposed to be going home at this hour! Well not these music lovers… Mhhh, maybe all these people driving towards downtown Joburg might know that something interesting is about to go down.  I’m also heading downtown, Newtown to be exact, past the dim highway lights, to arrive at a light and bubbly (no direct relation to Champagne) scene of blue and white lights: the 2009 Standard Bank Joy Of Jazz. I step into a mass of people of all ages, walking and mingling as if it were a holiday: we are in Jozi, the city that never sleeps. Such energy and excitement is derived from just being out and about in Newtown, Johannesburg city and it can be felt and witnessed by each face that makes up this buzzing crowd. One thing you are never short of in Joburg is a fashion parade, from the young funky attires to the mature elegantly dressed- that on its own is an art form unique to Africa’s greatest metropolitan. Our bright colours call out loud: “Welcome to the southern spring season!!” The stages are set, the guests are here, the weather is clear and warm we are out and about in an era brimming with talent and skill. The stages in Newtown boasted the most adept and diversified jazz and soul musicians from many a corner of the globe. This is one time I wish I could replicate myself just for the night so I could get to fully immerse myself in the simultaneous happenings on all four stages. I would soothe myself with the foreign and blissful featuring artists like Room 11, Somi, Brian Thusi, Level 99, MAG, Minor Band, CJC, Live Rhythm, J4Dot, Solace and Soul Tique and the many more who showcased their talent at great length. Even though my self- morphing into four of me didn’t go down, I did manage to catch a few of the legends in action, from the very appealing Judith Sephuma’s soulful choruses to Unathi Nkayi who was just having a wonderful jol with the...

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Dada Masilo’s CARMEN in JHB in September
Sep01

Dada Masilo’s CARMEN in JHB in September

WOW, sounds like the South African Dance scene finally got it’s groove on, thanks to the groundbreaking work of the edgy young choreographer/Director Dada Masilo that’s filling up theatre seats – Go Go Go and support this new wave of dance this month:  Thanks to support from the City of Johannesburg, local audiences will get to see the latest dance/theatre work by 24 year-old trailblazer, Dada Masilo. Her CARMEN, which dazzled audiences at the recent National Arts Festival, will be staged at The Dance Factory from September 10th to 13th, as part of the Arts Alive International Festival. During the past few years, Masilo has made a name for herself both as a dancer and as a choreographer. Trained in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Brussels, Masilo is a Contemporary dancer, who has a deep love for the classics – from Shakespeare to Tchaikovsky, from Ballet to Flamenco. As a dancer, she has impressed with her `signature speed` – the ability to move like greased lightening; and also to imbue her roles with a precocious theatricality. As choreographer, she has been amazingly daring, tackling the `big’ stories and boldly fusing dance techniques; musically, mixing the original scores with twentieth century composers and performers. In 2008, Masilo was the recipient of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Dance. For that National Arts Festival, she created a ROMEO AND JULIET, based closely on Shakespeare’s text – but reflecting the youth of the title characters in her use of Bach and Vivaldi, performed by Vanessa Mae and Nigel Kennedy. The work drew large critical and audience support and was restaged for the Arts Alive International Festival 2008, where it failed to disappoint. In October, it goes to the Baxter Theatre Centre in Cape Town. CARMEN posed an even bigger challenge. Masilo says: I began with the idea of unraveling Carmen the woman – to search beneath the surface presented in the ballets and operas – to find the vulnerability beneath the cold, heartless exterior. In the process of research, there was so much to unravel: I searched for Bizet and found Shchedrin, I discovered many existing narratives. Ultimately, I have created a narrative which allows me and the dancers to do what we love most – to dance. The first phase of CARMEN, was UNRAVELLING CARMEN a thirty-minute work commissioned by the FNB Dance Umbrella with additional support from the National Arts Council. This work, for seven dancers, premiered last March. Adrienne Sichel in The Star wrote: Not unexpectedly, Dada Masilo’s commissioned Unraveling Carmen…goes for the artistic jugular.The white floor transforms not into a bullring, but a red rose-spattered arena of sex,...

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Don’t Miss: Nandipha Mntambo – Umphatsi Wempi
Aug27

Don’t Miss: Nandipha Mntambo – Umphatsi Wempi

Nandipha Mntambo was blessed to be born in the mountain kingdom of Swaziland – anyone familiar with the magnificent mountain monarchy will know how ubiquitous cattle are, one has to wonder if growing up surrounded by the gentle beasts has anything to do with the makings of the first solo exhibition of  Nandipha Mntambo taking place at the Brodie/Stevenson gallery in Craighall in September.  Nandipha says her upcoming body of work was in part inspired by some bullfighting she came across in Mozambique; we’re wondering if it was at that bullring just outside Maputo – intrigued, we once stopped and checked it out – it’s really eery, reminiscent of the bygone era of Portuguese occupation of Mozi… Anyway, we’re rambling – go and check out the exhibition for yourself and ponder on this brilliant young artists talent… Titled Umphatsi Wempi – loosely translated as ‘the general charged with overseeing a battle’ – the exhibition comprises several new sculptural works as well as video, photography and drawing. Central to this body of work is the concept of the boundary, particularly as something that constantly shifts and mutates, that is never fixed or static. The boundary between corporeal awareness and revulsion is explored through the artist’s use of raw cowhides, tails and ears, which are cured and sculpted. In Penis Vagina – One-Man Capsule (2009), the boundary between the need to fight and the need for protection is also apparent. Like Mntambo’s earlier piece uMcedo (2009), this work offers a space that one may enter for protection and perhaps preparation, only to emerge when one is ready. The sculpture is both penetrative and encapsulating, an evocative hermaphroditic form that speaks of pure potential. The artist’s interest in the dynamic tension that exists within the self, the push-pull between libido and mortido, life instinct and death drive, also appears in her photographic images. In The Rape of Europa, a reinterpretation of a Picasso sketch of the Minotaur caressing a girl, the artist occupies both roles, and in her recreation of Caravaggio’s painting of Narcissus gazing at his own reflection in a pond, she replaces Narcissus with herself as Zeus in bull form. In the bronze head-and-shoulders bust in the Renaissance tradition, she combines her own feminine features with those of Zeus disguised as a bull. In another new sculpture, Waiting (2009), a cowhide figure disappears into a wall. It is unclear whether the figure is waiting for salvation, or seeking a hiding place from an unknown terror. While the exposed rear of the prostrate form is undoubtedly a gesture of submission, there is also a sensuality and beauty to the figure, imbuing...

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If it’s month-end it must be Coalstove
Aug27

If it’s month-end it must be Coalstove

Celebrate month-end Sundays in an arty way with a bunch of enthusiastic film-loving supporters at the jaw-dropping Private Practice rooftop venue in Jozi inner city. They’ll be showing three films made by emerging South African film makers.  Sold? If not, read on for Coalstove‘s description, if yes, read on anyway: From the rip-roaring to the ravishing, the energizing to the engaging… FINEST SHORT FILMS BY EMERGING YOUNG FILMMAKERS FROM JOBURG & BEYOND. SUNDAY, 30TH AUGUST 2009 ENTRY R20 6.30 PM FOR 7.00 PM @ PRIVATE PRACTICE NO. 195 JEPPE STREET (ENTRANCE ON BREE…See map below for directions) Kamakastig Land The South African entrant ‘Kammakastig Land’ which was written and directed by Brandon Oelofse, tells the story of Fourie (H.O.Meyer), a young Afrikaans man who sets out on a journey from Johannesburg to Cape Town to scatter his fathers’ ashes into the ocean at Cape Point. Fourie journeys the distance finding along the way a true sense of the man his father was, and by confronting the past ultimately finds his future in the process. The film is said to be a meditation on the current identities that have emerged out of the transition towards the new South Africa and in particular the psyche of the White Afrikaans Male. According to the filmmakers the narrative uses a number of devices – the classic American Western, the Road Movie and parallel narratives to guide its translation, meaning and style. The film was completed in 2007 and as an AFDA honours graduate film garnered ten awards at the AFDA Johannesburg film awards including for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor. Dir: Brandon Olofse & Prod: Anthonie van der Walt & Peter Adolphis Nine Miles Beautiful Rebuilding faith, love and family is the long journey home. After a stint in jail, Darren arrives at his run-down family home to confront the aftermath of the tragic event that tore his family apart 18 months ago. He finds a resentful brother confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, a worn-down mother at breaking point and the rusting wreck of the car that he was driving when their lives changed forever. Now Darren must find a way to bridge the gap between guilt, anger, despair and forgiveness to bring his family together again, and begin the journey towards healing they must all share. Prod: Peter Blackburn Prod: Graham Young Love in The Time of Blackouts Directed by : Thabang Phetla FOLLOWED BY A Q&A WITH THE FILMMAKERS IN ATTENDANCE For more information: Call 011 836 8911 Cell: 083 280 1181 Email: info@coalstove.co.za Visit...

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