Following a successful media launch held at the South African State Theatre (SAST) on Wednesday 13 March, it is all systems go for the much-awaited Dance Umbrella Africa (DUA) festival scheduled to kick-off under the theme “Figure-ring the State of Dance in Africa” from 31 March to 7 April.
The programme consists of 54 works by over a hundred artists from all corners of South Africa as well as Mali, Mozambique and Madagascar. International artists from the USA, Germany, Denmark and some Swiss-based South African artists are also participating. The festival boasts all genres of dance, from authentic isiPantsula to diverse classical, contemporary, dance theatre and performance art.
The curator of DUA and Deputy Artistic Director of SAST, Mamela Nyamza, explained the new vision of the festival, saying that the programme deliberately and unapologetically invited the youth and those artists still-to-be-discovered, as the majority participants of the re-launch. “DUA has been resuscitated, revived and revamped by the SAST to ensure that such artistic programmes benefit the youth – especially for their creative growth and education and for the related spin-off of economic benefits for the nation and the continent,” said Nyamza.
Another key speaker at the event was SAST’s Artistic Director, Aubrey Sekhabi. He said the aim of bringing diverse dance artists from across the African continent and the world is to positively contribute to our shared humanity and heritage: “Most importantly, DUA is a committed effort to create a home for African Dance at the SAST. We want artists from the continent to have a home at SAST and artists from all parts of the world to come and share with us their stories through dance.” said Sekhabi.
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