Afrovibes Brings South African Music, Theatre, Dance and Visual Art to Nottingham City, UK

Biko's Quest (Photo: Jazzart Dance Theatre)

Biko’s Quest (Photo: Jazzart Dance Theatre)

Afrovibes UK swung into Nottingham at the weekend.

The biennial festival, which made its debut in 2010, runs for six days offering an array of live theatre, music, dance and visual arts from South Africa.

Events are taking place at Nottingham Lakeside Arts, Nottingham Playhouse, New Art Exchange and the Theatre Royal.

Vocal trio The Soil, who performed their unique blend of a cappella Afro pop and township jazz at Glasgow 2012 Commonwealth Games, will be showcasing their talent.

Biko’s Quest, a big dance production about the life and death of anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, will take its audience on a poignant and emotional journey through danced storytelling.

Rainbow Scars, a piece of theatre confronting issues of race and identity by playwright Mike van Graan and Skierlik, a dramatic solo drama written and performed by award-winning playwright/actor Phillip M Dikotla, are also part of the six-day festival.

Nottingham Lakeside Arts will be hosting a pop-up Township Cafe decorated by a local community group from the Renewal Trust in St Ann’s, serving South African inspired food.

Nottingham Lakeside Arts director Shona Powell says: “It’s a great collaboration involving four of the cities key arts venues – New Art Exchange, Theatre Royal and Royal Centre, Nottingham Playhouse and ourselves along with City Arts, Renewal Trust, and community choirs drawn from across the city.”

Afrovibes marks 20 years of the new South Africa: 20 years since the ending of apartheid and the beginning of democracy.

This year’s 17-venue, four week UK tour is bigger than before, with nearly 60 performers from all over South Africa playing their part in a programme that is designed to appeal to a wide audience.”

Afrovibes UK artistic director James Ngcobo, who is also artistic director of the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, says: “In 1994 a new nation was born. Since then our artists have been showing the world that South Africa has stories to tell: stories that speak to the collective memory of who we are. Yet at the same time they speak of life in South Africa today – stories that link us with the world.”

To find out more about the festival or to book your tickets visit lakesidearts.org.uk or call 0115 846 7777.

What’s on where

October 27 – Mike Van Graan play readings, New Art Exchange and Theatre Royal

October 28 – Biko’s Quest, The Soil, Nottingham Lakeside Arts

October 29 – Skierlik, Nottingham Playhouse

October 30 – Rainbow Scars, Nottingham Lakeside Arts

October 31 – Township Comets, Nottingham Lakeside

Biko’s Quest

Source:Charlotte Anscombe|Nottingham.com

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