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March 2021 1st edition

Dance festival set to go live and online

Written by More Matshediso 

To comply with health and safety protocols introduced by government to fight the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the South African State Theatre is combining the 2021 Kucheza Afrika Dance Festival into a mixture of live and online events from 1 to 11 April. 

Like many other arts events across the globe last year, the launch of the festival was postponed due to COVID-19. 

It will now take place from 1 to 11 April, both online and live at the theatre. While some shows will only be able to be watched online, others will be showcased both live and online.

Erick Ndala, the theatre’s public relations and marketing manager, says the festival was spearheaded by the theatre’s artistic director Aubrey Sekhabi. 

This year’s programme boasts renowned dancers such as Vincent Mantsoe, Lulu Mlangeni, Bailey Snyman, Nicola Haskins, Ignatius van Heerden, Fana Tshabalala, Thulani Chauke, Mdu Nhlapo and more.

“We have intentionally and singularly curated an open programme – a platform to express the dynamism and uninhibited creative expression that Africa is known for. 

“This dance festival also acknowledges our youth and their acute awareness of the challenges within society and their ability to narrate those stories, with their techniques and interpretation of contemporary African dance,” says Sekhabi. 

The programme has been split into two categories, namely the main programme, which profiles experienced choreographers and headlining works; and the young artists programme, which is a bespoke platform for young dancers who are finding their feet in dance.

About the festival 

The Kucheza Afrika Dance Festival is a continuation of the South African State Theatre’s 2019 dance festival, Dance Umbrella Africa. 

Inspired by the Swahili word for dance, Kucheza aims to help preserve dance in the country and in Africa. It also wants to ensure that dancers always have a home at the theatre.

Other festival goals are to continue serving domestic and continental dance communities and inspire a call to action for Africa to converge as one in its diversity.

Download full programme here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ll1kdpbudqv8drf/Kucheza%20Programme%202021.pdf...  

Ticket information

Tickets for the Kucheza Afrika Dance Festival can be purchased from the South African State Theatre’s official ticketing service provider Webtickets – either online or at Pick n Pay stores nationwide.

Tickets costs the following: 

Main programme: R120 (live shows).

Young Artists Programme: R80 (live shows).

Online shows (all): R30.