Feel heartbeat of the arts at fest
‘Aardklop’ to feature various forms of entertainment, including visual, drama, music
WITH a theme “fees na #hartelus” (play to your heart’s content) Potchefstroom’s national art festival Aardklop from October 3 to 8 is about the heartbeat of the arts while embracing one and all in a festive spirit.
While Aardklop is driven by Afrikaans, it is in no way exclusive to it, and for those wanting to visit the festival it is worth the two-hour drive.
Take the visual arts, for example, as this has always featured strongly at this festival.
With the title Saamklop (roughly translated as togetherness), the visual arts pay tribute to South Africa’s rich history of collaboration, community engagement and artistic freedom.
A selection of projects and collaborations will be exhibited in an exhibition that spans many venues. Participants include the Bag Factory, Keleketla Library, The Found Collective, The Dead Bunny Society, Nirox Foundation Trust, the Artist Proof Studios and the Centre for the Less Good Idea, a William Kentridge initiative.
The curator is Pretoria’s Dr Johan Thom who says he wants to highlight the vital, creative role of community projects and artistic collaborations in the contemporary South African art scene.
Visitors can look forward to a broad range of exciting art, from drawings and paintings, to videos, live performances, workshops, poetry and experimental new media projects.
On the theatre stage, Pieter-Dirk Uys will present both an Afrikaans and English version of The Echo of a Noise, essentially his life story.
“I allowed myself to investigate the story behind the stories,” he explains. And to his surprise, it turned into a homage to his father.
Dawid Minnaar, one of our finest actors, tells the story of Monsieur Ibrahim en die Blomme van die Koran, adapted from a French novel and translated into Afrikaans. The story deals with the friendship between an ageing Muslim man and a young Jewish boy and explores how we view the other and how acceptance is a positive quality.
Martelsang might be familiar to some as Ariel Dorfman’s Death and a Maiden, directed by Christo Davids with Sandi Schultz (Binnelanders), Zane Meas and Stian Bam (both formerly on 7de Laan).
Davids (also 7de Laan) has always been interested in the impact of apartheid on South Africa not only for him as a coloured, but on all races and he says that is why he so loves this play which deals with the ideas of retribution and forgiveness.
Then there’s genius director Marthinus Basson who is working with a young writer and cast in Marina Albertyn’s Melk en Vleis, based on Euripides’s Medea. Basson regards Albertyn highly and has pulled together a cast, including Ilse Roos, Paul du Toit, Nomkhita Bavuma and Sesethu Zamxaka. The play grapples with the love of the soil and betrayal.
On a musical note, Stemme vir Môre (Voices of Tomorrow) combines the sounds of Noluvuyiso Mpofu (soprano) and Bongani Kubheka (bass baritone) with Charl du Plessis on piano.
It‘s a programme of opera highlights performed by the brightest new singing talent in this classical genre. Du Plessis also pushes the creative boundaries in Veertig Vingers – a reference to four pairs of hands.
Joining him on keyboards are Elna van der Merwe, Albie van Schalkwyk and Pieter Grobler as they engage with everyone’s favourite tunes from the classical, pop, jazz and rock genres.
This is but a taste of what the versatile and culturally rich programme offers.
For something completely different there’s fun and games on the festival grounds with a chance to escape into a world of food and shopping with about 60 food stalls and hundreds selling all kinds of goods to entice even those determined to resist.
And, men, when it all gets too much, there is a special tent catering to your refreshment needs.
Those who want to park and ride can engage with the festival shuttle service.
If there’s anything more you need to know, there’s more detail about the festival or shows available at www.aardklop.co.za.
Tickets for shows are available at Computicket.
The cast of the play Melk en Vleis, which is one of the key attractions at Aardklop. It deals with love of the soil and betrayal.