Feel heart­beat of the arts at fest

‘Aard­klop’ to fea­ture var­i­ous forms of en­ter­tain­ment, in­clud­ing vis­ual, drama, mu­sic

Pretoria News - - NEWS - DIANE DE BEER

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.

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