Festival artists on the move
● Young, up-and-coming talent take time off from the stage to re-energise for the new year engagements
The National Arts Festival asked a few of the outgoing 2018 Standard Bank Young (SBYA) Artists about their experiences – and finds out what they’re up to next.
Jemma Kahn, Theatre
Making The Borrow Pit as Standard Bank Young Artist (SBYA) for Theatre 2018 was the perfect experience. There wasn’t a single asshole along the way – not in administration, production or creation. I think that is remarkable.
And I got to make something I am very proud of indeed. The Borrow Pit will appear at Woordfees in Stellenbosch in 2019. Bookings are via www.jemmakahn.com.
We are also looking for the perfect Cape Town theatre venue for an extended run of the show in 2019.
I’m off to Brazil for a holiday: people say it’s well deserved but I say no one deserves a holiday. If you want a holiday then you must have one.
Besides revivals of older work, I will be working on a new kamishibai piece in collaboration with fellow SBYA Theatre winner Jaco Bowers.
Thandi Ntuli, Jazz
I am preparing for some performances in Switzerland early in 2019 at a festival called Jazzwerkstatt, as well as a Swiss tour followed by an artist residency supported by Pro Helvetia.
I am excited to be taking this time out to upskill and develop some ideas I’ve had, as well as meet and work with musicians in that region.
I also have an exciting collaboration I am working on that I cannot reveal much about yet – except that it’s nothing I’ve ever done. So lots of challenges, stretching, learning and growing.
The year as a Standard Bank Young Artist has truly been mind-blowing.
I’m really grateful. I am still taking it all in, all the possibilities it has opened me up to, which I find very inspiring.
Asanda Chuma Sopotela, Performance Art
It truly has been a wonderful, fulfilling year.
It made my dreams come true and has given me a chance to build other dreams and friendships.
The best economy is the human economy and being a SBYA has brought me together with people who have changed my life for the good, creatively and otherwise.
I am spending this holiday with my family and my daugh- ter, who I had been away for so long because of work.
I love all of you guys and have a fabulous year going ahead and happy meals (this I’m looking forward to).
Guy Buttery, Music
Over the festive season, I will be taking time out to take part in a long meditation retreat for an undetermined length of time. The retreat is sit- uated in a 2,300-year-old Buddhist monastery in a tropical forest in Sri Lanka.
I have just completed work on what will be my seventh album release, which is a duo with Indian sitar player and vocalist Kanada Narahari. The album also features fellow SBYA Shane Cooper.
This is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2019, with tours already in place throughout SA and the US.
And, immediately upon my return from the East, I will be working on a feature length film score.
Musa Hlatshwayo, Dance
I’ve had a wonderful year, both personally and workwise. It’s been amazing to have the support of the National Arts Festival and Standard Bank. I feel honoured to have been given the platform to create and stage Udodana, a piece that is near and dear to me.
It has since been invited and performed at the Jomba Contemporary Dance Experience, where it was also received with thunderous critical acclaim.
It is my wish for the work to tour and to showcase it in various spaces – especially as it triggers vital dialogue around black masculinity and identity at such a critical time.
I’m [having] a safe, peaceful, rejuvenating, laughter-filled holiday back at home in Maphumulo, where I can reconnect and recentre; a retreat of some sort.
I’m looking forward to kicking my dancing shoes off – literally – and just walking barefoot in the space that holds so many dear memories for me. This will prepare me for the big plans I have for 2019, which you will soon know about.
● Igshaan Adam, Visual Art, was unavailable for comment but his NAF exhibition When Dust Settles is on at the National Gallery in Cape Town until January 27.
● This report first appeared on the National Arts Festival website