Top young artists a treat for fes­ti­val-go­ers

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - Arts & Entertainment -

The 2019 win­ners of the Stan­dard Bank Young Artist (SBYA) Awards will treat au­di­ences at the Na­tional Arts Fes­ti­val to the sound of pi­ano and trum­pet, the sight of video and the thrill of bal­let and the­atre.

Brett Bai­ley, an SBYA alum­nus from 2001, chairs the Na­tional Arts Fes­ti­val artis­tic com­mit­tee, which se­lects the SBYA win­ners.

This year the win­ners are Mandla Mlan­geni, Kitty Phetla, Me­gan-Ge­of­frey Prins, Amy Jephta and Gabrielle Go­liath.

Each win­ner re­ceives a cash in­cen­tive and a com­mis­sion to pre­miere a new work or ex­hibit on the Main NAF pro­gramme in Makhanda from June 27 to July 7. This is what au­di­ences can look for­ward to:

● The­atre: Jephta is a play­wright who has also built a rep­u­ta­tion as a film­maker, ac­tivist and aca­demic. A cham­pion of the­atre by and for women, she has been a driv­ing force in lo­cal and global ini­tia­tives pro­mot­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for fe­male play­wrights.

Aside from her the­atre work, she wrote the script for the film Ellen: The Ellen Pakkies Story and is edit­ing a col­lec­tion of plays by African women.

● Dance: Phetla is the se­nior soloist and chore­og­ra­pher at Joburg Bal­let and has toured and per­formed ex­ten­sively on stages across the globe.

A ca­reer high­light was per­form­ing The Dy­ing Swan solo for Nel­son Man­dela and the Dutch royal fam­ily, but one of her most note­wor­thy re­cent per­for­mances was her Queen Mod­jadji-in­spired Rain Dance for Cape Town, in situ at the then-parched Thee­wa­ter­skloof Dam.

● Jazz: Mlan­geni is a jazz trum­peter and com­poser who was se­lected for the Stan­dard Bank Na­tional Youth Jazz Band in 2006. He has carved out a name for him­self with var­i­ous bands and en­sem­bles, in­clud­ing the Amandla Free­dom En­sem­ble, with which he has re­leased two al­bums.

● Vis­ual Art: Go­liath is a multi- dis­ci­plinary artist who is known for sen­si­tively ne­go­ti­at­ing com­plex so­cial con­cerns in her work, par­tic­u­larly re­lat­ing to gen­der-based and sex­ual vi­o­lence.

Among this PhD can­di­date’s long-term per­for­mance projects is her El­egy se­ries, where each it­er­a­tion marks the ab­sence of a woman or LGBTQI+ in­di­vid­ual who has been raped and killed in South Africa.

● Mu­sic: Prins is a pi­anist who had per­formed with all South Africa’s ma­jor or­ches­tras by the age of 14.

To­day, while study­ing for his doc­tor­ate in mu­sic in Cleve­land in the US, he tra­verses the world as a solo per­former and cham­ber mu­si­cian, often re­turn­ing home for con­certs, teach­ing and com­mu­nity out­reach ini­tia­tives.

For­mer SBYA win­ners often reach great cre­ative and pro­fes­sional heights. Since 1981, for ex­am­ple, win­ners have in­cluded Sibongile Khu­malo, Wil­liam Ken­tridge, Mbon­geni Ngema, Pi­eter-Dirk Uys, Johnny Clegg, Vin­cent Mantsoe, Gre­gory Maqoma, Jan­ice Honey­man, He­len Se­bidi, Lara Foot, Dar­rell Roodt, Robyn Or­lin, Jerry Mofokeng, An­drew Buck­land, Sam Nh­lengethwa and Marthi­nus Bas­son.

● Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on the Na­tional Arts Fes­ti­val web­site

WIN­NERS ALL: The artists are back, from left, Mandla Mlan­geni ( jazz), Kitty Phetla (dance), Gabrielle Go­liath (vis­ual art) and, front, Me­ganGe­of­frey Prins (mu­sic) and Amy Jephta (the­atre)

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