Artists flock to FS

2017-05-10 06:00

The Vrystaat Arts Festival continues to forge creative connections between local, national and international artists.

This year’s edition has collaborators, writers and co-producers from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Iran, Italy, the Ne-therlands, Nigeria, Romania, the United Kingdom and America.

For the first time the festival also has artists from Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe as part of the first Pan-African Creative Exchange (PACE) Teaser.

PACE aims to be a biennial arts market for the interdisciplinary arts in Africa, showcasing the highest quality productions from Africa to national and international audiences, presenters, producers and buyers. This initiative was developed to grow visitors’ access to the enormous creative talents of our continent.

“We are privileged to have several First Nations activists from around the world helping to develop protocols for the festival, linked to contemporary Khoisan cultures. Some of this First Nations work will happen around Giidanyba (Sky Beings) at Oliewenhuis, created by Tyrone Sheather, a young Gumbaynggirr artist from the mid-north coast of New South Wales,” said Roxanne Konco, marketing manager.

In the Dreaming (Yuludarla), the hero-ancestors made and transformed the landscape with their special powers of creation and destruction.

Simulating a Gumbaynggirr rite of passage, Giidanyba symbolises these spiritual ancestors as they descend from the Muurrbay Bundani (Tree of Life) in the sky, to support people throughout their cultural journey and guide them into the next stage of their lives.

“The festival is incredibly privileged to have Giidanyba as part of our programme this year thanks to SITUATE Art in Festivals. In 2017, we will also launch South Africa’s first arts and health programme, in partnership with Disability in the Arts, Disadvantage in the Arts (DADAA) in Western Australia and the University of the Free State (UFS).

“This game changer for community arts and cultural development and health will impact significantly on our country’s arts and health environment over the next few years,” said Konco.

The Vrystaat Literature Festival, in one year, has turned into one of the brightest jewels for writers in South Africa. The 2017 edition sees an expanded offering, bringing incredibly vibrant creatives to our city from all corners of the world.

Only in its second year, the vrynge has grown into an essential platform for artists from all levels of practice to explore their creative talent.

From newcomers to professionals testing work in progress (national and international), this is the place to be to get a taste of the future.

Extraordinary public and site-specific art through the Programme for Innovation in Artform Development (PIAD), an experimental art initiative of the festival and the UFS, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Public Art Projects (PAP) and Vrywees, will leave both festival goers and city dwellers breathless.

Watch out for Onesie World by Dr Adele Varcoe in partnership with local fashion designers and musicians.

You do not want to miss out on wearing a once-in-a-lifetime piece of history.

Environmental regeneration and “post-natural” building forms part of another key PIAD project, Seven Stage Futures with Dr Keith Armstrong, Qala Phelang Thala and local change agents.

Several events will take place around Mangaung.

Thanks to the National Theatre Initiative (NATi), we are also a significant co-producer of new theatre in partnership with other major festivals.

Look out for flagship productions Gif/Poisen/Ityhefu directed by Erwin Maas, with Tinarie van Wyk Loots and Atandwa Kani, and Altaar by Nico Scheepers and Hennie van Greunin.

  • From drama to comedy, books, classical music, boeremusiek and jazz, interactive media art, community engagement, gourmet food, craft and live art, the 2017 festival provides an offering that has never before been seen in South Africa. Download the 2017 Vrystaat Arts Festival programme at 2017.

Tickets are already available at Computicket.

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