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The Artscape Theatre Centre celebrates Youth Month with the inaugural Umbiyozo Youth Festival from 1 to 19 June 2011.

From the Press Release: “The festival nurtures young talent while offering audiences an entertaining showcase. Musical dramas, jazz music and traditional performance arts are all on the line-up. The festival kick starts on Wednesday 1 June 2011 with the return of Children on the Mist. The production highlights the riel dance, one of the oldest indigenous SA dance forms. Also known as the Ikhapara, it was originally performed by the Khoi Khoi and is still performed today. The modern version reflects the colonial influence where Western instruments such as the guitar and violin are being used as accompaniment. The dancers’ outfits are commonly known as ‘working class clothes’. The socially conscious musical drama Bash or Be Bashed is a co-production between Artscape and Nantsi ‘Ngqayi Arts Development organisation. This production is directed by Thoko Ntshinga and Peggy Tunyiswa and runs from the 8 to 18 June. This lively musical drama is set against the backdrop of a matric ball after party. It highlights modern trends on drugs, HIV/AIDS, and how easy it is to be infected or affected. It investigates the division between school going and out of school youth; how each group perceives the other and the attitudes towards those who refuse to touch drugs or engage in casual sex. It also incorporates how bullying plays a part in how the innocent get infected and affected. On the musical front, a collection of award winning choirs will share the stage for ‘A Choral Tribute to Madiba’, which pays tribute to renowned statesman Nelson Mandela. This two day event on 18 and 19 June 18 features the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, Abavuki Marimba and Jazz Band as well as five of Cape Town’s top choirs; Joyful Harmonies, Simon Estess, Heavenly Voices CPUT and Pro Canto. This tribute is conducted by well-known choir master Lungile Jacobs. He says it will create an exciting fusion of music styles. Madiba’s renowned praise poet Zolani Mkiva will tell stories that reflect the significance of the various songs. Battle of Youth Jazz Big Bands takes place on Youth Day 16 June. Participating groups are the Ihlumelo Youth Jazz Big Band, New Africa Face Jazz Ensemble, Delft Youth Big Band, Indibano Jazz Konexion, Elsies River Youth Jazz Big Band and many more legendary artists who share with the audience the sounds of jazz. An ‘Indigenous Music Dance and Praise Poetry’ show will also reflect the diversity of Cape Town’s heritage on 17 June 17. At least 92 performers from Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, Kraaifontein, Langa and Philippi will perform. Interesting groups in this production are the diminutive Happy Feet Gumboot Dancers, Buyele Khaya, Isingqi se Africa and the Albert Luthuli singers who perform ‘isicathamiya’ style music reminiscent of the famous Ladysmith Black Mambazo and much more. For more information check www.artscape.co.za and ticket bookings contact Computicket on 083 915 8000 or Dial-A-Seat on 021 421 7695. Please contact Candice Jansen on cell: 076 958 9593 to set up interviews with the organisers or the performers of the show.”

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