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The South African State Theatre in association with Black Eagle Sound cc presents the fortnightly Night of The Poets show.

From the Press Release: “This is a traditional live poetry presentation that creates a platform for emerging/developing and renowned/ professional poets. The emerging and renowned poets from the Southern African Development Communities (South Africa, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Seychelles, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland) are invited per session to perform and share their artistic experience. Aubrey Sekhabi, Artistic Director at the State Theatre, said: “South Africa has a rich history of literary output that has been well received locally and internationally. The new pop culture in poetry, often referred to as “spoken-word poetry or unspoken word”, is one of the most loved art forms throughout the country and beyond. In the past decade, this performing art form has experienced decline in live performances. The generation gap between renowned and emerging poets is widening too much. Emerging poets have limited performing platform and opportunity to share stages with renowned poets”. South Africans will be pleased and spoiled for choice to have a fortnightly show from May 2011 to March 2012. Contrary to other performing arts genres, poetry is the most underdeveloped and commercialized art form to date. Majority of the poets have no sustainable platforms for performances or call ups to present their art and also generate an income. It is against this background that the South African State Theatre in and Black Eagle Sound established this poetry development platform in the Capital City of South Africa. Mandla Maseko, the Managing Director of Black Eagle Sound and also the project manager, announced that the 2011 season of the show will kick off on 11 and 25 May with the celebration of Dashiki poetry of the 70th and celebration of Africa day respectively. Maseko revealed that the line-up for May includes the legendary Dashiki poetry crew of Lefifi Tladi, Lawrence Moloisi and Lenyatso Mathole on 11 May. The stage will be opened by the Cape Town based poet Primrose Mrwebi, a fast growing poet and writer whose experience ranges from writing magazine copy, directing & performing poetry productions, facilitating writing workshops, writing children’s stories and editing. Her notable achievements range from being featured at the opening of the 2004 Women’s Parliament (Old, Assembly Hall, Parliament, CT). Tladi is a poet, musician, painter, historian, philosopher and teacher. He has been an artist since forever with the launch of “DeOlympia” in the sixties, Tladi and his friends Sir Ike Nkoana, Tony Molongwana Makou and Matsobane Legoabe, amongst others, gave meaning to the concept of workshopping. In 1969, Tladi (african drums) formed Malombo Jazz Messengers, later to be called DASHIKI, with friends Rantobeng Mokou (vibraphone), Gilbert Mabale (flute and saxophone) and Laurence Moloisi. On Africa Day, 25 May, the show will present Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, the graduate of the Lecoq International School of Theatre in Paris. She represented South Africa at the 12th International Poetry Festival in Havana, Cuba, and at Word Power Festival in the UK, as well as Poetry Africa in 2007, and in 2008 at Solidariteit in Sweden. She won the runner-up best writer award and the audience appreciation award in the Pansa Festival of Contemporary Theatre Readings in 2005, whilst completing Crossing Borders, a distance learning mentorship scheme initiated by the British Council and Lancaster University. She has written for Backstage, Tsha Tsha, Thetha Msawawa, Takalani Sesame and Soul City among many other television shows. She won a grant from the Centre for the Book in November 2006, and published her first volume of poetry, Taller than Buildings, which is now in its third edition. She was a member of the Theatresports company for 10 years. Her poetry has appeared in the new Penguin anthology We Are … and her prose in Just Keep Breathing (Jacana). Her stage will be opened by a dynamic Zimbabwean poet Manikongo accompanied by the ever exciting reggae band Zion Vibration. Lindelwa Mahlabe012 392 4018072 269 9037www.statetheatre.co.za”

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