UJ Youth Arts Festival kicked off on the 15th of August

The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Youth Arts Festival kicked off on 15 August at the Con Cowan Theatre in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.

Presented by UJ Arts & Culture (a division of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture), the UJ Youth Arts Festival endeavours to support the development of young people’s creative and artistic abilities. Taking place primarily in the evenings, this three-week celebration of young talent comprises an eclectic programme of theatre, comedy, dance, performance art, and workshops.

“[This] opportunity for young people to share the stage with their peers is far more than a benchmarking exercise,” says Head of UJ Arts & Culture, Pieter Jacobs. “We strongly believe in the power of real-life interaction and engagement, as a tool to grow audiences for the future. Additionally, the festival offers young performers a valuable opportunity to network with other young creatives, and we believe that such a personal and creative exchange has the potential to elevate the richness and quality of artistic work produced by tomorrow’s creative leaders,” he continues.

In addition to a number of UJ Arts & Culture’s programmes; productions, concerts and workshops by Oakfields College, Drama for Life, University of the Witwatersrand, AFDA, Tshwane University of Technology, Johannesburg Youth Orchestra Company (JYOC), Mzansi Foundation, Artists on a Mission, the Odwa Bongo Band, and 4Play Theatre Productions will also be featured.

The UJ Youth Arts Festival will take place from 15 August to 07 September and will be presented at the University of Johannesburg’s Con Cowan Theatre on the Bunting Road Campus, as well as at UJ Arts Centre on its Kingsway Campus, also in Auckland Park. For more information or to book tickets visit www.uj.ac.za/arts

NOTES TO THE EDITOR:

UJ Youth Arts Festival Programme

{Theatre}
UJ Arts & Culture presents
MY ONE MINUTE (UJ Arts Academy Drama Showcase)
Con Cowan Theatre (Bunting Road Campus)
15 August :: 17:30–18:30
16 August :: 19:30–20:30
18 August :: 18:00–19:00
This performance showcase features UJ Arts Academy drama students, and is a marathon of monologues, comprising old favourites and newer pieces that cross the boundary between comedy and drama.

{Physical Theatre}
University of the Witwatersrand & Drama for Life present
I,DENTITY & TOMORROW TODAY DOUBLE BILL
Con Cowan Theatre (Bunting Road Campus)
15 & 17 August :: 19:30–20:30
16 August :: 17:30–18:30
I,dentity :: A journey of self-exploration through physicality and interrogation of the ‘I’. Travelling through the Khoi-San and Coloured journey, using expressive movement, this piece seeks to unravel the nuances of what makes us who we are, as well as the frictions of ‘becoming’.
Tomorrow Today :: Tomorrow Today is a play about days personified, and plays out in embodied text, dance and physical theatre. It explores the importance of time, responsibility and how today’s procrastination delays tomorrow.

{Musical}
Tshwane University of Technology presents
BURIED VOICES
Con Cowan Theatre (Bunting Road Campus)
18 August :: 16:00–17:00
19 August :: 17:00–18:00
The crippling impact of a class system, and the notion that all are haunted, in some way, by the ghosts from the past, are examined. Buried Voices is a contemporary, multi-lingual re-telling of Strindberg’s Ghost Sonata, which translates the play’s core themes into a contemporary South African context. Although centred within a classical text, the production applies contemporary and innovative physical staging and soundscape techniques.

{Workshop}
MOVING BODIES DANCE WORKSHOP
UJ Art Centre Large Studio (Kingsway Campus)
18 August :: 09:00–12:00
This three-hour movement composition and dance knowledge exploration caters to all body types, ages and levels of experience. The first hour of the workshop introduces participants to movement theory by focusing on Forsythean Points of Co-ordination, playing with oppositions, as well as positive and negative spaces. The second hour of the programme continues to play with movement levels and body manipulation, by adding voice and soundscapes to the quality of the movement. The last hour of the workshop seeks to add narration (or storytelling), by which the participants use images of their daily lives, personal stories, song, and actual pedestrian movements, which are then applied to the body for choreography or movement composition. Much like method acting, the participants are able to add real emotion to the quality of the movement by contextualising their points of movement.

{Performance Art}
Green Goose Collective presents
MIND OF HER
Con Cowan Theatre (Bunting Road Campus)
25 August :: 15:00–16:00
26 August :: 17:00–18:00
Men call their truth history, but entitle the truth of womxn as ‘feminism’. This is no ‘-ism’ that should be backed by philosophers, but a truth that has rested heavily on our mothers’ backs and which cannot be distilled into a single, subjective movement.

{Theatre}
Sanelisiwe Yekani & Bongiwe Mazibuko present
NDIKHO
Con Cowan Theatre (Bunting Road Campus)
24 August :: 17:30–18:30
25 August :: 12:00–13:00
26 August :: 19:00–20:00
Living in a time where they find themselves endangered, the women of Ubukho-Ville conjure alternative ways to stay alive, and ways to demand space in their communities. The fury that the women of Ubukho-Ville feel, due to the injustices cast upon their bodies, gives birth to the spirits of uNogwaja and uMvundla. uNogwaja and uMvundla refer to themselves as ‘the carriers of news’ and ‘the alchemists’. They re-tell the tale of the women of this land, and disrupt the ‘peace’ when they offer the women of Ubukho-Ville a remedy.

{Theatre}
UJ Arts & Culture presents
CHOIR BOY
23 August :: 19:30–21:00
5 September :: 19:30–21:00
From its premiere at the National Arts Festival, where it won a Standard Bank Encore Award, Choir Boy features UJ Arts Academy students, alongside respected professional actors Renos Spanoudes and Lebohang Motaung. Written by Tarell Alvin McCraney, and directed by Tshego Khutsoane, it tells the story of a young man who wants nothing more than to take his rightful place as leader of the school’s legendary gospel choir.

{Music}
Johannesburg Youth Orchestra Company (JYOC) presents
CLASSICS MEET JAZZ
Con Cowan Theatre (Bunting Road Campus)
24 August :: 19:30–20:30
The newly-formed Johannesburg Youth Big Band will perform a selection of Classical music with a touch of jazz to show you how these genres can meet. The debut performance of this combination of the JHB Youth Jazz ensemble and JHB Youth Symphonic Wind Band is Jazz like you have never heard before. Conducted by John Davies, produced by Etienne Mecloen and Eddie Clayton.

{Music}
Johannesburg Youth Orchestra Company (JYOC) presents
SYMPHONIC POPS
UJ Art Centre Theatre (Kingsway Campus)
26 August :: 16:30–17:30
The Johannesburg Youth Orchestra will perform a selection of Classical, Pop, Rock Film music and more to show you the versatility of a full symphony orchestra. Come and enjoy an hour of great entertainment and music by these vibrant musicians. Conducted by Eddie Clayton, produced by Etienne Mecloen and Eddie Clayton.

{Performance Art}
4Play Theatre Productions presents
IKATI
Con Cowan Theatre (Bunting Road Campus)
26 August :: 15:00–16:00
28 & 30 August :: 19:30–20:30
iKati is derived from the Zulu idiom ‘iKati lilele’ziko’, which means an extreme hunger where nothing can be done except beg or look for a job. iKati is accompanied by music, physical theatre, dance and sound, creating a spiritual journey. It takes the audience along the story of a young man abandoned at birth and left in a foreign land.

{Theatre}
#MYNAMEIS
Con Cowan Theatre (Bunting Road Campus)
28, 29 & 31 August :: 17:30–18:30
This theatre production explores the dual identity of young black, South African girls, who – in an effort to straddle two disparate socio-economic worlds – experience a loss of identity. The play focuses on the lives of two young black girls post-1994, as they struggle to accommodate their marginalised township life within the context of life in a former Model C school, and find they no longer fit anywhere: they are ‘too bushy’ at school, and ‘too coconut’ in the township.

{Performance Art}
Sinethemba Mathe presents
BREAKING THE NORM
Con Cowan Theatre (Bunting Road Campus)
29 August :: 19:30–20:15
30 August :: 17:30–18:15
31 August :: 19:30–20:15
Breaking the Norm explores the journey of a young Muslim girl in an ordinary world, who faces not-so-ordinary situations, having to live through a constant battle between herself and others who see her as different, even though they are moulded from the same clay. The challenge emerges between expression and ignorance, as well as facing issues that have been simmering for too long.

{Dance}
UJ Arts & Culture presents
IMAGINE | OFETOGE
UJ Art Centre Theatre (Kingsway Campus)
29 August :: 19:30–20:30
30 August :: 20:00–21:00
01 September :: 15:30–16:30
Developed under the guidance of award-winning choreographers Sunnyboy Motau and Oscar Buthelezi of Moving into Dance Mophatong (MIDM), Imagine | Ofetoge features UJ Arts Academy afro-fusion, contemporary, hip hop, Zulu, Latin and ballroom, and ballet dance students, teaming up with the UJ Arts Academy Drumming Group and Argentinian Tango Student Society to present a variety performance packed with something for everyone.

{Dance}
Oakfields Faculty of Dance and Musical Theatre presents
HOME
UJ Art Centre Theatre (Kingsway Campus)
30 August :: 17:30–19:00
31 August :: 19:30–21:00
01 September :: 18:30–20:00
Drawing inspiration from the various cultural backgrounds of four choreographers, this contemporary dance season, presented by the Oakfields College Faculty of Dance and Musical Theatre, explores the concept of –home, and what it represents to young people living in post-apartheid South Africa. Dance students will work with acclaimed choreographers Ignatius van Heerden and Sonia Radebe, under the artistic direction of industry stalwart David April. Two up-and-coming student choreographers, Takita Mestre and Mari-Claire van Heerden, will also collaborate with this celebrated creative team to present their own, original works as part of this exciting dance season.

{Theatre}
Mzansi Foundation presents
#TRASH
Con Cowan Theatre (Bunting Road Campus)
25 August :: 20:00–21:00
‘Pain creates writers; hurt creates art’. #Trash is an all-female cast with various stories to tell. It’s usually said that a woman can never break, but she does bend. However, in this play you will see shattered hope, spirit and heart. Faith is the most important attribute on which to rely in these dark times. The thought of being tarred and feathered by the man you thought you loved; we question ourselves – are worthy enough to be loved or is he just another pile of trash?

{Music}
UJ Arts & Culture presents
UJ CHOIR
UJ Art Centre Theatre (Kingsway Campus)
07 September :: 12:30–13:00
The UJ Choir is ranked amongst the top university choirs in South Africa. It is made up of students of the University of Johannesburg that study a wide range of qualifications that do not include music. After their glorious win at the 10th World Choir Games in July 2018, the choir will be performing on home ground; offering a 30-minute programme that represents the exciting colours of our dynamic society.

{Music}
UJ Arts & Culture presents
UJ BAND & UNIJOH CHORALE
UJ Art Centre Theatre (Kingsway Campus)
07 September :: 17:00–19:00
The UJ Band was born on the sports fields of UJ’s Soweto Campus in 2014, and – facilitated by Thapelo Halala Motaung – comprises more than 20 musical talents, with a vast repertoire ranging from jazz to popular music. Joining them is UJ Arts & Culture’s 50-member community choir, the UniJoh Chorale, conducted by Kholisa Bulo and comprising current UJ students and Alumni members; in what promises to be a magical musical offering.

{Music}
Odwa Bongo Band presents
IMPILISO
UJ Art Centre Theatre (Kingsway Campus)
07 September :: 19:30–20:30
Presented by the Odwa Bongo Band, Impiliso is a space for everyone who needs to find healing. Inspired by Odwa’s challenging past, Impiliso sets out to achieve this healing through the power of music.

Source: Artslink.co.za 
Lakin Morgan-Baatjies
lakinmb@uj.ac.za
011 559 2690
UJ Arts & Culture
www.uj.ac.za/arts

Related Event:

UJ Youth Arts Festival
Dates: Wednesday, 22nd August 2018 – Friday, 7th September 2018
Related Venues:

Con Cowan Theatre, Bunting Road Campus University of Johannesburg Auckland Park Johannesburg Gauteng South Africa
UJ Arts Centre, cnr Kingsway and University Road Auckland Park Johannesburg Gauteng South Africa