Spier, in association with Third World Bunfight, will present the second iteration of Constellations, a multi-layered outdoor presentation that will take place from 25 November to 18 December 2021.
Theatre maker Brett Bailey who recently returned from a successful tour to France and Spain with Third World Bunfight’s production of Samson, has once again devised and conceptualised Constellations with this year’s theme being ‘Into the Woods.’ Explaining the concept, Bailey describes how forests and wild places feature in the mythology and tales of many peoples, often presented as strange liminal regions beyond ordered familiarity and civil society’s codes. “Take Goldilocks and Hansel and Gretel for instance,” he says. “Such tales confront weird and wonderful characters while in Xhosa folklore, wilderness creatures loom along the fragile boundaries that define the homestead. Also, woods are often associated with dreams, imagination and the unconscious arena, and from the eco perspective, they are cherished as wildlife havens that deserve to be treasured and protected.” The riverside woodland setting makes Spier, a destination committed to the arts, long term sustainability and biodiversity, the ideal location for the event.
Around the campfire
Bailey, adopting a non-directorial approach, has curated three routes, each with three Guardians who will receive their audiences around their own campfire. The element of surprise is that people will have no idea which Guardians or what type of performance they’ll encounter on their journey. Each session will be approximately thirty minutes long.
Twenty-seven artists – the Fire Guardians – will present at Constellations and the diverse line up includes musicians Moodship, Odwa Bongo, Manu Grace, FreeMan locs, Jak Tomas, Nkosenathi Koela, Thandeka Mfinyongo, Miles Sievwright and Dizu Plaatjies (pictured right); performance artists Nwabisa Plaatjie, Gaetan Schmid, Thando Doni, Rehane Abrahams, Qondiswa James, Wessel Pretorius, Nico Athene, Siphenathi Mayekiso, Louise Westerhout, Megan Choritz and Odidi Mfenyana; mystics and mavericks Rod Suskin, Lindi Dlamini and Tapiwa Gurza; poets and storytellers Philippa Kabali-Kagwa, Liza Scholtz, Malika Ndlovu and Toni Giselle Stuart.
Constellations is an opportunity to connect with others through these intriguing encounters while ensconced in a nocturnal ring of enlightenment. For the Guardians the experiences are equally validating, a way to creatively explore the outdoor space and celebrate their artistic expression.
Make a special evening of it
A 30% accommodation discount at the Spier Hotel is also available to ticket holders who can claim the offer by booking online with the code CONSTELLATIONS. Located only 40 minutes outside of Cape Town, Spier, one of Stellenbosch’s oldest wine farms, is the ideal winelands getaway destination with a host of leisure activities, pursuits and wholesome family experiences set against the backdrop of a unique historic werf and vineyards tended with a contemporary farming sensibility that places the earth and people first. For more info please visit www.spier.co.za
Where and when: Spier gardens, Stellenbosch from 25 November to 18 December 2021 at 8pm, with arrival promptly at 7.30pm
Read more: Constellations 2020 review