Kucheza Afrika Festival: Live dance The South African State Theatre welcomes the Baxter Theatre and Durban’s The Playhouse Company as partners in hosting the 2021 edition of the dance festival, Kucheza Afrika Festival, from 1 to 11 April 2021.

The Baxter Theatre will host two productions on 6 and 7 April 2021 – Trapped by Unmute Dance Company at 6pm and Louise Coetzer’s (Darkroom Contemporary) Memoryhouse at 7.30pm.

The annual Kucheza Afrika Festival (formerly Dance Umbrella Africa) had to be reimagined, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and current national lockdown regulations with all protocols in place and to be observed.

Performances will be limited to 100 audience members (or less, depending on the venue), COVID-19 protocols to be observed include the availability of hand sanitisers, tracking and tracing, temperature checks, mandatory wearing of masks and practicing of physical distancing. Audience members are advised to arrive at least 45 minutes before the start of the performance to avoid delays.

Kucheza Afrika Festival programme

A brand-new work called Trapped by Unmute Dance Company on 6 and 7 April at 6pm, is a double bill. It challenges the ‘trapped mentality’ that society uses to stereotype persons living with disability. It is produced by the Cape Town-based company and featuring dancers Nadine Mckenzie and Siphenathi Mayekiso, who both live with disabilities.

Kucheza Afrika Festival: Live dance

Louise Coetzer’s (Darkroom Contemporary) Memoryhouse, featuring an original sound score composed by Matthijs van Dijk, is on 6 and 7 April at 7.30pm. The piece immerses the viewer in a dreamscape, where the tension between reality and remembering to collide in an infinite loop.

This partnership, presented by the South African State Theatre (SAST), in collaboration with The Baxter and The Playhouse Company, was born out of a need to reignite the fires of live theatre.

The collaboration will enable a shared live experience of the festival with limited audiences in Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban, making the 2021 Kucheza Africa Festival a hybrid festival, with live performances and online presentation by international acts.

The SAST, in collaboration with The Playhouse Company will stage the dance piece, Sullied, by Kristi-Leigh Gresse. Using dance and spoken word, it dives deep into the world of rape culture, sexuality, gender identity, race polarisation and religion. Programmed under the Young Artists programme of the festival, Sullied will be presented live at the Playhouse Company on 8 and 9 April.

What: Kucheza Afrika Festival

Where and when: Baxter Theatre and Durban’s The Playhouse Company from 1 to 11 April 2021

Tickets:  Webtickets

WS