SPHAMANDLA GUMEDE AND NOKWETHABA SITHOLE
A GROUP of students from UNIZULU have wowed audiences at the Drama for Life Sex Actually Festival held at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg last month.
The performing arts students from the Department of Creative Arts – who were attending the festival for the first time – performed a piece titled The Embrace. It is a trans-disciplinary performance project whose main theme is human relationships.
The project fuses physical theatre, song, dance and the spoken word. Individuals become pairs, teams, families and at the same time become “the self” and also “the other” in a bid to be recognised and connected.
The Embrace is a Spoken Word Project Production directed by Gift Tapiwa Marovatsanga – an actor, writer, director, and Drama and Theatre Studies lecturer.
Marovatsanga worked with Durban-born but Zululand-based slam poet, Dashen Naicker from the English Department.
Also as part of the project, internationally acclaimed musician, conductor and composer Bhekani Buthelezi put together a moving and soulful musical piece. However he did not travel to Johannesburg as he is in the USA on a four-month music exchange programme.
“Performing at the Drama for Life Festival offers students an opportunity to engage and share thoughts with other artists, performers, students, academics and professional theatre personnel from different parts of the country, and the world,” Marovatsanga