The National Arts Festival announced the 2011 Standard Bank Ovation Awards winners.
A total of seven Silver, two Gold and three Encore Ovation awards were presented by Festival Director Ismail Mahomed, Mandie van der Spuy of Standard Bank and Festival Board Member Ellinor Sisulu. The Ovations Panel, made up of various arts journalists and editors who attended the Festival, was again convened this year by respected arts critic Adrienne Sichel, who encouraged the Fringe artists to continue producing work that is cutting edge and fresh. “The aim of the Standard Bank Ovation Awards is to acknowledge excellence on the Fringe,” said Festival CEO Tony Lankester. “It’s great to see our Fringe artists, who pay their own way and pour their hearts and souls into their work, get this level of acknowledgement,” he added. In the Theatre category, James Cairns and Taryn Bennett were awarded a Silver Ovation Award for their production Sie Weiss Alles, alongside Iceman Productions’ Silver Ovation for Dream, Brother. In the Physical Theatre category The Pink Couch were awarded a Silver Ovation for their production Mafeking Road. The Ogreling from FreeVoice productions were awarded a Silver Ovation in the Family Theatre category and The Matchbox Theatre Collective was awarded a Gold Ovation in the Contemporary Dance category for The Anatomy of Weather. Rob van Vuuren and Stuart Lightbody were both awarded a Silver Ovation in the Comedy category. Chris Chameleon received a Gold Ovation in the Music category for his solo performances, and Laurie Levine and Lize Wiid walked away with a Silver Ovation. Encore awards are presented to individuals or productions that have made a noteworthy contribution towards the Festival Fringe in various capacities, or who have shown significant potential. Shoelace Rockers Soul Band was awarded an “Encore!” for their passion, enthusiasm, high levels of innovation and raw talent which, in time and with hard work and commitment, could see them rise through the ranks of the music industry and become a force to be proud of. Gavin Krastin was awarded an “Encore!” for demonstrating adventurous conceptualisation, choreography, research and design in the creation of his installation work sub. Richard Antrobus was awarded an “Encore!” for his evolving artistic skills, creativity and flair for developmental theatre. These qualities position him at the forefront of an exciting movement in South African theatre with his ability to bridge cultural and aesthetic gaps. Two productions have also been chosen to represent the National Arts Festival at the Amsterdam Fringe in September this year. Anneke Jansen, head of the Amsterdam Fringe, acknowledged the productions London Road, Mafeking Road, Dream, Brother, Boo! and Kardiavale, but announced that they will be taking …miskien and The Anatomy of Weather to Amsterdam as part of the World Festival Alliance cooperative this year. “The Alliance is designed to build creative pathways between some of the world’s most significant Festivals, and we’re very proud of the two productions chosen to represent South Africa and the National Arts Festival,” said Lankester about the World Festival Alliance. The full list of Ovation Award winners for 2011 include: Chris Chameleon; Door (Ubom Cape Drama Company in collaboration with Jori Snell of Baba Yaga Theatre); The Anatomy of Weather (The Matchbox Theatre Collective); As Night Falls (choreographed by Nicola Haskins); Bhakti (Flatfoot Dance company); Crush-hopper (Mandisa Roeleene Haarhoff and Ntokozo Madlala); Deeply Fried (Whacked Management and Deeply Fried Man); Dream Brother (Iceman Productions); Hellpants and the FBHK (Martin Evans), Intranceit (Rhodes University Drama Department), Laurie Levine and Lize Wiid; Loss and Having (Brink Scholtz); Mafeking Road (The Pink Couch); Paperboy (2 Tone Productions); Re-Allignment 1 (Sibikwa Art Centre & Neo Leleka(composer); Return of the Road warriors (Tony Cox and Steve Newman); Rob van Vuuren — Live; Sie Weiss Alles (James Cairns and Taryn Bennett); Stuperstition (Stuart Lightbody); The Ogreling (Free Voice Productions); Shannon Hope; The Soil (Native Rhythms Productions) and To be like this Rock (Umsindo Theatre Projects). All of these Ovation winners will be invited to submit a proposal to perform on the 2012 Arena Festival. The National Arts Festival is sponsored by Standard Bank, The Eastern Cape Government, The National Arts Council, The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, The Sunday Independent and M Net. About the National Arts Festival: The National Arts Festival, now in its 37th year, has proved its sustainability and has grown to be one of the leading arts festivals in southern Africa. Its objectives are to deliver excellence; encourage innovation and development in the arts by providing a platform for both established and emerging South African artists; create opportunities for collaboration with international artists; and build new audiences.