More than 70 events for WALE 4.0’s most ambitious and extensive programme yet.
From the Press Release: “The Wits Arts & Literature Experience – known this year simply as WALE 4.0 – is living up to its billing as the rising star on the South African arts festival calendar with a massive 75 events over four days. Opening on May 11 with an unmissable free concert at the Great Hall Plaza featuring Kwani Experience and several other music acts, WALE 4.0 features five dance shows, 16 theatre shows, two musical theatre productions, eight music events, 10 film screenings, seven exhibitions, two installations, three workshops, two poetry readings, a debate and five book-related events over its four days. The 2011 programme also features 15 guest artists, 27 student productions, and 33 Wits staff and alumni offerings amongst its most comprehensive and diverse programme to date. Says Professor Tawana Kupe, WALE Founder and Champion in Chief, “Our new team has delivered an exceptional programme that really takes forward what we’ve built up over the past few years to create a significant arts event that makes Johannesburg a real cultural destination in May.” Headed by Wits Theatre General Manager, Ashraf Johaardien and Jade Bowers, the Artistic Director of WALE 4.0, the team has curated a programme built around a mixture of upcoming and established talent (often working together) as well as the debuting of exciting new creative works. WALE 4.0’s theatre and dance programmes are its most far-reaching yet — beginning with the production ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ which is directed by renowned choreographer and performer, Athena Mazarakis in collaboration with the acclaimed Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaboration. WALE 4.0’s dance element also includes a performance by the Tshwane Dance Theatre, underscoring the festival’s commitment to making connections with the broader Gauteng creative community as well as audiences from outside Johannesburg. This takes place at WALE 4.0’s closing event on May 14 in the Wits Great Hall. WALE 4.0’s theatre line-up is extensive and includes’ Planet B’, helmed by the critically-acclaimed director Helen Iskander. This collaboration between Fresco Theatre and Well-Worn Theatre runs at the Nunnery. Also not-to-be-missed is ‘Sexetera’ — directed by Sibikwa’s Phyllis Klotz and running at the WSOA Atrium. Another theatre highlight is ‘The Titled’, directed by Eliot Moleba and an expansion on his 2010 piece ‘The Untitled” which runs at the WSOA Basement. Under WALE 4.0’s music banner there’s plenty to stimulate audiences — starting with Zim Ngqawana’s Zimology (May 14 in The Atrium). During his three decades of playing, writing, performing and recording Ngqawana has created a philosophy he terms “Zimology” that is based on the belief that music (specifically the silence in music) can lead individuals back to their true self. Ngqawana’s appearance at WALE 4.0 is a coup and gives South African fans the rare chance to see this highly-regarded global music icon perform on home soil. The Mary Rorich Scholarship Concert, in honour of the late academic and musicologist, is another highlight of WALE 4.0’s music programming and will be held in the Linder Auditorium on May 15. Adding additional impact to WALE 4.0’s music offering is Gina Shmukler’s “Red, Hot & Cole” musical, a journey’ through the life and music of genius composer and lyricist, Cole Porter, as well as “Black Angels: Samson Diamond In Concert”. Like all of WALE 4.0’s programming, the film element of the festival has been significantly upped in 2011 and among the 10 screenings are four at The Bioskope at Main Street Life, a reflection of the festival’s impact on greater Johannesburg. Key components of the film element of WALE 4.0 are a screening and discussion of ‘A WALE Of A Time’ by Ann Marie Tully at The Bioscope on May 13 as well as the chance for Digital Storytelling to be elevated to new heights with Taku Kaskela’s presentation on Making A Film In One Day on at the Appollonia on May 14. WALE 4.0 has a strong emphasis on exhibitions — among them the Thinking Women’s Worlds exhibition at the Downstairs Theatre Foyer which features student photographs that explore young women’s experiences of life at Wits. It is curated by Professor Jill Bradbury. Also not-to-be-missed is ‘The Photo Album — Spirit of a Child’ curated by Lebogang Ngwatle and the “21st Century Urban Communities” — a photography competition and exhibition facilitated by Ian Siemmers. Adding impact to this year’s programme are the number of discussions and debates that will get individuals talking, including a trio of workshops: ” Fuck me Queer! Wait you got the wrong idea…”, “Digital Storytelling: Make a film in one day” and “Unsilence: Performing and Exploring New Music”. Finally, the Book Fair at WALE 4.0 ensures literature is powerfully represented at the festival. It features booksellers and publishers as well as a full programme of launches, discussions and debates (including on several titles from Wits University Press) that turn the Book Fair into a focal point of this year’s event. For a full programme and details of each event go to www.wale.co.za which will be updated regularly with news around WALE 4.0. ”