THE REWIND: SOUTH AFRICAN ARTS FESTIVAL
After months of coordination with the South African Department of Arts and Culture, Grand Performances was glad to be the L.A.-based homesite for the inaugural South African Arts Festival (October 4-6). Other nearby venues incorporated the Omni Hotel and L.A. Live Regal Cinemas, which facilitated industry-situated film and music boards, and an afternoon of South African motion pictures, respectively.
The celebration commenced Friday with an opening gathering for artists, authorities from the South African government, and others. On Saturday, our plaza woke up with the assorted sounds of advanced South African music – from Wouter Kellerman’s flute-driven African sounds; to The Soil’s capable acapella; to xhosa rapper iFani’s vigorous and cheeky rhymes; to the consistent and dazzling mix of the Mahotella Queens’ adored voices with Jozi’s particularly urban-pop beats. The 6+ hours celebrations went into the night – with Simphiwe Dana’s hypnotic Afro-Soul, The Parlotones coliseum rock vitality, and jazz trumpet legend Hugh Masekela.
As the sun went down, Masekela (no interesting to the WaterCourt stage) invigorated group running with some call and reaction singing. L.A. was such a decent group, that he guaranteed he’d take us on the street with him!
Sunday concentrated on the wide scope of movies originating from South Africa with everything from elevating family-accommodating to gritty dramas and more. Hundreds turned out to the L.A. Live’s Regal Cinemas to appreciate an afternoon at the films, with some proceeding to watch an outside screening of Khumba back at California Plaza.
We said farewell to the celebration with an end gathering on Sunday night that included sweets from Heirloom LA and a intimate execution by Simphiwe Dana. She even had people up doing the electric slide before the night’s over.
Much thanks toward the South African Department of Arts and Culture, the Grand Performances staff and team, and volunteers for serving to make this celebration possible.
Photo by Christopher Alvarez and Shawn Ahmed