Written by: Daluxolo Moloantoa
It’s that time of the year when Johannesburg comes alive with the annual Joburg Arts Alive International Festival. The month-long festival started on the 1st of September and runs until 25 September, with various events taking place all around the city and its surrounds.
The Johannseburg Arts Alive International Festival draws thousands of residents and visitors through a programme that covers music, dance, theatre, poetry, visual art, comedy, film as well as exhibitions and workshops. Each year organizers aim to present a blend of grassroots and high-profile activities through a combination of free and reasonably priced arts and culture events.
A strong focus underpins this year`s festival. The bulk of threatrical productions will be staged at the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein. A Shakespeare Schools Festival takes place at the Fringe (Joburg Theatre) from 17 to 18 September. Other theatrical productions being staged at the venue include The Wind From Dunhuang on the 16th of September 2011, and The Fall and Rise of The Phoenix on 21 and 22 September at The Mandela at Joburg Theatre.
In keeping with the international flavour of the festival a number of international events take place during its 25-day run. The Jazz on The Lake, 4 September, kicked off the international programme with the appearance of Nigerian folk singer-songwriter, ASA and Indian fusion act, Rajasthan Rocks.
Brazilian songstress, Teresa Cristina headlined the Brazilian National Day celebrations at The Mandela at Joburg Theatre on 7 September, and Luis Lugo brings the Cuban experience to the same venue this week on 13 September.
The festival escapes its city confines to engage with local communities in both Soweto and Alexandra Township. The Soweto Wine Festival took place at the University of Johannesburg Soweto campus on the 3rd of September, and Chaf Pozi will host the Arts Alive Authentic Sundays at Orlando Power Station on the 18th of September.
Alexsan Kopano Community Centre in Alex hosts the inaugural Alex Film Festival on 18 September.
The Joburg Arts Alive International Festival is enhanced through partnerships with other national festivals, educational instituitions, non-profit organizations, cultural groups and other interest groups.