[Media Alert] Exciting variety of performances at WALE 5.0

Author: JT Comms
Date: 1 May 2012

WALEWALE 5.0 promises to be an exciting and cutting-edge mix of all things artistic. Running for four days from 9 to 12 May 2012 at Wits University, this welcome addition to the Johannesburg arts calendar offers something for everyone.

A staggering variety of visual and performing arts awaits WALE festival-goers this year. From innovative dance by young choreographers to international performance poets, top jazz acts, classical music virtuosos, and ground-breaking drama and multimedia performances – there’s live entertainment to cater for every taste.

Furthermore, WALE 5.0 will also feature film screenings, exhibitions and a book fair – a celebration of literature, with poetry readings, book launches and lively debate.

As an appetiser to the stage shows, WALE 5.0 will kick off with a colourful carnival through streets of Braamfontein at 12pm, 9th May 2012.


Entrance to all WALE 5.0 performances, exhibitions and screenings is free!

WALE 5.0 takes place from 9 to 12 May 2012 at the Wits Main Campus in Braamfontein



This year Wits students and alumni will wow audiences with the sheer variety and quality of drama performances on offer. The work on stage will explore contemporary issues such as xenophobia, the role of women, identity and obsession: with disease, war, food, sex and information. These stories will come to life through a range of theatrical expression, including dance, poetry, movement, music, one-man shows, a Japanese folk tale, interactive installations and multimedia. Audiences will be taken on a journey through the pure talent, diversity and innovation that embodies the drama on offer at WALE 5.0.

A drama highlight will be a new work, The Line, directed and written by Gina Shmukler with music by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder and starring Khutjo Green and Gabi Harris, with design by Niall Griffin. The Line is a play about people, about the nature of humanity and moments in time in South Africa.

Another must-see is I Remember … by the Drama for Life Theatre Company. The audience is invited to interact with visual art and performance craft, in what promises to be an extraordinary exploration of memory. It will be performed in the style of playback theatre, which is a powerful tool of improvisatory theatre that facilitates community dialogue and has been part of WALE since the festival’s inception.


Jo’burg dance lovers are in for a treat. Esther Nasser, Artistic Director of the Tshwane Dance Theatre (TDT) , presents: 15 Minutes of Fame 2 as part of WALE 5.0. In 2011, Nasser asked choreographers to create a work lasting 15 minutes that would excite, stimulate, push the envelope and burst on to the stage in an eruption of visual pleasure, emotion, intelligence and joy.

Following the resounding success of 15 Minutes of Fame 1 in 2011, the second edition of this acclaimed initiative is a welcome addition to WALE 5.0. This new programme, like its predecessor, gives new choreographers exactly 15 minutes each to choreograph a work that will showcase the superb technical and artistic skills of the TDT. Three new works will be introduced:

· Yalla by choreographer Shelley Sheer

· Beauty Tips by choreographer Kristin Wilson

· Not Your Alpha, Just etc by choreographer Liyabuya Gongo


Wale 5.0 signifies a sheer tour de force for Wits Music. Audiences can bask in a variety of stellar performances by some of South Africa’s top musicians, ranging from the urban/traditional sounds of Kgafela le Marabele to the spontaneous freestyle chamber music of Carlo Mombelli and The Prisoners of Strange. There’s also the sublime melodies of Wits featured composer for 2012, Mokale Koapeng. Plus, the Music Masters Students Recital will give a platform to four Wits Masters students: pianists Belinda de Villiers and Peter Cartwright, as well as Viktor van Niekerk on 10-string guitar and Ziza Mhlongo on vocals. All these performers are accomplished and have achieved local and international praise for their musical prowess.

African musical heritage will come under the spotlight during the Khabi Mngoma Memorial Lecture. Professor Mngoma had a vast influence on African music throughout his extensive career as a leading academic and cultural activist in the service of music. Professor Mngoma is also the father of singer Sibongile Khumalo and musician Lindumuzi Mngoma.

WALE 5.0 Main Stage

The Main Stage, outdoors in the Library Gardens, will form the heartbeat of WALE 2012. This stage will play host to the Opening and Closing Concerts, and the WALE 5.0 Parade will depart from there on Wednesday 9th May 2012 at 12pm.

The featured acts include Kei Miller, a Jamaican poet whose performance is made possible by The British Council. Miller currently divides his time between Jamaica and the United Kingdom, where he teaches creative writing at the University of Glasgow.

Also on the Main Stage will be Kgafela le Marabele, a group of artists who individually have a world of experience as performers. The outfit includes Tebogo “Bra Tebza” Tshotetsi, a gifted artist who plays indigenous instruments such as serankure and nkonwana; Makati Motshegwa, a versatile bass player; and Kgafela Magogodi, an international stand-up spoken-word artist, in collaboration with other talented musicians. Kgafela le Marebele are currently recording a spoken-word and music album, to be released in May 2012.

Shoe Shop Festival

The Shoe Shop Festival is made possible by The Goethe Institute, in partnership with WALE 5.0. This festival comprises a series of events and project nodes that are arranged to reflect on, and prepare for, movement. The projects work independently and will be realised all over greater Johannesburg. They bring together existent collectives, young and established artists and various initiatives that share similar interests, with the aim to collaborate and provide a dense and fluid space for a critical reflection and approval of movement, mobility and migration.

The Shoe Shop Festival includes photographic installations in public spaces; the opening of a month-long pop-up space, the Shoe Shop; a photography workshop; a series of lectures/short presentations; artist walks and performances; a film programme and a film workshop. A publication will accompany the festival.

WALE 5.0 thanks our partners:

The British Council

IFAS –The French Institute of South Africa

The Goethe Institute

The Tri Continental Film Festival

For more information contact Ayob/Mo/Vuyo on info@jtcomms.co.za (011) 788 7631/2

Issued by JT Communication Solutions on behalf of Wits Arts & Literature Festival

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