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A music festival that caters for the whole family sounds rather idyllic, yet that is exactly what K-Day achieved. The toddlers can be dropped off at a designated area, dad can sleep in the shade of the umbrella while the tweens can scream for Danny K.

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Set in the intimate Golden Arrow Studio at the Baxter, the stage was bare except for a Japanese-type Shoji screen, the light behind it building curiosity amongst the audience members. When the silhouettes of five people appeared and various vocal sounds echoed through the tiny room, I was instantly enthralled.

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The concert area was chockablock full, the skies were clear, the air was fresh and the Kirstenbosch plants were well fed (seeing it had rained the whole morning). Everyone was relaxing after a great weekend in Cape Town – even a little 4 year old girl behind me was singing along to the Parlotones’ first song, ‘That’s Life’, at the top of her voice.

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A group of young girls, glittering in a sea of pink and white ballet paraphernalia, pressed themselves up against the glass wall of the studio to better see the dancers as Li guided them through a barre and centre, occasionally interjecting with phrases such as “don’t be stingy with the fondu” or “extend and 6 and 7 and pas de bourrée.”

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The woman who owns the stage for the 90 minutes of this one-woman show is Iman Isaacs who not only gets to show off her skill as an actress, but also as a mass-murdering female ninja. With a full arsenal of weapons from a katana sword to handguns, she kicks and punches, dodges bullets and even brings in a few slow-motion Matrix moves. Full Stops On Your Face is about violence. About mass killings. And about the stereotype that we have of those killers.

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“The intricate polyrhythmic groove laid down by the rhythm sections allowed the warm tone of Dyantyis’s trumpet to create effervescent melodic ideas.”

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To an audio backdrop which includes excerpts from a speech by Malcolm X contrasting the worlds of “House Negros” and “Field Negros”, the group presented a passionate depiction of the effect of Western influence on African traditions.

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This fantastic band, a regular in the Kirstenbosch Summer Concert Series lineup, could easily play in a far bigger venue to a crowd triple the size, but the fact that their fans are given the chance to hear them in such an intimate environment only makes the experience more memorable. There were a few sound glitches at the beginning, but like any true musical legends they laughed them off and carried on. Playing hits including ‘She Knows’ and ‘Time of Your Life’, the band easily transported us all into another world.

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The choir produced a beautifully warm and balanced sound, supported by the instrumentalists who blended well with the voices, even when occasionally being overshadowed by the sheer number of singers. At certain moments the reed-like timbre of the organ complimented the tenor voices perfectly.

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The quality of dancing is truly impressive considering most of the dancers don’t dance vocationally and the result is testament to the passion and hard work that has been put in by Botha and Zoutman to ensure the high standard of the work being performed. They haven’t held back in their choreography either, challenging the dancers technically and artistically with a stylized and often complex movement vocabulary.

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“In a time and a place when literature can feel like an increasingly niche interest, this powerful and collaborative annual event is a reminder of the importance of creating a safe space to discuss the intersection of books and life.”

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“The play is rich and funny and very original. Clichés are out of the door, new comparisons are tested and age-old ideologies are brushed aside.”

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Groove Armada has been around for 15 years. For the majority of clubbers, that’s more than half their lives.

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The museum was tranquil, yet bustling with visitors. I was impressed. There was a full mix from the artsy- fartsy art lovera, to students, young children, pensioners, tourists and ordinary Capetonians enjoying their city.

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The story of Pink Floyd’s rise and decline was told in chronological progression with an omnipotent narrative voice between songs chronicling the major events in the band’s history. Naturally, all the music that made them famous was played. Flawlessly. Simply put, I honestly felt like I was watching the real Pink Floyd.

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If you’re easily offended by curse words stay away, don’t even cross the boerewors curtain for the next week. If not, then hearing Sandra Prinsloo swearing, all dolled up in over applied suburban kerk tannie makeup, is a real treat.

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Going to a new band’s gig is like a lucky packet. There is no way of knowing what you are going to get, but you are guaranteed a treat of some kind. In this case it was R35 for a double vodka and Redbull at the Mercury Live Bar. The rest of the lucky packet was also very familiar.

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The long awaited piece entitled Paradigm Shift had been commissioned from choreographer Grant van Ster, which of course marked it out as a must-see. With a backdrop of slashed white elasticized fabric, dancers popped parts of their bodies in and out of the gashes to signify a play between confusion, conquest and tease. The use of bright lights on the backdrop gave an almost “Brecht” element of nakedness and thereby, perhaps, of truth.

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I like to think everyone has those days when a gentle stroll amongst the shops turns into a cross-eyed, hobble-legged search for a loo. Just the other day I found myself once again misjudging my essential tea/bladder ratio in the middle of Greenmarket Square.

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I was dead centre, just a couple of rows from the front… easy pickings for the self-proclaimed “hilarious” hypnotist. I’d had my misgivings, simply from the name, but the guy who shambled on to stage wasn’t quite the slightly podgy overly-cheerful character I’d pictured. Instead he was tall and skinny with hunched shoulders, a sort of ginger version of Lurch from The Addams Family.

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Peachy Keen took the stage to a packed Mercury and immediately had the crowd dancing to a series of pop-esque rockabilly jams from their new album, Backseat Bingo.

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By the time the suspects start sweating under the heavy lights of the interrogation room, the plot of Tannie Dora Goes Bos will strongly remind one of the works of Agatha Christie. Many may also recognise the influence of Quentin Tarantino, particularly his Kill Bill films. But that is all it ever remains, an influence. It never dictates the tone nor imitates the style. Above all, this play is distinctly South African.

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It’s all about equality and standing one’s ground, pitting female against male, to challenge one another and test the waters. At one particular point the male dancers lie in a straight line and then the female dancers purposefully run towards them and launch into a breathtaking leap before being miraculously caught. This is undoubtedly the highlight of the whole show, as the gasps in the audience will attest.

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The band took us back to songs that started their walk to fame just a few short years ago, an also threw in some new material. There is a distinct Brazilian influence in some of their songs, no doubt a product of Jsomething’s Portuguese heritage. But even as the hips sway to the salsa beat, the feet want to stomp to the undercurrent of African rhythm.

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The moment his bow and strings collided it was if darkness had engulfed all else but him. It was Mintz and his violin. Everyone else centered their all on Mintz, as Kuchar and the CPO moulded and sculpted a rich, voluptuous soundscape for him to dance his chords about in. What a wonderful feeling to see this man on our stage. The places he must have seen, the people he must have accompanied, and he was there, on our Cape Town stage. The CPO glowed with the honour at playing beside such a legend, and performed Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op.64 with grace, verve and an undying love for the purity of orchestral sound.

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A magical and fun production, perfect for the festive season. Veronica Paeper’s choreography picks up on the nuances of Prokofiev’s famous score, retelling the iconic story with clarity, beauty and humour.

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