Balding repeatedly uses the words, “spontaneous”, “fresh” and “real” when referring to his work. Although the scenarios may be posed or appear like film stills, he doesn’t want his work to feel staged. He wants us to feel we have stumbled upon these moments without the subject’s knowledge – hence the voyeuristic feel to his work.

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“The enactment is a feast for the senses, showing off the very best of South African opera, musicianship and stagecraft.”

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What a privilege it is for Cape Town to host such an event – one that showcases not only a worldwide talent amongst the youth but also provides a glimpse into the massive raw talent of young South Africans in particular. How thrilling to see this talent being addressed, to see these youths being given a platform to pursue their dreams with innocent enthusiasm.

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The afternoon’s headliners, Hot Water, are either visionaries or mad men. They did the pantsula – complete with the rolled up trouser legs – on the same stage as the sakkie-sakkie! The crowd, which had been mellowed by Wrestlerish, jumped up and attempted both of those dances so I guess it’s the former: they are visionaries.

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Second Nature is an exhibition of recent photographs of the landscapes of French Polynesia, including the fabled island of Tahiti. In the exhibition write-up Tillim cites as his inspiration the voyages of Captain James Cook, in which accompanying artists claimed it was impossible to convincingly represent these landscapes.

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Everyone knows who William Shakespeare is: he’s that guy with the big collar who wrote Romeo and Juliet and a few other plays and poetry. For many his work is unattainable, performed only to the hoi-polloi dressed to the nines in pearls and feathers.

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Tasty ready to eat biodynamic, organic or whole foods for a Friday night treat in a stunning candle lit ambience Fresh produce to take home with you Live music to entertain everyone, Art and craft, Holistic workshops and courses, a lively meeting place for the whole community.

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Fascinating’ is one of those words that has become a favourite with the sarcastic. Maybe FEAT will be the event to reclaim the word to its former glory. Listening to ordinary people pushing their bodies to the extremes, overcoming physical and mental obstacles was truly, thrillingly, properly fascinating.

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The opening notes of ‘Dancing Waves and Lament’ – an original composition – made me think the piece hardly needed a title. The ebb and flow of the melodic line, with the broad undercurrents of the supporting notes, evoked moving water right away.

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When it comes to choral music, there are more ways to get it wrong than right. With a multitude of voices singing in four different parts – every single voice of a distinct timbre, style, and volume – a choral performance could easily degenerate into a jumble of sounds clambering to be heard over each other. Not so with the Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town.

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Classical guitarist James Grace is a South African icon. I caught him recently at the Centre for the Book where he was performing works from his new album World Cafe as well as the SAMA-nominated albums Cafe Latino and Sevilla – Music of Spain II.

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The first thing I learnt from attending TEDx Cape Town is that I really need to get myself a Smart Phone. I currently have a R150 Samsung that, were I to lob it with any degree of accuracy, might serve to momentarily stun a Daschund. To be fair though, I can also make and receive calls on it.

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As I looked down from the balcony at the Kalk Bay Theatre, I realised that story telling is all about presentation… This might not be the absolute best production I have seen this year, but it’s hands down the most fun.

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There was something different about The Rescu’s album launch. For one it was hosted at Grandwest Casino’s Hanover Street, a refreshing break from the usual venues in town.

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I walked out of the concert hall as the audience’s applause released my ears from the cacophony to which it had been subjected just moments before. It was supposed to be Mendelssohn’s Andante and Rondo Capriccioso in E-major Op. 14, and it was only just the opening piece of the evening, but I had heard enough.

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Malherbe, star of the one-man show, was quite at home chatting with the audience about their musical memories and teasing those who admitted to being Nickelback fans – speaking to us as if we were not just his audience, but his friends.

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I was once reprimanded for talking in Ronnie Scott’s – an earful from none other than beehive-topped Mari Wilson herself. But, though scarlet with embarrassment at the time, I still feel that the perfect atmosphere for listening to jazz should be like Rick’s Café in Casablanca… a smoky, low buzz with a just streak of rebellion running through it.

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Their different brands of comedy are woven together by Marianne Thamm and a slew of hilarious original YouTube-esk videos making fun of Australians and Fat Attack. Marianne Thamm’s relentless clit jokes were the hit with the audience but to my mind it was Shimmy who stole the show with her spot on impersonations.

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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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And Lira is a great crowd pleaser, engaging with her audience and getting them cheering and gyrating. Lira’s slender frame twirled with the music and got everybody dancing while the kids bolted and tumbled amongst the child minders in the special kids play area. Track after track flowed as the sun sank lower in the sky, with particular highlights being her award winning hits such as ‘Feel Good’ and ‘Soul in Mind’.

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In fact everything was so mellow that the band’s entry on stage around 4pm caused hardly a ripple. But as soon as they started playing, the crowd rose to its feet in a tie-dyed, happy-clappy frantic dance of jubilation and emancipation.

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Myer’s playing was light and agile, brilliantly capturing the galant style and humour in Haydn’s music. This work also set the tone for the remainder of the programme: while Myer might have selected a number of dazzling virtuoso pieces, it was clear that he had instead elected to play some of his personal favourites. The recital felt intimate and dear and the audience felt like privileged guests, listening with great admiration.

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The Baxter production of A Christmas Carol takes the original literature and douses it with South African witticisms, culture, pop culture and political references. Writer and director Lara Foot takes Dickens’ classic tale and makes it as South African as biltong, milk tart and koeksisters – even throwing in some topical quips. The result is a production bursting with South African flavour, and all the tastier for the amount of South African talent it features.

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Bitchy Bingo is fun to play but only the brave and extremely competitive have any desire to win the bragging rights and a hamper made up of craft beer and sparkly paraphernalia. Winning means going up on stage with Lady Le Roux and only she leaves that stage looking cool.

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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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Influenced by the dot painting of aboriginal communities, Jimmy C has been developing his own style since the age of 16 when he was living on the streets and expressing himself through street art. His spraypainting style has been dubbed “aero soul painting” because of the innovative application and intimate feel of his portraits.

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Haskell’s leading lady Rianie Strydom ­ one of the country’s leading female cellarmasters ­ was charmingly down to earth, and described her participation with UnWined as a chance “to utilize the business input of my experience as sommelier”.

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Jou Ma Se Comedy Club has now taken Cape Town comedy by the balls. As the only dedicated comedy venue in Cape Town, it was no surprise to see, on opening night, some industry heavyweights out in full support of the venture. Soli Philander, Riaad Moosa (currently back in SA for the local premiere of the upcoming Mandela biopic), Siv Ngesi of the Race Card fame, Mel Jones, Stuart Taylor, Carl Weber and many more rubbed shoulders with an enthusiastic crowd.

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“Alongside the company’s new works are two of Christopher L Huggin’s popular pieces. The first, When Dawn Comes, is a lighthearted depiction of the joyful possibilities that a new day brings.”

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