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“In a time where there is a global hunger for better leadership and a tendency to blamestorm accountability, a company called Heavy Chef is quietly starting tiny revolutions.”

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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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It was a brilliant concept for an unusually groovy evening: hanging out in an art gallery with some very cool South African musicians having an informal jam session. Numbers are limited, but there are a handful of tickets left for the next Blind Tiger Sessions. Get one.

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For the pan-African intellectuals the large balcony provided enough breathing and listening space for a decent conversation while being close enough to the dance floor to still feel a part of the party. The bar became the middle ground for either warming up to or cooling down from the dance-floor.

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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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“I’m not as pretty as Justin Bieber… but I’ve been around longer!” laughed Jon Bon Jovi. And after 30 years of rocking, he could definitely show newcomers a thing or two.

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The complexities of Skierlik, a play written and performed by the multitalented Phillip Dikotla, are hidden under a thin veil of simplicity. A bare stage with a box in the middle and a single actor dressed in red overalls sets the scene for an expertly woven story of tangled emotions.

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“The place is kind of hard to find… like it normally is with G-spots,” laughs Lulu le Roux, Amberblack’s vocalist, as she organises lifts to the esteemed muso hang-out in Wynberg. And indeed, it is hidden away in the heart of the ‘burb in an apartment complex.

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Like a magician using a pretty assistant, the art of misdirection is liberally applied as attention is pulled and pushed between the singing of “Les Blondes”, the dancing of “the triplets” and the charms of the exceptionally talented menfolk in the show.

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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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The farmstead of Beaumont Wines is a far cry from the immaculate, manicured grounds of many wine estates on the more standard tour. This is proudly a working farm with a beauty that comes from the owners’ genuine love for the place rather than any need to impress visitors.

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Billed as a green festival, Rocking The Daisies is one of those events that even the folks over at BP would want to attend. Green initiatives such as the groups who walk and cycle to the venue at Cloof wine estate outside Darling are part of what makes RTD stand out from other festivals.

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My partner in adventure announced it a triumph before they’d even started singing. As my first opera, I thought it sensible to tag along with someone who could tell me what on earth was going on. But in fact the story was a cinch, the set was superb and the singing was sublime. I hardly needed the tears coursing down my friend’s cheeks to tell me that Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail was a massive success.

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Contemplating the vastness of the universe has always been a great chat up technique. Since the dawn of speech, men have been making things up about the stars in the hope of getting lucky. So in theory, what with 2009 being the International Year of Astronomy, 2010 should be a baby boomer year.

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Any carnival is bound to be held up for comparison against the Rio Carnival. I have no idea how they would compare, but as a showcase of local community talent this event did us Capetonians proud.

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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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Last up was the reason everyone was there: the veritable Woodstock Mafia. They’re the type of band you’ve heard about and know about long before you’ve actually seen or heard them play.

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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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From extreme electronic noise to subtle whispers via fusions of traditional music, field recordings and sudden psychotic screams. All of this is melting together in and outside the festival venues with an openness, acceptance and encouragement to push through social and artistic challenges.

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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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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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