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The rugby theme is just the patch of grass from which a much bigger debate is kicked off. Each of the 24 actors on stage represents a different voice of the South African psyche. In particular, the voice of the South African male. And in this group, the focus is on the white Afrikaner male. This is a demographic that once had the most powerful voice in South Africa. With the fall of apartheid – many would argue – Afrikaner men were emasculated. Much of Balbesit revolves around the lost and faded voice of the Afrikaner man and questions where he stands today.

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There were bubbles. There was smoke. There was snow and fireworks. Disney on Ice commemorates 100 years of magic in one ice escapade. This was a trip down memory lane with your favourite childhood characters.

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‘Rock star’ and ‘cellist’ are not normally heard uttered in the same breath. Except, that is, in the case of the phenomenally talented (and easy on the eye) Zuill Bailey.

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This mesmerizing and inspiring performance proves the possibilities between able and disabled bodies to narrow the gap and form an integrated community. Unmute leaves the audience visually in awe and emotionally vulnerable.

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It is a fun, light-hearted production, which celebrates the shallowness in each one of us while recognizing the basic faults which make us human.

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There were some obscure questions, some questions to which we knew the answers but for the life of us couldn’t remember, and some really easy ones that had us all gabbling in whispers. But at the end of the night you realise it’s not really about whether you get all the questions right, it’s about the fun you have trying to answer them.

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Up The Creek isn’t just about its river (okay 99.01%). It also throws together diverse artists for some killer collaborations. Al Bairre and a few of the guys from Nomadic Orchestra performed a bouncy mashup of ‘Walking on Sunshine’ and Beyonce’s ‘Halo’. Bandolero can only be described as a dynamic musical extravaganza

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The range and depth of her visionary spectrum is quite astonishing. In nightmarishly illustrative essays on the industrial components of the mining industry, she summons up the deadly beauty of smelters, capacitors and convertors using hand-made pastels derived from metal wastes.

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As the sun went down, so did the dreamy optimism. Modest Mouse – the most anticipated act of the night – changed the mood with their feisty, this-is-how-it-is confidence.

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All you had to do was to follow the clusters of people all walking in the same direction – not towards the main entrance, but off to the side down what initially reminded me of the kind of dark, deserted alleys where people become victims.

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This year marked a decade of Rocking the Daisies, and with 22 000 fans present, its maturing might was certainly felt. Featuring nine stages and a line-up of international headliners, Cape Town’s best-known festival drew in the crowds.

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“Families, couples, friends and singles all milled about, lost in an electric score of warm laughter, cheerful chatter and crisp beats whirling out from the DJ setup on the main stage.”

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Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts hosted the 9th Cape Town Folk ‘n Acoustic Music Festival, featuring a plethora of mostly South African artists and a range of genres, from bluegrass and folk to Cape jazz. The festival included Fruit Vendor, Rory Eliot, Natasha Meister, Farryl Purkiss, Majozi, Touchwood, Basson Laubscher, Crimson House, BlackByrd, Blues Broers, Manouche, Donovan Copley and Kahn Morbee. It’s great to see the variety of popular and up-and-coming South African talent out there, although the fact that each artist only got to perform two songs interrupted the flow of the evening and prevented any real audience–artist interaction.

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He doesn’t care much for an audience, only really to sing. And play. He performs songs he loves, and you’re welcome to listen. Or not. The songs don’t care.

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“As the characters become more clearly defined, they swing between humour, pathos, and wonder as adroitly as Eric Ksouri’s foreboding score. Most memorable, though, is the seamless intertwining of choreography, acting and puppetry.”

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“Wine tasting stations were set beneath log structures, and charming seating areas were made up of logs, boles, checked table cloths and buckets of freshly picked apples.”

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The chemistry between the male leads was one of the most natural pairings I have ever seen. This was most obvious during “Take My Breath Away” when Opperman dances with Nicola van de Merwe while Marshbank and James Bradley partner up.

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Amos is the real-deal; she doesn’t need smoke, mirrors, fireworks and dance troupes to enthral. Instead, she weaves her own magic spell and ensnares you with her voice. Clearly consumed by and in her music, watching Amos live is to peek through the curtains and catch just a fleeting glimpse into her magical, whimsical, busy mind before she slips away back into her own world much like the Selkie in her eponymous track stealing back to the sea.

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What does a crowd of 12500 look like? A completely full field at Val de Vie Wine and Polo Estate, a queue of hundreds of people out of the gates, and a slight traffic jam in the road outside.

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You know you had a good time at Synergy Live if: you’re annoying anyone who will listen to the “you should have been there” stories, the line up was killer, and your tent did not make it the weekend. Check, check and check.

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The eccentricity of the place mirrored the alternative approaches to the guitar taken by the two performers and raconteurs – Cox’s dose of wild Afro-rock fusion, and Forcione’s softer jazzy, comedic, and gypsy-styled playing.

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The band, fronted by Zolani Mahola, opened their Kirstenbosch show with the catchy ‘Buttercup’, and Zolani’s voice is possibly even more clear and spectacular when heard live than on a CD.

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Apart from being left in awe at the visual and conceptual beauty, delicacy and insight in her work Wildenboer’s collection is emotionally evocative and extremely accessible. Thus the excited, expectant and responsive attendance of her opening night comes, retrospectively, as no surprise.

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This was the most accessible, eclectic and sustainable lifestyle festival I’ve encountered thus far. Everybody was tasting everything and an assortment of people flitted between the myriad wine stalls like boisterous bees in Bacchus’s backyard.

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And not only does Green Man Flashing have all the right moves in all the right places aesthetically, but the text of this post-post democratic masterpiece delves into the collective conscious of South African political psychology and facilitates the debate of individual rights v. ‘the bigger picture’.

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An alleyway in 1700 Andalusia, southern Spain reveals a small fire poised on cobblestone. Its flames cast shadows of a rich history across the skin of the dancing gypsy woman as her heart bleeds poetry across her lips and the pelting drums break open the night sky.

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