Luyanda Sidiya’s SIVA at Grahamstown

Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance Luyanda Sidiya will present his new work, SIVA (Seven), at the National Arts Festival from July 6 to 8.

Sidiya is the artistic director of Vuyani Dance Theatre, and the premiere of this work on the Main programme of the Grahamstown festival is the crowning glory in a year that has seen him fêted locally and abroad for his outstanding choreography.

Earlier this year, he was nominated for a Naledi Theatre Award for his choreography on the Market Theatre’s 2014 musical production Ketekang. More recently, his work Dominion was in the running for a prestigious Canadian Dora Award for best dance production after it was staged in Toronto in April, under the auspices of the Spotlight on South Africa showcase presented by the National Arts Council and Canadian Stage.

“We are so thrilled about the recognition of the work we are creating,” says Sidiya. “At the 36th Doras, we were nominated among the best dance companies in the world. It is, indeed, a year of blessings and recognition for the hard work we have invested in our company over the years.”

Now, Sidiya’s attention has turned to Grahamstown, where five performances of SIVA (Seven) will be staged at the Alec Mullins hall next week. It is due to transfer to Johannesburg’s Market Theatre during the course of the year.

In true Vuyani spirit, the company has assembled a stellar creative and technical team to collaborate on SIVA. With choreography and direction by Sidiya, this ensemble production features Vuyani dancers as well as musicians Phosho Lebese, Mpumi Nhlapo and Teboho Mokoena.

Xolisile Bongwana serves as musical director, with Shanell Winlock as rehearsal director. Gerard Bester is dramaturge, with Oliver Hauser taking care of lighting design and Andrew Chandler creating the costumes.

Inspired by the number seven, which recurs constantly in the natural world and holds a significant meaning, SIVA interrogates the oneness, the completeness, which the individual yearns for amid society’s increasing disconnectedness.

Tickets are available online at http://www.nationalartsfestival.co.za, or at the various box offices in Grahamstown.

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