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Three SA Theatre Productions Nominated for Prestigious Canadian Awards

The National Arts Council of South Africa (NAC) is delighted to announce that three productions staged as part of the prestigious Canadian Stage: Spotlight South Africa festival in April have been nominated for Toronto’s Dora Mavor Moore Awards, which honour excellence in the performing arts.

Athol Fugard’s Nongogo, William Kentridge’s Ubu and the Truth Commission and Luyanda Sidiya’s Dominion all played to critical acclaim during the recent season. The winners will be announced by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) on Monday, 22 June 2015.

Dominion is nominated in the Outstanding Dance Production category, while both Nongogo and Ubu and the Truth Commission are nominated in the Outstanding Touring Production category, giving a total of three nominations to the Spotlight South Africa festival in TAPA’s 36th annual Dora Awards.

Rosemary Mangope, CEO of the NAC, says: “We are delighted that the outstanding talent involved in all three productions has been recognised by these nominations. Successes such as the three-week Canadian Stage collaboration enable the NAC to not only broaden its international remit and celebrate the best of South African performance on an international platform, but also to support SA’s vibrant and talented arts practitioners as they engage and delight audiences outside their home country. We wish all those involved the very best of luck at the Dora Awards in Toronto. ”

The three productions nominated for the Dora Mavor Moore Awards are:

Dominion: renowned choreographer Luyanda Sidiya’s dance programme is inspired by the deep tribal energy he senses from his land and people. Presented as a double bill, Dominion includes performances of Umnikelo – which presents traditional African dance with a modern twist – and the title performance, Dominion, a searing contemporary work. In this programme, Sidiya explores the levels of power that individuals possess, how this power is unleashed and how it can have a positive or negative impact on our society – be it in a social or political space.

Nongogo: set against the vibrant turbulence of the 1950s, a township romance unfolds as long-buried secrets are revealed. Produced by The Market Theatre, Athol Fugard’s play reflects on South Africa’s history as a rich and complex tapestry that both shapes and imprisons its people. The Toronto production featured acclaimed SA actor Desmond Dube, who earned a best supporting actor Naledi Award for his performance in Nongogo in 2014.

Ubu and the Truth Commission: William Kentridge’s masterful collaboration with Handspring Puppet Company (acclaimed globally for their work on War Horse) in which puppetry, live actors, music, animation and documentary footage are combined to fuse the chaos of a century-old legend with original testimony from witnesses at the post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Filled with dark and sardonic wit, Ubu and the Truth Commission combines documentary footage, wonderful animation, poignant puppetry and superb performances.

The NAC, together with Canadian Stage, brought a total of six productions to Toronto, showcasing some of SA’s leading performers, writers, directors and choreographers, in a special three-week Spotlight South Africa festival, which ran from April 8 to 25, 2015. The three other productions were Steven Cohen’s Chandelier and dancer and choreographer Mamela Nyamza’s The Meal and Hatched.

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