HIFA shines in dark times

HIFA shines in dark times
Festival-goers reflect art of determination' theme

HIFA scintillated! The venues teemed with incredible performances and Zimbabweans took the theme - The Art of Determination - to heart, coming together to soothe their hearts and souls during one of the country's darkest periods.

The six sensational days of the Harare International Festival of the Arts saw an amazing array of dance and music, comedy and performance art that lifted spirits and reminded people of all that’s good in Zimbabwe.
At the same time, many of the theatre events touched on the many social issues bedeviling the country – making the Festival both entertainment and education.

One of the highlights was Trio Ivoire from Germany, the Ivory Coast and Holland). The band, made up of Hans Lüdemann (piano), Aly Keita (balaphon/sanza) and Chander Sardjoe (drums/percussion), played a tribute piece entitled Injure for all those displaced, beaten or killed during the post-election violence. Trio Ivoire were a huge success at HIFA with their concentrated, complex and beautiful combination of African rhythms and melodies and European jazz.

Lüdemann admitted he had been sceptical about the trip to Harare, feeling that holding a celebration under such circumstances was in appropriate. He later realised, though, that Zimbabweans needed something to raise their hopes and spirits. Emulating Trio’s success, Tony Cox belted out another piece that also touched on the current crisis, Jambanja – a word synonymous with torture, invasions, displacements and death in Zimbabwe. His piece conjured various moods and emotions that left audiences mesmerised. Born in Zimbabwe and now residing in South Africa, Tony Cox has become a guitar icon.
Opera-lovers were delighted by Dido and Aeneas, an opera by the English Baroque composer Henry Purcell, presented by the Modern Singers and conducted and directed by Margot Dennis. With passionate performances by the soprano and tenor, the crowds at the AON Zimbabwe Recital Room were mesmerised.

Oliver Mutukudzi’s closing show epitomised the spirit of HIFA, when audiences  clapped, stomped and waved in the name of peace. The superstar musician, accompanied by his son Sam, Louis Mhlanga and Steve Dyer, offered soulful and spiritually uplifting lyrics in an electric Sunday night atmosphere.

Post published in: Arts

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