Jul 8, 2019Makhanda – The National Arts Festival closed on Sunday 7 July after an eleven day cultural binge of arts and entertainment. A sold out performance by Freshlyground and a free parade through the streets of Makhanda helped see out the Festival. Organisers say it’s too early to report on how the Festival performed but the overall impression is that the 2019 National Arts Festival was resilient in tough economic times and very well received by audiences. On Saturday night, the Standard Bank Ovation Awards celebrated artistic innovation, excellence, the exploration of new performance styles and the courage to open new conversations at the National Arts Festival. This year the Ovations panel (who anonymously visit productions on the Fringe) comprised 28 members including artists, theatre practitioners, academics and other experts in the cultural field. Theatre-maker Mandisi Sindo was the convenor of this year’s panel, and he was joined by co-convenors Tara Notcutt and Nondumiso Msimang The Standard Bank Ovation Award ceremony honoured all the winners of Ovations recognised throughout the Festival’s run, and also named the winners of the prestigious Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards. Special awards were also given across numerous categories. Winning an Ovation Award is considered an important mark of quality work and the accolade forms a pathway from the Fringe to the Arena programme for which Ovation winners are invited to submit works. Says convenor Mandisi Sindo, “The National Arts Festival Fringe programme is and has always been the heart of the National Arts Festival.”It gives platform and a space to all art practitioners from all art forms. The Fringe programme was made up of hundreds of productions including theatre, family fare, comedy, illusion, dance, contemporary music, music recital , poetry, visual art, film and physical theatre. Some from the development phase of creation and others already in the professional spectrum. This year’s Fringe festival productions spoke strongly of the political and environmental issues that affect us all.” This year’s outstanding Standard Bank Ovation Award winners were: Gold Standard Bank Ovation Award winners XOVA – South African State Theatre Silver Standard Bank Ovation Award winners FRUIT – Sketch Productions (Theatre) WARONA – Ukwanda Puppets & Design Art Collective (Theatre) UNFATHOMABLE by Alex Halligey and Athena Mazarakis (Theatre) LOST & FOUND – Matchbox Theatre Collective and Theatre on Pointe (Dance) Bronze Standard Bank Ovation Winners CURRENTLY (G)OLD – Kwasha Theatre Company (Theatre) (W)ASEM – Terence Makapan (Theatre) A PLACE OF KNOWING – Intsusa in collaboration with TheatreDuo (Theatre) UMNOTHO THE ECONOMY – Young Outreach Artists (Theatre) YOU SHOULD BE DANCING – FollowSpot Productions (Comedy) Standard Bank Ovation Cut Above Winners QUAVA by Quava Vocal Choir (Music Recital and Review) UMTHOMBO – Amandla Danca Teatro ZA (Dance, Physical or Visual Theatre) BENNY BUSHWACKER – Mamba Productions (Comedy) FAINT PATCH OF LIGHT – Sizile Arts Collective (Theatre) Standard Bank Ovation Ensemble Award Winners Awarded to an ensemble cast The cast of CURRENTLY (G)OLD by Kwasha Theatre Company (Theatre) The cast of PLACE OF KNOWING by Intsusa & Theatre Duo (Theatre) The cast of UMNOTHO THE ECONOMY by the Young Outreach Artists (Theatre) The cast of WARONA by the Ukwanda Puppets & Design Art Collective (Theatre) The cast of JEREMIAH FYAH ISES AND THE BAAKAHYAAD BAND by Jeremiah Fyah Ises (Contemporary Music) Standard Bank Ovation Solo Award Winners Awarded to a single performer FRUIT – Matshidiso Mokoteli (Theatre) HOW TO BE A POLITICIAN IN SOUTH AFRICA 2019 – Nkosinathi Maki (Comedy) WHEN COASTS MEET– Khwezi Becker (Theatre) (W)ASEM – Terence Makapan (Theatre) BENNY BUSHWHACKER – Ben Voss (Comedy) Standard Bank Ovation Spirit of the Fringe Award Awarded to performers or productions whose work represented the spirit and variety of the Fringe THE BLIND DATEby the South African Library for the Blind JR NKOSI DUO by JR Nkosi FollowSpot Productions Rob van Vuuren Stuart Lightbody Standard Bank Ovation Award Winners 2019 The full list of the productions that received Standard Bank Ovation Awards at the 2019 National Arts Festival are: Saturday 6 July A FAINT PATCH OF LIGHT – Sizile Arts CollectiveMAKHANDA KWANTU CHOIR: VOICE DANCE! – Kwantu Group Friday 5 July 047 – Muthaland EntertainmentiGRUFFALO – National Arts Festival / Tall Stories UKYOUR PERFECT LIFE – F CreationsBENNY BUSHWHACKER – Mamba ProductionsUMNOTHO THE ECONOMY – Young Outreach Artists(W)asem – Terence MakapanWALLS & PILLOWS – Peo Entle ProductionWARONA – Ukwanda Puppets & Design Art Collective Thursday 4 July XOVA – South African State TheatreTHE CHOCOLATE CHRONICLES – Siv Ngesi Productions Wednesday 3 July FRUIT – Sketch ProductionsCLIQUE CLAQ Tuesday 2 July WHEN COASTS MEETA STAR IS BORN – THE RISE AND FALL OF JUDY GARLAND – Wela Kapela ProductionsJEREMIAH FYAH ISES AND THE BAAKAHYAAD BAND – Jeremiah Fyah IsesCURRENTLY (G)OLD – Kwasha Theatre Company Monday 1 July NGUVU YA MBEGU – Abengcongolo CollectiveUMTHOMBO – Amandla Danca Teatro ZAFRIZZ POP – Frizz Pop ComedySAXMAN ANDREW YOUNG & BANDHOW TO BE A POLITICIAN IN SOUTH AFRICA – 2019 – Maki Holdings (Pty) LtdTHE SYRINGA TREE Sunday 30 June UNFATHOMABLE YOU SHOULD BE DANCING – FollowSpot Productions Saturday 29 June TATS IS CANCELLED – Siv Ngesi ProductionsLOST & FOUND – Matchbox Theatre Collective and Theatre on PointeLITTLE RED RIDING HOOD & THE BIG BAD METAPHORS – University of PretoriaMOTHER EARTH – Nan Hua Temple Friday 28 June A PLACE OF KNOWING – Intsusa in collaboration with TheatreDuoQUAVA VOCAL GROUP 2019 Student Awards The winners of the 2019 Student Awards were also announced at the Standard Bank Ovation Awards ceremony. They are: Best Writer The writer of LE JOURNAL The Market Theatre Laboratory Best Director Noluthando Mpho Sibisi for SALT – Rhodes University Best Actors The cast of LE JOURNAL (Boipelo Mahabane, Khanya Zibaya, Khanyisile Malatsi, Khethukhuthula Jele, Miriam Mayet, Mosehlana Mamaregane, Mpho Khobane, Ndumiso Mazibuko, Sicelo Buthelezi, Wonder Ndlovu, Violet Moeng) The Market Theatre Laboratory Best Ensemble The Ensemble of: PHITLHO (THE HIDDEN) – Kuena Khama, Ipelegeng Leepile, Hlobile Makukule, Lehloanyane Mohapi, Koketso Motlhabane, Bathabile Ngxingweni, Maboroko Ramusi, Sebenzile Sibiya, and Jaco Van Zyl. AFDA Johannesburg Best Overall Student Production SALT Rhodes University The 2019 Standard Bank Ovations Awards panel were: Pesa Pheko, Mxolisi Masilela, Keabetswe Motlhale, Thami Mbongo, Alfredo Brillenbourg, Kgomotso Ditshwene, Sizwe Zuma, Tiisetso Tlelima, Phemello Hellemann, Michèle de Villiers, Themba Mbuli, Mziyanda Mancam, Chumani Mtshixa, Tsepiso Nzayo, Lonwabo Xatasi, Nomthandazo Nxabela, Tinyiko Barbara Ngobeni, Zizipho Matu, Bob Meijs, Bailey Snyman, Ralph Howell, Hannah Howell, Tara Notcutt, Hannah Ma, Steven Fales, Fundi Liphaphang and Mandisi Sindo. Nondumiso Lwazi Msimang adjudicated the Student Theatre Awards. Looking to NAF2020 The 2020 National Arts Festival will take place from 25 June to 5 July. The Call for Proposals for 2020 National Arts Festival Main programme will be announced shortly. Image: Ovation Award winners and members of the Standard Bank Ovation Awards panel celebrate – download this image by Mark Wessels. Follow more RNEWS articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel and for breaking news LIKE us on Facebook. For news on the Western Cape click here.For great savings on life’s little pleasures visit Bargain Buys! Know somebody who is getting married, Wedding and Function can assist. Have kids, then you need to visit Kids Connection. Enjoy food and travel, then visit Home Food and Travel. Need assistance with an online presence, visit Agency One.