The Insurrections Ensemble returns to the Homecoming Centre at District Six for two performances on the 25th and 26th of September. For those of you who managed to catch the Ensemble last year, the new repertoire is even more ambitious. It will be titled, The Storming and it is a very loose adaptation of Cesaire’s post-colonial adaptation of Shakespeare’s Tempest. Thanks to a range of experts Indian, Mauritian, Caribbean and local adaptations the Ensemble constructed an oratorio around the themes of violence that resonate across the Indian Ocean: slavery, indenture, national and political storms.
The event is curated by the SA History Online in association with the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape and the Centre for African Studies at the University of Cape Town. It is important to book immediately- the tickets will not have a price, you can donate as much as you want at the door. The money will be held in trust by the Ensemble for further musical projects.
The Ensemble performances at the Fugard Theatre in 2012, for the Centre for Creative Arts’ Poetry Africa festival in 2013 at the Homecoming Centre have generated two CDs. The first one with the eponymous title Insurrections was released in 2013 in Delhi and Cape Town. The second one, Mayihlome/Aaawandwill be launched at the September concert.
The choice of a narrative impulse for this new piece of work by lyricists, composers and performers was to try and take the work to a new sustained level, using common traditions of musical story-telling that are experimental and meaningful. This far, the parts (lyrics and songs) came to constitute the whole, this time, a sense of the musical whole will nurture the parts. It is in other words way beyond the original brainchild of Sumangala Damodaran, Sazi Dlamini, Neo Muyanga and Ari Sitas.
The ensemble will feature Ahsan Ali (sarangi), Pritam Ghosal (sarod), Pryia Sen (visuals) and Sumangala Damodaran (voice) from India and, Brydon Bolton (double-bass), Sazi Dlamini (bows, flutes, the uqadi, guitar and vocals), Reza Khota (guitars), Paki Peleole (percussion), Ncibakazi Mnukwana (voice, bows and percussion) and Bronwen Clacherty (voice, percussion and vibraphone) and Tina Schouw (guitar and voice) from South Africa. Jurgen Brauninger would have composed but alas, he will not be available for the Ensemble’s performance.
The poets are Vivek Narayanan and Sabitha Satchi from India, Malika Ndlovu, Ari Sitas, Tina Schouw and Mbali Vilakazi (South Africa). They may also contribute voice and on occasion, vocals.