5 Culture Dates in Johannesburg
Johannesburg is always culturally abuzz balancing formal and informal culture. Walls in Fordsburg and Newtown are a visual feast due to all the graffiti regularly scribbled onto them by artists trying to reclaim the space. To be alive in Johannesburg and interested in survival is a little like performance art in itself: from the man juggling at a red robot in the hopes of cajoling drivers to give him a few rand, to the woman on the other side of the street calling you over because she thinks she can make your hair look better, there’s never a dull moment.
With this vibrancy in mind, here are five suggested ‘formal’ culture dates in Johannesburg that span well past Valentine’s Day. Go see these five shows with your favourite person.
- A Raisin In The Sun – John Kani Theatre, Market Theatre, Newtown
Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 groundbreaking play about the Younger family in the South Side of Chicago trying to change their fortune debuts in South Africa for the first time, ever. Directed by James Ngcobo and starring the likes of Khulu Skenjana, Lesedi Job and Trena Bolden Fields, it’s a beautifully crafted tragedy that reaches the core of social disappointment. Read a review of the play here.
Duration: until February 28
- Mawande Ka Zenzile by Mawande Ka enzile – Stevenson Gallery, Braamfontein
This is the third solo exhibition of the Eastern Cape-born artist and his first in Johannesburg. The self-titled exhibition comprises paintings, sculptures and videowork. Ka Zenzile describes his work: “For me art becomes a space for contemplation where new allegories meet the old ones, and out of this fusion I develop different ways to expose how power works in our society and histories.”
Duration: until 11 March 2016
- Dance Umbrella – Soweto Theatre, Jabulani – and other venues in Newtown and Auckland Park
Dance Umbrella is a festival of contemporary dance which is currently in its 28th year. Featuring the work of international and local choreographers and dancers, including Mamela Nyamza, Gregory Maqoma and Sunnyboy Motau, it is guaranteed to challenge and mesmerise you. This year’s Dance Umbrella features works that consider xenophobia, the rush and tumble of violence in Johannesburg and toyi-toyi protest culture, among other things, and includes Swiss, Portuguese and German contributions.
Duration: 25 February – 6 March
- Comedy Night – Bassline, Newtown
Laugh out loud at Bassline. This edition of the monthly Comedy Night features comics who have become staples in the South African comedy industry including Celeste Ntuli, Jason Goliath and many more. Comedy is always a great date idea. Whether it’s your first date or one of a thousand you have had: there’s nothing as potent for a relationship as a good belly laugh.
Bassline is a great venue and friend of Kaya,you don’t want to miss out next Live@Bassline event.
Date: February 19
Tickets: R80 at the door
- Out There Session (poetry and jazz) – The Orbit, Braamfontein
Presented by Mysha Jenkins, Out There Session happens once a month at Johannesburg’s newest favourite jazz venue, The Orbit. Jenkins won the 2013 Mbokodo Award for poetry and has been writing and performing poetry for years. Go to the even if you enjoy story-telling through the mediums of poetry and jazz. There’s an Out There Session every month.
Date: February 16
Whether contemporary dance, spoken word or just a good chuckle is your thing, Johannesburg has everything cultural to set the night on fire.