New video – watch Gregory Maqoma’s ‘Exit/Exist’

Headlining the dance strand of our Africa Utopia festival (1 – 28 July) is Gregory Maqoma with Exit/Exist. 

 

 

Catch Gregory Maqoma at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of Africa Utopia on 17 July. Get tickets here. 

Inua Ellams – staging a production outdoors

Catch Inua Ellams’ Knight Watch as part of Africa Utopia at Southbank Centre on Sunday 22 July. Get tickets here. 

Take a look at the full Africa Utopia listings 1 – 28 July. 

Listen to an extract of Knight Watch: Inua Ellams’ new show

Here’s a sneak preview of Inua Ellams in his new show about the destruction of a city with live music by Zashiki Warashi Drum and Flute duo (Akinori Fujimoto and Mikey Kirkpatrick).

Catch Inua Ellams’ Knight Watch as part of Africa Utopia at Southbank Centre on Sunday 22 July. Get tickets here. 

Take a look at the full Africa Utopia listings 1 – 28 July. 

Performances from the world’s poets and spoken word artists at Poetry Parnassus

Come and be part of history in the making at Poetry Parnassus, Tuesday 26 June – Sunday 1 July, as poets gather from across the globe to give readings and masterclass workshops. A host of the most exciting poets, rappers, spoken-word artists, singers and storytellers come together for this groundbreaking festival, including Seamus Heaney, Simon Armitage, Wole Soyinka and more.

The Financial Times interviews Poetry Parnassus curator Simon Armitage and some of the other poets involved – take a glance at the whole article here, including poems from all over the world: Jang Jin-sung (North Korea), Nasaria Suckoo-Chollette (Cayman Islands), Selina Tusitala Marsh (Tuvalu), Evelyne Trouillot (Haiti), Raúl Henao (Colombia).

Poetry Parnassus runs from Tuesday 26 June – Sunday 1 July. Hear Simon Armitage along with Seamus Heaney, Wole Soyinka, Jo Shapcott and more as they give readings on Friday 29 June – for more information see here.

There are also over 100 free events and activities to get involved in – try your hand at a spot of Poetry Karaoke, get a takeaway poem made to order and create your very own poem in our inflatable tube carriage inspired by the Poems on the Underground!

For full details about the festival visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk/poetryparnassus

Inua Ellams talks about his new show – Knight Watch

Inua Ellams, ‘London’s hottest new spoken word talent’ (The Times) and the man behind the smash-hit successes The 14th Tale and Black T-shirt Collection is back with his new show, Knight Watch. 

We’re pleased to be welcoming Knight Watch to Southbank Centre as part of our Africa Utopia festival in July 2012.

Here’s an interview with Inua in the rehearsal room.

 

Catch Inua Ellams’ Knight Watch as part of Africa Utopia at Southbank Centre on Sunday 22 July. Get tickets here. 

Take a look at the full Africa Utopia listings 1 – 28 July. 

Donka – the reviews are in!

‘Daniele Finzi Pasca’s name alone means you’re in for something special. After all, his previous shows include the gorgeous sky trilogy of Nomade, Rain and Nebbia for Cirque Eloize, and Corteo for Cirque du Soleil. He has described his ability to come up with one masterpiece after another as similar to having children. It just happens.

Now Finzi Pasca’s gaze falls on Chekhov and, after studying his diaries and works, he has created the playful Donka. Apparently Chekhov loved circus – who doesn’t these days? – and magical visual trickery and circus acts of startling brilliance are threaded with elements of his writing and interests. It helps if you know the stories but everyone will recognise the three sisters (here bickering on static trapeze), his work as a doctor and his love of fishing, alongside references to suicide and death.

Evocative music from Maria Bonzanigo, Giovanna Buzzi’s glorious period costumes, Roberto Vitalini’s filmic video projections and Finzi Pasca’s own graphic lighting help conjure a dream world where anything might happen.
Many of the extraordinary international circus artists, dancers and musicians are as supple as contortionists and all of them sing. The silhouette/shadow-play sequences and trompe l’oeil acrobatics are exceptional and you won’t see more beautiful work on Cyr wheel than that of David Menes, whose acro-balance number with Karen Bernal is unique and whose juggling skills also impress. Revealing all the surprises would spoil things but it is worth crawling through fire for the exquisite first act finale.

Strange and surreal, funny and fun, Donka is simply dazzling.’

(Liz Arratoon, The Stage)

‘This is the stuff of delirious dreams, in which strange images bleed into each other… the level of skill is remarkable.’ (Lyn Gardner, The Guardian)

Catch the final few performances of Donka at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall – must end 8 June. More info and book tickets here. 

Donka in photos!

Donka, photo: Viviana CangialosiDonka, photo: Viviana CangialosiDonka, photo: Viviana CangialosiDonka, photo: Viviana CangialosiDonka, photo: Viviana CangialosiDonka, photo: Viviana CangialosiDonka, photo: Viviana CangialosiDonka, photo: Viviana Cangialosi

Catch Donka at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall from 2 – 8 June 2012. More info and get tickets here.