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Heavenly and magical
15 Nov 2012

A “MAGICAL moment of light, sound and heavenly activity” is how France’s Les Studios de Cirque’s Place des Anges (Angels’ Place) aerial display is described by those who have seen it.

Now KwaZulu-Natalians will have the chance to judge for themselves when the French aerial artists present the show in the Durban city centre, on Saturday, for the finale of the France -South Africa Seasons 2012 and 2013.

For 30 minutes, these twisting and twirling trapeze artists fly through the air, and release a cascade of feathers from suitcases and umbrellas on the unsuspecting crowds below.

“Taking place in the creative heart of Durban, [this show] will also serve to remind all of the city’s magnificent architectural beauty and artistic value, and to revive a sense of pride during these moments of playfulness,” Bongani Tembe, South African commissioner-general of the Seasons said.

While the crowds gather in the plaza in front of Durban’s city hall for the aerial show, other guests and dignitaries will be entertained with music and a theatrical presentation at the city hall and The Playhouse, before the outdoor spectacle starts at 8 pm.

Attractions include: Blue Fire’s fantastic street carnival and performances by the Clermont Community Choir, The SA Singers, The African Chorus with the Kwazulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, food and drink vendors, and DJ Sue from France — who will be playing a set, which ranges from “electro swing” to “twisted electro pop”, from 8.45 pm to 10.30 pm.

Admission to Saturday’s event is free and participants are encouraged to take picnic baskets. Those needing special parking and access needs, should phone 083 680 1479.

The France-South Africa Seasons 2012 and 2013 aim to improve mutual understanding, and to help raise South Africa’s profile in France and France’s image in South Africa by emphasising the values that the two countries share.

Tembe described the year’s events as a huge success, adding: “The French Season in South Africa 2012 provided a unique and varied platform from whence we could both explore these common interests, which resulted in the strengthening of ties between our two countries without a doubt.

“There were over 100 projects, exhibitions, concerts, performances, colloquiums and interactive sessions, which occurred across South Africa during the past six months.

“Within the programme is something for everyone. From the field of arts and culture alone, the season caters for lovers of dance, music, film, theatre, literature, visual arts and a variety of music genres. The French Season in our country allowed South Africans to experience French exhibitions and performances, which might otherwise never have made their way to our shores.”

Among the many projects were:

• the Home Movie Factory in Johannesburg, which saw 150 movies made by 1 400 members of the public in five weeks;

• the French Film Festival in South Africa, which attracted over 5 000 movie fans to its screenings in August;

• the 13th World Conference of Teachers of French, which took place in Durban;

• dance and theatre productions at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience in Durban;

• an exhibition of French masters in Johannesburg; and

• the current black and white photographic exhibition, Bridges, which can be viewed at the Durban Art Gallery.

This year’s French Season in South Africa will be followed by the South African Season in France, from May to December in 2013.

— Arts Editor.

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