HIFA 2014 – Day 2

1 05 2014

A busy day. Traditionally sponsored by CABS, a local banking group, and with it the traditional opera night. Best described as opera light for novices, a lot of small but well known pieces are sung. I am not much of an opera fan but there is no denying the skill of the singers. It’s a fairly casual affair – only the singers and musicians dress up, the rest of us bring food and wine and sit on the grass. Yes, it IS a spectacle but if you missed it this year you will just have to wait until next year.

My first assignment of the day was the National Ballet modelling bridal inspired fashion at the fashion dome. No supermodel strutting here – it was all en pointe. A bit brief the show lasted all of 15 minutes so if you are thinking of catching the second half be on time.

Vibe Culture are a local band that plays “afro-mbira rock fusion” (according to the programme. Not that I would know!). Accomplished musicians all (that’s from my friend Caro who knows about these things) the lead singer has a fantastic voice and the dancer is probably the most photogenic performer I’ve seen in a long time!

Stephen Prutsman looked visibly jet-lagged on stage but still produced great classical piano music with “Bach and Forth” a melange of Bach and other composers moving forward in time (alternating between Bach and the others). If you appreciate good classical music and can recognize great piano playing you should catch the second show on Friday evening at the NMB Recital Room.

aCadao Canto are a Spanish group and very easy listening. They play mainly Galician music and will be on again at Lays Global Stage Thursday evening. If you just want to chill at the end of a hectic day and take in something different, then get there.





HIFA – Day 4

5 05 2012

A very interesting day. A Handful of Keys with Ian von Memerty and Roelof Colyn was sheer entertainment; two pianos expertly played and homage paid and satired to the greats of piano from Fats Domino to Elton John. Very funny and quite risqué. A near capacity audience at the 7 Arts theatre loved it!

Maria de Barros and her band then entertained at the Global Stage in the main HIFA gardens complex. A Cape Verdian with a good band behind her she had the audience on its feet with a mixture of soul and a touch of reggae and well, all sorts! Not really my style of music but certainly fun.

My prize so far for sheer creativity goes to Leo put on by the German physical theatre company Circle of Eleven. Featuring just one actor in a 3 sided box which was then projected onto another screen rotate 90 degrees – just about anything becomes possible. It’s a bit difficult to see what’s going on in my photos as I was sitting on the right of the stage when it would have been better to sit in the middle. The show starts off funny, becomes a bit sad but in the end descends into a nightmare.

The next prize for shear difference goes to Dream Streets & Labyrinth performed by New York based Cornelius Dufallo. Even he failed to describe the music he plays. Mostly violin with his own backing instrumentals recorded on computer the music is played with some very different visuals projected onto a big screen behind him. I liked it enough to buy a CD but I suspect it will take some getting used to and am not sure how well it will work without the video. As one spectator said behind me at the end; “Not your average HIFA performance”. No, but it was great all the same! Bravo, it took some courage to put that on. See the next performance if you like exploring different music.