In early October, Performing Arts, in collaboration with the National Theatre of Namibia held two special evenings showcasing the talents of both staff and students, backstage at NTN. On the first night, drama and music were showcased with three powerful short drama pieces (ranging from comedy to psychological suspense) presented by students inside the venue, while the choir under dynamic leader, Bonnie Pereko and the band, performed outside during intermissions.
On the Saturday afternoon, three free workshops were offered to the public on mbira performance, vocal exercises & song learning, stage acting, and script writing.
All the dance pieces by students were ensemble pieces that were vibrant, energetic, and engaged with enthusiastic audiences. The main highlight was the lecturers’ performance, mainly consisting of students, for which they received a standing ovation. These individual performances were like a gift from the lecturers to their students after a year of hard work. They included songs by the brilliant Bonnie (and one love song with Sascha), two moving modern feminist pieces by Sepiso Mwange, wonderful saxophone pieces by Elifas Kauwinga which were reminiscent of township jazz, playing of the mbira and a traditional stringed instrument, the chipendani, by Dr Perminus Matiure, two amazing animal fables narrated by Suzette van der Smit, two heartfelt prose pieces (‘Rage’ was particularly powerful) from Laurinda Olivier-Sampson and superb sensual belly dances from Sascha Olivier-Sampson, involving a scimitar, a rope of colourful flashing lights, Isis wings, and gorgeous costumes. On keyboard was Hans Hariseb and on piano Erina Junius.
There was the magical vibe of elation on stage on both evenings which transferred to the audience.
Well done to the Performing Arts Section – both staff and students – and also to the NTN technical team. There was so much talent and discipline displayed and the two evenings were really enjoyable at the bargain price of N$30.
Original story by: Helen Vale (former senior lecturer in literature, English Department, UNAM)