KALAHARI KAROO BLUES, Baxter Theatre, David Kramer, Hannes Coetzee, Ronnie Moipolai, Oteng Piet
Past Articles by This Author:
BWW Reviews: Moving KALAHARI KAROO BLUES is a Must-See
Piet himself plays a unique, one-stringed one stringed known as the segaba, while Barolong's instrument of choice is a handmade fenjoro violin. It is in introducing these two musicians and their instruments that Kramer makes one of the most salient points of the evening's entertainment, that these instruments are not simply attempts to recreate instruments from Europe, but instruments that evolved as a part of cultural expressions across the Southern African region. Also appearing onstage is Ronnie Moipolai, who plays the guitar upside down, using a technique known as "katara". The press release for this show says that his playing 'has to be seen to be believed' and when he takes centre stage, Moipolai is astounding. Jaw-dropping stuff.
KALAHARI KAROO BLUES" src="http://southafrica.broadwayworld.com/upload10/447596/KalahariJKKonline676.jpg" alt="Babsi Barolong in KALAHARI KAROO BLUES" width="233" height="350" />The last of the featured artists is Mary Kriel, a folksinger from Vredendal, who accompanies herself on a coffee tin. Whether she is singing her own songs or enjoying the others' music from the sidelines, she is delightful and enchanting, completely in her element when immersed by the music that surrounds her.
During the performance of KALAHARI KAROO BLUES, the thing that occurred to me time and again was how vulnerable the act of performance makes the performer. These musicians are sharing with the audience the thing that defines their lives. When the Piet, Barolong and Moipolai had some trouble tuning their instruments when they wanted to play together, you could sense how high the stakes were for them. It is that kind of emotional truth and depth that is at the heart of what is expressed in this concert and what makes KALAHARI KAROO BLUES a must-see. Get there before it closes next Saturday.
KALAHARI KAROO BLUES will be performed at the Baxter Theatre until 19 January. Tickets can be booked at Computicket.
Photo credit: Jesse Kate Kramer
Born and bred in South Africa, David has loved theatre since the day he set foot on stage in his preschool nativity play. He graduated with a Master of Arts (Theatre and Performance) degree from the University of Cape Town in 2005, having previously graduated from the same university with a First Class Honours in Drama in 2002. An ardent essayist, David won the Keswick Prize for Lucidity for his paper "Homosexual Representation in the Broadway Musical: the development of homosexual identities and relationships from PATIENCE to RENT". Currently, he teaches Dramatic Arts at a high school in Cape Town and also freelances as a theatremaker and performer. |