10 SA JEWISH REPORT 04 - 11 February 2011 ARTS MATTERS TAPESTRY COMPILED BY ROBYN SASSEN ART, BOOKS, DANCE, FILM, THEATRE Call 084-319-7844 or email@example.com at least one week prior to publication Two maestros conduct AVA Gallery, Cape Town: “The Space Between”, a solo exhibition by Dale minor masterpieces Washkansky, until February PAUL BOEKKOOI Anichenko, last year’s Belorussian 18, (021) 424-7436. Unisa String Competition winner in The men who will lead the JPO’s first season this year: THERE IS a prominent overarching the ‘cello section, will perform the Bernhard Gueller (PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY WWW.COLBERTARTISTS.COM) and Gold of Africa Barbier theme found in the Johannesburg Concerto in D major. The only Mueller Museum, Cape Emil Tabakov. (PHOTOGRAPH BY VASILKA BALEVSKA, COURTESY FLICKR.COM) Philharmonic Orchestra’s First showstopper-concerto this season Town: “Earth is Watching Symphony Season of 2011, although will be Tchaikovsky’s Piano cipal guest conductor Bernhard & Juliet Overture (Tchaikovsky); Us”, an exhibition by it was not necessarily planned that Concerto No 1, performed by the Gueller leading the final three. Tzigane (Ravel); Introduction and Threads of Africa project, way. We are hearing many of the Taiwanese pianist Ching-Yun Hu. Three concerts will be repeated in Rondo Capriccioso (Saint-Saëns); until March 31, (021) 405-1540. minor masterpieces of major com- On the romantic symphonic fields the ZK Matthews Great Hall, Unisa Capriccio Espagnole (Rimsky- posers, a refreshing break from it is charm driving this season: main campus, Pretoria, on Sunday Korsakov). Goodman Gallery, hackneyed warhorses. Bizet’s Symphony in C, Dvorák’s afternoons at 15:00, while all six pro- March 2 and 3 (Jhb) – Conductor: Rosebank, Johannesburg: Take Mozart: We’re presented Symphony No 6 and Mahler’s grammes can be heard on Gueller. Soloist: Natalia Navrova, “Broomberg and Chanarin” with the wonderfully refined Sym- Symphony No 4, the last and most Wednesdays and Thursdays at 20:00 piano. Programme: Ancient Dances until February 12, (011) 788- phony No 36, the “Linz”, his first approachable in his “Wunderhorn” in the Linder Auditorium, Parktown, and Arias for the Lute, Suite I 1113. major piano concerto, the No 9, set, with the soprano in the finale Johannesburg. (Respighi); Piano Concerto No 9 – known as the “Jeunehomme” (a tan- reflecting a child’s vision of heaven. The full details for the season run- Jeunehomme (Mozart); Symphony iArt Gallery, Wembley, talisingly original work), as well as Our own Kelebogile Boikanyo will ning from February 9 to March 17, in C major (Bizet). Cape Town: “To skip the last his Impresario Overture, an instru- do the honours. are: March 9, 10 (Jhb) and 13 (Pta) – step”, a solo exhibition by mental rat-race with pin-pointed del- The first half of this programme February 9, 10 (Jhb) and 13 (Pta) – Conductor: Gueller. Soloist: Ching- Beth Armstrong, in honour icacy. is devoted to instrumental music Conductor: Tabakov. Soloist: Michael Yun Hu, piano. Programme: Eight of late Mark Hipper, until Take Beethoven: Both the from Wagner’s “Tristan und Roll, piano. Programme: Semiramide Russian Folk Songs (Liadov); Piano February 23, (021) 424-5150. Symphony No 4 and Piano Concerto Isolde”. Overture (Rossini); Piano Concerto Concerto No 1 (Tchaikovsky); No 4 is on the programme. For many The Bulgarian violinist Svetlin No 4 (Beethoven); Symphony No 36 – Symphony No 6 (Dvorák). Little Theatre, Cape Town: the latter work is the most refined, Roussev chose two shortish virtu- Linz (Mozart). March 16 and 17 (Jhb) Conductor: “The Great Gatsby”, directed searching and in the finale the most oso pieces instead of a full-blown February 16 and 17 (Jhb) – Gueller. Soloist: Kelebogile Boikanyo, by Luke Ellenbogen, until delectable of his five concertos, concerto. He’ll perform Ravel’s Conductor: Tabakov. Soloist: Georgi soprano. Programme: Prelude and February 19, (021) 480-7129. notwithstanding the heroics associ- gypsy-inspired “Tzigane” and the Anichenko, ‘cello. Programme: The Liebestod & Nachtgesang from ated with his “Emperor Concerto”, brilliantly showy “Introduction and Impresario Overture (Mozart); ‘Cello Tristan und Isolde (Wagner); Linder Auditorium, the No 5. Rondo Capriccioso” by Saint-Saëns. Concerto in D major (Haydn); Symphony No 4 (Mahler). Parktown: Mozart Festival These two composers didn’t write Two well-known maestros are Symphony No 4 (Beethoven). ends February 13, (011) 447- ‘cello concertos. That’s where Haydn sharing the podium: Emil Tabakov, February 23, 24 (Jhb) and 27 (Pta) – • For subscriptions, phone Neville 9264. On February 9 and 10, comes in. It is always a special treat Turkish born, will conduct the first Conductor: Tabakov. Soloist: Svetlin Pritchard at (011) 789-2733. Single the JPO begins 2011 with to hear any of them. Georgi three concerts, with the JPO’s prin- Roussev, violin. Programme: Romeo tickets: Computicket. Rossini’s overture from “Semiramide”, Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto and Mozart’s “Linz” Symphony. Soloist: Michael Roll (piano), Death camps trigger Washkansky photo exhibition MOIRA SCHNEIDER discourse around it. The fact that graphing his own landscapes at the what it means to be ‘other’ – those fig- Conductor: Emil Tabakov, CAPE TOWN survivor’s testimony is becoming camps, he decided to work from ures became like archetypes for me (011) 789-2733. PHOTOGRAPHS: DALE WASHKANSKY increasingly important due to the them, as opposed to the “more dis- to invest in and play around with.” time lapse - I feel that now’s the time tant experience”. Washkansky has also created some Market, Newtown: In the THE NAME Louis Washkansky will to really hold onto those stories and “I think that personal encounter pieces incorporating the printmak- Barney Simon, James forever be associated with the see that they don’t peter out.” transformed the project. Before, I ing and embroidery traditions which Ngcobo’s “Sunjata”, ends on world’s first heart transplant that The project was also a vehicle to didn’t know how to enter the spaces - are part of the exhibition. “I translat- March 6. In the Laager, was performed here in 1967 by Prof explore his Jewish identity, particu- that experience of them allowed me ed documentary (Holocaust) images Fugard’s “Sizwe Banzi is Christiaan Barnard. Now the recipi- larly regarding the way it was repre- to do that. into cross-stitch and tapestry - it Dead”, directed by Monageng ent’s grandson, Dale, is blazing his sented during the Nazi era. “I was “I chose the two sites quite specifi- tapped into the femininity of the two Motshabi, ends February 20. own trail with a photographic exhibi- interested in notions around the cally,” Washkansky adds, “because characters (mentioned above), and In the Theatre, “Songs of tion at the AVA Gallery until Jewish body and in my work I often they represented some sort of polar- (also) relates to how one has access to Migration” ends February 13, February 18. reference connections to the Aryan ity of bodies between (the notorious these images through the digital (011) 832-1641. A Space Between is his first solo body and the disparity between the commandant’s wife) Ilse Koch at media and how, though they are still show and consists of the body of two in the ideology.” Buchenwald and the imprisoned horrific, they enter into the domestic Maynardeville, Cape work he submitted for his MA in fine The 30-year-old always intended women at Ravensbrück, that I want- realm quite readily, becoming ‘every- Town: Shakespeare’s arts at UCT, all of which he says the Holocaust to be the focus of this ed to enquire into. It honed in on my day’.” “Taming of the Shrew”, stems from his experience at the sites body of work but it was “a little bit intentions of seeing that ‘otherness’ The AVA Gallery is at 35 Church directed by Roy Sargent, of the Ravensbrück and Buchenwald undefined” to start with. “I knew that of the Jewish body and determining Street, Cape Town, (021) 424-7436. until February 19, (021) 451- concentration camps in 2008. I wanted to explore old photographic 7695. A black-and-white “(The title) refers to my relation- processes because I enjoy experi- ship to the Holocaust and the sense of menting with photography.” painted image of the Montecasino, Fourways: In distance that is happening through Five of the images, in fact, employ photographer col- the Pieter Toerien, the time and space,” the former Herzlian the old cyanotype process, drawing a laged onto a British comedy trio explains. “My aim is to try and move connection to Zyklon B, the cyanide- Holocaust photo- “Fascinating Aïda”, until beyond that and create an experience based pesticide used in the gas cham- February 13; in the Studio, graph, tying in with that transcends memorialising, to bers. Alan Swerdlow directs “Mass the Nazi propaganda keep it as a living history, to maintain “At first I was using found Appeal”, until March 27, (011) connecting Jews to its presence. imagery (sourced images from other 511-1818. In Teatro, “We are in a time now where it’s photographers) doing crude col- Negroes and jazz “Riverdance” until February crucial to maintain dialogue and lages,” he says. But after photo- players. 20, (011) 510-7472. Old Mutual Theatre on the pressures of artistic perfection. Portman is superb as the fragile dancer who Square, Sandton: “Casual Sax” with Barbara-Anne FELDMAN It is a dark side which Portman unveils here in a production that is handled with depth, wit is overtaken by unsettling fantasies and eerie events as she prepares for the greatest role of Puren until February 19. The Friday concerts feature ON FILM and intelligence. The role that Nina obsesses about more than her young life. She is complemented by a strik- ing group of fellow players, the vibrant Mila Kristel Birkholtz (violin) and Peter Feldman any other is that of the Swan Queen in a sexy Kunis as her rival, Lily, introducing elements of Ashlea Martin (piano) on re-imagining of the ballet Swan Lake by artis- brashness and dark charm to her role as the February 4; and Malané PICK OF THE WEEK tic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel). overly ambitious newcomer. Hofmeyr-Burger (flute), However, while Nina’s technical proficiency French actor Vincent Cassel portrays the Andrea Erasmus (viola) and Black Swan makes her the perfect choice for the White Machiavellian Thomas Leroy, the artistic direc- Ventura Rosenthal (harp) on Swan, she lacks the spontaneity and seductive- tor who is all about the art and is not too con- February 11, (011) 883-8606. Cast: Natalie Portman; Mila Kunis; Vincent ness necessary for the Black Swan. Perfect for cerned about the victims he leaves behind. Cassel; Winona Ryder that role is Lily (Mila Kunis), a newcomer from Barbara Hershey, who hasn’t graced cinema SA Jewish Museum, Cape Director: Darren Aronofsky San Francisco who oozes sexuality. screens for a while, rockets back as Nina’s con- Town: “Kith, Kin and Ultimately, Leroy selects Nina over Lily with trol-freak mother, Erica, a woman who forsook Khaya”, photographs by Natalie Portman, a fine, sensitive actress, gets the hope that his new top performer will grow her own ballet career to have a child, something David Goldblatt, until the role of a lifetime with Black Swan, where into the role. But Nina is a psychological she throws into Nina’s face during one heated February 11, (021) 465-1546. she carves this horror-drama hybrid into a chal- wreck. argument. lenging web of competitive intrigue. She’s been A fascinating aspect of Black Swan is the Another rare appearance is that of Winona Wits University, nominated for an Oscar for the role, one of sev- many facets within Andrés Heinz’s story and Ryder, as Beth, whose shining star as principal Braamfontein: In the eral the film has garnered. there is a little something in it for all, whether ballerina of the company has dimmed to such a Downstairs Theatre, Under the artful direction of Darren Aro- one’s tastes run to vulgarity or elegance, or degree that she goes off the rails. It a small part, “Anatomy of Weather”, a nofsky (The Wrestler and Requiem for a whether one prefers horror to ballet. but her scenes are telling ones. dance-work choreographed Dream), this psychological thriller set in the Aronofsky returns to some of his favourite Black Swan has been likened to a cross by Bailey Snyman and Nicola world of the New York City ballet, focuses on a themes, such as monster mothers and female between All About Eve and The Red Shoes, with Haskins until February 5, disturbed ballerina, Nina Sayers, and her hysteria, and applies some deft touches in exe- a pinch of Brian de Palma and David (011) 717-1380. descent into madness, brought about by the cuting his vision. Cronenberg. 04 - 11 February 2011 SA JEWISH REPORT 11 TAPESTRY ART, BOOKS, DANCE, FILM, THEATRE Bach will rock for as long as music is alive The Cello Suites by Eric Siblin part biography and part literary mys- one’s sound system and play the Cello (Harvill Secker, R145) tery, it cleverly combines these elements Suites for oneself. using the suites’ prescribed components In one particularly poignant passage, REVIEWED BY GWEN PODBREY (prelude, allemande, courante, sara- Siblin – attending a Bach Festival concert bande, minuet, gigue), so that the text in a small Presbyterian Church hall in OF ALL the baroque composers, Johann alternates between Siblin’s quest to Montreal, with conservatively dressed Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) has had the explore the works, Casals’ relationship musicians and a quiet, deadly serious worst PR. The fact that, until as recently with them – and, of course, the darkness- audience of no more than 250 – reflects on as the early 19th century, his works es and light which Bach infused into the fact that just up the road, rock group remained largely obscure – and, even them, drawing on his own secret heart. U2 is doing a gig, where fireworks, strobe once they had been discovered, were rel- A pop musicologist by profession, with lights, amplifiers, oversized video screens egated to the realms of academic cham- very little classical training, Siblin – on and 20 000 screaming, gyrating fans will ber music and students’ counterpoint first hearing the suites – was instantly help embellish the music and generate exercises – has aggravated Bach’s case riveted by their spectacular rhythmic multi-million-dollar album sales. further. and harmonic possibilities: no contempo- “But will the rock band’s oeuvre still be This is not surprising: during his life- rary jazz musician, however much a vir- performed three centuries from now? time, and despite his prodigious output, tuoso, could hope to rival Bach’s improv- And will music scholars be sifting only 30 or so of his works were ever pub- isational and extrapolative skill on a through old shoeboxes in search of lost lished. In many cases, his music is con- theme. The fact is: Bach rocks. U2 compositions?” he asks. You be the sidered the domain of museums and He has rocked for three centuries, and judge. stuffy, elitist concert halls, for these are will continue to rock for as long as music Whether you are unfamiliar with Bach, where it is usually played. is alive. or well acquainted with him, you will find Secondly, the intricate structure of The circumstances in which the suites no better springboard into his beauty, baroque music, which focuses more on were composed, after Bach had just lost truth and musical architecture than technical composition than on emotion, his young wife Maria Barbara, mother of Siblin’s passionate, fulsome account. has given rise to the notion that it is his eldest four children, may have had a devoid of feeling, cold, mechanical and lot to do with them. uncomfortably mathematical for audi- The opening bars of the first suite - ences more attuned to romanticism and sonorous, mournful, contemplative – simplex, easily discernible melodic lines. evoke unmistakable grief. “One can Then, too, the prevailing image of Bach almost hear the scene… The dread that in the world’s imagination, thanks to the taken a Jew to introduce Germany to its begins the (second) prelude in a minor famous portrait by Elias Gottlob Haus- most impressive liturgical music.) key follows an initial suite – a lifetime – mann, depicts a dour, bewigged, decided- The suites are near-miraculous in their of joy,” writes Siblin. ly bilious burgher with no glimmer of contrapuntal interplay, their intricate “The last measures of the prelude humour or warmth. tonal relationships, their energy and their could well depict Bach entering his Yet nothing could be further from the harmony, whether overt or implied. Since home, heart racing, anticipation modu- truth – as Siblin is at pains to tell us. The a cello is a comparatively limited instru- lating into panic. What has happened? first time he heard Bach’s six Cello ment, allowing no more than two strings Where is she? And then a young child, a Suites, composed in 1720 and entirely to be bowed simultaneously, chords shadow of his or her former rambunc- unknown until legendary Spanish cellist (which comprise three notes played at tious self – small, alone, a broken chord. Pablo Casals stumbled upon the only once) must be arpeggiated into single He won’t see Mother again.” extant manuscript in an old music shop notes. Siblin’s ardour for his subject is palpa- in 1890 (and then waited 12 years before Bach not only mastered this technique, ble. His writing – distinctly journalistic, he trusted his own proficiency to per- but used it to its fullest dramatic effect. In rather than academic – nevertheless form them publicly) – he was smitten. doing so, he also gave the cello – for the draws on impeccable, lengthy research, The beginning of the real Bach Revival first time – the spotlight as a solo instru- while his easy, conversational tone began in 1829, when a 20-year-old Felix ment, rather than the minor orchestral makes the book at once readable and Mendelssohn – son of Jewish philoso- spot it had hitherto occupied, exploring its arresting. pher Moses Mendelssohn – performed astounding range and depth. If he occasionally lapses into arro- and conducted the “St Matthew Passion” This book tells a three-tiered story: the gance, quoting himself in other publica- to a spellbound audience. (Although his writing of the suites, the part they played tions (always an off-putting practice), one family had converted to Christianity, in Casals’ career and life, and Siblin’s own forgives him, for the jewels he brings to Mendelssohn noted the irony that it had obsession with them. Part music history, life ignite a desire to rush instantly to Dendy shortlisted for Thomas Pringle Award STORY AND PHOTOGRAPH BY “You could look for the sputnik SUZY BERNSTEIN and then follow it across the sky; it was always something magical. JOHANNESBURG-BASED poet There was also the Playhouse in Gail Dendy has been shortlisted for Durban, with the ceiling full of the Thomas Pringle Award, for her stars, so somehow I connected with short story, Venus Crossing. Aside that. from being a Greville Press pub- “I find writing prose easier; I pre- lished author (among others), she fer working with a small canvas, Gail Dendy and her cat. holds five university degrees, which the poem gives. With prose works as an information specialist the writing is looser. I like the tight lucky very often. It’s got to be able for a corporate law firm, and hav- structure you get with poetry. to hold up. It has to have a skele- ing had a past career as a dancer, “When I sketch out a new poem, it ton.” still dances regularly. is always hand-written. I can’t sit at Being shortlisted for this award In Venus Crossing, an event mir- a computer and think like that. administered by the 50-year-old rors a couple whose relationship “It is always very late at night, English Academy of South Africa, has diverged, like the planets. before I go to sleep… I scribble away. was simply about validation, Dendy has taken a historical event I do not set a time. I just write. Very according to Dendy. The academy and found an interesting way of often, I can start off when I feel real- was established “to promote the juxtaposing it with the existing sta- ly uninspired. That is when the dis- effective use of English in southern tus quo in this relationship. cipline comes in. You start forcing Africa”. She often writes about relation- yourself to write and then in the “Writing is an isolating and soli- ships: “I take from the exterior process, that’s when the ideas start tary experience and you don’t world and create a micro-world. It’s coming. know if anyone is reading your what interests me, because ulti- “Sometimes I’ll throw out the work,” says Dendy. “This acknowl- mately, everything breaks down first two stanzas. Actually that was edgement is feedback.” into relationships. When I formu- almost like warming up the muscles The winners of the Thomas late my ideas, it comes down to and then the poem starts taking off Pringle Award for 2010 were relationships.” from where I got inspired. And then announced last week. Stephen Dendy is interested in astrono- often in the morning, that’s the orig- Watson’s Buiten Street and my. “When we were small,” she inal draft and it stays on the page Sandisile Tshuma’s Arrested says, “in Durban, the sky was very and then I’ll type it up and then Development walked away with dark at night and on a very hot once it’s on the computer, that’s top honours in the short story summer night we would sit outside when I start fixing and editing. category. The judges were Jo- and watch the stars and see the “And if I am very lucky, there is Anne Richards, Hugh Hodge and sputniks. little to do. But you don’t get that Phakama Mbonambi.