Twenty fifteen waltz HIFA

Widely travelled theatre production Twenty Fifteen left a lasting impression at the ongoing Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA).

Staging in a once off show at the ZB Reps Theatre this morning, the Kuenda Arts production was nothing short of amazing.

The cast showed a very refreshing multi-role play, embracing different characters across genders, and at many times changing their characters while managing not to confuse their audience.

To add on to the versatility of the cast were their remarkable dance skills showcased in different genres including contemporary dance, break dance, ballad and even the popular ‘clarks’ moves.

Their use of live music went a long way in complementing the already perfect showcase.

To seal off their performance, the cast put up sterile solo dance moves.

The show features local artistes selected by the Zimbabwe-German Society and Jibilika Dance Trust including mbira artiste Hope Masike, Tumbuka dancer Maylene Chenyeraji, beat boxer Probeatz, Yeukai Zinyoro from Rolx Dance group, National Arts Merit Award winning actor Tafadzwa Hananda and Tanaka Lionel Roki and Kelvin Campbell of the Zim Flava group.

Foreign artistes include Antonio Bukhar and Ronald Kibirige from Uganda, the producer Cindy Jänicke, the artistic director Atif Hussein, actor Tobias Schulze, musician Kilian Unger and videographer Xaver Xylophon, all from Germany, French dancer Pascale Firholz and Swiss choreographer Olivia Marinoni

They recently returned from a successful three month long tour of Europe.

Meanwhile, HIFA kicked off on a low note with a fair share of disappointing performances yesterday.

Newcomers, Fab Fusion and the Ovation Band who performed at the Coca Cola Green failed to impress their audience.

Throughout the show, revelers could move around the venue, some even leaving.

Their lead vocalists’ voice projection was very poor that it could often be buried by the live instrumentation to the extent that one could barely hear what they were singing.

Veteran arts reporter and ZimboJam editor Takudzwa Chihambakwe said, “The afro-jazz band really need time to build up performance and get used to staging in front of a large magnitude of people.

“We have a lot of bands who can do better at the same slot, this is one of the reasons why local art is underrated, and you are leaving out the cream in favour of amateurs.”

Fab Fusion had their first performance last December.

Another disappointing show was the much anticipated official opening, which featured high flying afro-fusion band Mokoomba and various other performers.

Though Mokoomba did their best to keep up with their reputation of being the best stage performers in the country, their collaborative partners dragged them down at every turn.

The show could have served the best of music if the band had gone solo or been paired with other greats at the festival such as Hope Masike, True Vibenation or Salif Keita.