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Friday, January 11, 2013

The Beat at Africa’s Feet: Orange AFCON SOUTH AFRICA 2013 Opening Ceremony Set to Dazzle

With little less than two weeks to go, the stage is set for the Opening Ceremony of 2013’s most exciting soccer tournament – the 29th Edition of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations SOUTH AFRICA 2013.  The Opening Ceremony, starting at 16h00 on January 19th, precedes the kick-off match at the National Stadium and promises to be a dazzling spectacular of African pride!

Rehearsals boast a cast of more than 520 dancers, singers, stilt walkers and gymnasts. The Opening Ceremony fully intends to live up to the theme “Celebrate Africa – The Beat at Africa’s Feat”. 

The team behind the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, enlisted by the Local Organising Committee (LOC), boasts an impressive arsenal of South Africa’s finest live-production talent - event production company VWV Group, are renowned for the dazzling technical and production mastery they displayed in delivering the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup Opening and Closing Ceremonies. 

“As the LOC, we were very clear in our brief to the production company” explains the LOC Chief Communications Officer, Sipho Sithole  “We instructed them to deliver an event that will raise Africa to its feet through an artistic and creative display that would showcase Africa at her finest, in all our beauty, diversity, and of course, celebrate our sporting prowess. They have responded with a creative that we can truly describe as spectacular, and is reflective of an event that is truly African – they’ve done us all proud. “

The theme lives through the ceremony’s various performance elements – from performing artists, to the vibrantly outfitted traditional and contemporary dancers, and cultural elements creatively inserted into the event, ‘Celebrate Africa – The Beat at Africa’s Feet’ reverberates throughout.

Clever usage of the unlikeliest instruments – from women pounding the traditional mortar and pestle, to larger-than-life African beadwork as performance art, and giant drums powered by tumbling acrobats, skillfully combined with the rhythm pounded out by the dancers – all work to create a dramatic sound and visual effect. The beat of African drums is a constant refrain, creatively woven through the different aspects of the show.

“Creatively, we wanted to present a showcase that lived out the theme, and celebrated the different aspects that make us unique as Africans – all in a world-class ceremony,” explains VWV’s Jameson Hlongwane, opening ceremony project directorEqually importantly, the event had to represent us as a soccer-loving continent. To do this, we obviously had to bring some of our finest performers on board. They’ve been rehearsing their hearts out for months now, and the results are mind-blowing! We can hardly wait for everyone to see it, it’s a truly incredible spectacle!”

That said, there is little doubt that the Opening Ceremony will be a dazzling display of the colours, sounds and rhythms that makes us uniquely African.  Saturday, January 19th  2013 is the date. The National Stadium –Soweto, the place.  The teams – South Africa’s Bafana Bafana versus Cape Verde, and Angola vs Morocco – come Celebrate Africa - The Beat at Africa’s Feet!

Isuued by Marang Setshwaelo | Dreamcatcher

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