VISTA MAITISONG FESTIVAL 2002

Runs from FRIDAY 12 to SATURDAY 20 APRIL 2002 

 

ADDRESS:

P. BAG 0045, GABORONE, BOTSWANA

TEL:

(267) 371809

FAX:

(267) 584946

e-mail:

maitisong@info.bw

DIRECTOR:

DAVID SLATER

FREQUENCY:

ANNUAL

TIME:

END OF MARCH / BEGINNING OF APRIL

DURATION

9 DAYS

TARGET: ALL PERFORMING ARTS GROUPS IN THE COUNTRY.

AIM:   The encouragement of the performing arts within Botswana 

The creation of an atmosphere of intense and varied artistic activity; the enrichment of the quality of life in Botswana's  capital city.

The programme at Maitisong each year is dominated by the annual Maitisong Festival. The Festival began in March 1987 and has grown to be the largest and most representative festival of the performing arts in the country. It attracts both local and foreign performers who present shows over the week of the duration of the Festival. The Festival has been supported over the years by the donor agencies like NORAD, SIDA, HiVOS, ROYAL DUTCH EMBASSY in Harare, the K.M.S. TRUST and the DEPARTMENT OF CULTURE in the Government of Botswana. In 2001 VISTA CELLULAR joined the Maitisong Festival in a partnership that saw VISTA commit itself to supporting the Festival over the next three of four years. This sponsorship has enabled the Festival to look to the future with confidence and to diversify its activities and increase its scope.

The Festival has two parts to its programme: the INDOOR and OUTDOOR PROGRAMMES. The INDOOR PROGRAMME centres around Maitisong where shows take place every day over the week. Other venues are also used, like the LITTLE THEATRE at the National Museum where a week of local drama is put on, the ANGLICAN CATHEDRAL, NORTHSIDE PRIMARY SCHOOL. The outdoor programme is centred on 4 areas in the city, two of which are high density, low income areas and the other two are popular shopping malls. Stages and seating are built in these centres and a week of free day-time and night-time performances is arranged. This has become a very popular part of the Festival.

The OUTDOOR PROGRAMME also makes use of the STATE THEATRE / TRANSNET TRUCK from Pretoria. This is a mobile stage that has been used to transport shows from the festival to nearby villages. The local participants in the Festival represent mainly traditional Botswana dance and drama. Traditional dance is very popular and strong in Botswana and some of the groups are quite outstanding in their presentation of dance forms from all over the large country. Drama tends to be of the 'community-based' type in which issues affecting communities are dealt with. The style is bold and humorous and the performances are geared to the outdoors as halls are not common in Botswana. Other performance arts include the ever-popular marimba bands, choirs and some more western-influenced styles of dance and music.

The Festival week is a very happy and popular time in Gaborone and many groups look forward to it each year as a chance to perform in the capital city and test themselves on the wider stage. The Festival attracts strong media attention and last year was the subject of a very complimentary editorial in a local paper.


Copyright 2001, Maitisong
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