Alliance Rivertown vibe erupts in Durban


Great Vibes in Rivertown as the Alliance Française de Durban brings PhotoConcert 20! to the UIA conference and the Archiball.


The Alliance Française de Durban invited me to Rivertown in the middle of Durban to a photo concert prelude to the legendary Archiball which this year forms part of the UIA conference 2014. This photo concert entitled Between Hopes and Possibilities turned out to be quite an innovative idea which saw a photo exhibition on a loop behind the visiting OZMA jazz quartet which jammed away while the pictures unfolded. This was a co-production by La Compangie Tangram, the KZNSA Gallery and the Network of Alliance Française of South Africa and after its opening performance at the Archiball is set to do a repeat performance at the KZNSA Gallery on the 7th August at 7pm.


The photos in the loop are fascinating insights into Durban and surrounds and coupled with the tight sounds of the OZMA jazz quartet are well worth a second visit. It was great to see two Durban stalwarts, Sazi Dlamini and Madala Kunene collaborating with the visiting band giving the event an intercultural spin. It reminded me in some ways of the Playhouse Dance Company’s production of Police at the Opera where a really good band played the music of Police while the Dance company did their dance routines. Whilst it was very innovative and drew an appreciative audience, I found myself not being to look at everything at the same time. When I focused on the dance, I missed out on the musicians performance and visa versa. In some ways Between Hopes and Possibilities was also like this with two fabulous ideas vying for my attention. When I focused on the band, I missed quite a few pics. Perhaps, this was more a weakness on my part than a real critique of the event. The music was great, the photo exhibit fascinating. I would have to watch it more than once to really get a full sense of its depth and splendor.


As for Rivertown, despite its almost rustic demeanour, it was a great vibe. A vibe that one hopes the City fathers will latch onto and make permanent, so that it can rival the Mill in Athens or the Biscuit Mill in Cape Town or the Maboneng district in Jozi. Let’s hope it isn’t another flash in the pan!

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