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2014 National Arts Festival highlights

With the 40th annual National Arts Festival at an end, life in G-town is slowly returning to normal. As festival-goers return home, they’ll no doubt still have plenty to brag about when it comes to their 11-day experience of one of the most iconic celebrations of the arts.

If you couldn't make it in 2014 and what with all the rave reviews of performances and exhibitions based at this year’s event, you’ll certainly want to make a plan for next year’s event. Here’s 6 memorable highlights from the 2014 National Arts Festival:

Main attractions at the National Arts Festival

Come the National Arts Festival and the small city of Grahamstown just about doubles in population, with people coming from near and afar to see for themselves what all the hype surrounding this magnificent event is.

One of the central attractions during the National Arts Festival is the Village Green, a market-like setup where consumables of various kinds are on offer, and where all ages will have something to be excited about. There are stalls selling all kinds of goods, from homemade clothing to cheese to CDs.

Celebrating the National Arts Festival.

As the fireworks celebrate yet another successful National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, what better time to reminisce about the 11 days of AMAZING the NAF has once again, produced?

I ended off my time at the NAF with a trip to the incredible - albeit expensive- flea market, Village Green, but first - a Jahmil X.T. Qubeka film.

Owning the Grahamstown Arts Festival stage

On July 11th, Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance 2012 Bailey Snyman and Standard Bank Ovation Award 2011 winner Nicola Haskins present: If These Bodies Could Speak - a multi award winning matchbox dance theatre piece. Exploring the struggles of a relationship through instinctual elements, If These Bodies Could Speak is an elegantly and emotionally choreographed piece about a couple, any couple, who argue, fight, lose themselves and each other but eventually, regain the love they once had for each other.

Youths left inspired after National Youth Jazz Festival

The National Arts Festival has passed the halfway mark. Yes, this means that Festival goers still have another four days to immerse themselves in and absorb art of the highest echelons of South Africa’s artistic capacity. On the jazz side of things, however, this specific point in the Arts Festival is a significant landmark, as it signals the completion of yet another highly successful Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival.

Standard Bank Arts Blog Gets Student Bloggers

There’s no better on-the-job training for Rhodes journalism students than covering the yearly National Arts Festival that happens in Grahamstown, the home of Rhodes University. Denzil de Klerk and Thembelihle Ngcai are the lucky journalism students who’ve been given the opportunity to blog for the Standard Bank Arts Blog. They were chosen based on a competition where their go-getting attitudes and writing talents made them stand out to become Standard Bank’s student bloggers at the National Arts Festival this year.

Jazz Festival Brings Cold Grahamstown to Boil

For most years the National Arts Festival arrives along with the coldest weather Grahamstown experiences all year. This year the cold arrived three days late, as day 1 and 2 allowed festival goers to roam the streets, markets and art exhibitions in comfortable summer clothing. Any hope of a warm Festival was short-lived, as the weather took a sharp turn to its usual cold and gloomy conditions on day 3. While the weather has cooled down, conditions at the Standard Bank National Jazz Festival are getting hotter and hotter with each day.

The Essop Brothers and their photographic collection 'Unrest'

Whether it's in music, theatre productions, ballet, musicals and art works - this year's National Arts Festival is the best it has ever been!

Jazz at its finest

The 22nd Standard Bank Youth Jazz Festival brings together both young and old, accomplished and aspiring jazz performers granting up-and-coming talented musicians an opportunity to be mentored and trained by Jazz legends. While the true honor is really for these young artists, Jazz knights such as Buddy Wells and Feya Faku find themselves awed by the incredible passion, presence and performance of new Jazz artists such as Kyle Shepherd.

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