Celebrating heritage with dance

first_imgTraditional dancers perform at a festivalin Joubert Park, Johannesburg.(Image: Chris Kirchhoff,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For morefree photos, visit the image library.)Janine ErasmusSeptember is Heritage Month, when South Africans celebrate the country’s rich diversity in art, performance, history, customs and traditions, language, food, and the spoken and written word.Each year the celebrations, coordinated by the national Department of Arts and Culture, focus on a particular theme. The theme for the 2008 Heritage Month is dance.The festivities will run for the entire month in all nine provinces, building up to the main event on Heritage Day, 24 September. A public holiday, Heritage Day was one of the new holidays introduced by South Africa’s first democratically elected government, and was first celebrated in 1995.Dance, both contemporary and indigenous, has long been an important means of personal and artistic expression in South Africa. Dance plays a central role in story-telling, ceremonial practices, recreation and socialisation, improvisation, and community sharing.During the month, communities all over South Africa will showcase their dance talents, as well as their traditional costumes and dresses. The celebrations aim to promote artistic excellence, preserve indigenous dance, and encourage new dancers, particularly youngsters. Other arts will be included, with the programme featuring poetry and storytelling, theatre, and educational and environmental activities.International dance troupesTwo accomplished international dance troupes, from China and Belarus, will visit South Africa during the month. The Chongqing Artistic Troupe from China will tour the country as part of celebrations marking 10 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries. The troupe comprises acrobatic, folk traditional and opera performers.The famous Bolshoi Ballet Theatre from Belarus will also be on tour at the invitation of arts and culture minister, Dr Pallo Jordan. The company previously visited South Africa in 2000.The month will also see the 12th annual Earthdance celebration, held in South Africa for the 11th time and attended by representatives from 340 locations in more than 50 nations. With massive celebrations in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, the event is aligned with the United Nations International Peace Week and aims to support non-profit humanitarian and environmental causes around the world through music and dance.Indigenous danceThe advent of democracy in South Africa has inspired a wealth of creative expression, with a surge of new dance, several productions of which, such as Umoja, have gone on to take the world by storm, and a resurgence of traditional dance.The four-day Zulu Royal Reed Dance festival, or Umkhosi woMhlanga, held each year in early September, sees thousands of young Zulu maidens coming together to celebrate their preparation for womanhood. Because only virgins are allowed to participate, and it is a huge honour to be selected, the event promotes purity among young girls and respect for women in the region. The event attracts tourists from all over the world. The Swazi people have a similar tradition.During the years of oppression by the apartheid government people in townships kept their spirits up with the energetic township jive. In those days, and still today, the toyi-toyi – the militant yet mostly non-violent dance of protest that features high-stepping movements – was often accompanied by the chanting of slogans and fists waved enthusiastically in the air.Gumboot dancing, or isicathulo, was born out of the hardships of working in the mines. It is said that miners, forced into silence by their oppressive bosses, used to communicate with each other through stamping their feet, rattling their ankle chains and slapping their boots, in essence creating their own Morse code.Afrikaans South Africans enjoy a social dance known as the sokkie, a word that hints at the fact that dancers sometimes do not wear shoes. Sokkie music is one of the best-selling genres in the local industry.Even former president Nelson Mandela has made his mark on South Africa’s dance scene, with the familiar Madiba shuffle or Madiba jive which involves a gentle marching action of the arms.Other styles such as Indian dancing, both classical and contemporary, the Venda Tshigombela which is usually performed by married women, and the trance dance, performed as a healing exercise by the San people of the Kalahari desert, are testament to the colourful and diverse history of dance in South Africa and the important role it has played in our heritage.National pride and reconciliationHeritage has been recognised by the South African government as an important tool for democracy, national building, reconciliation, moral regeneration, and instilling a sense of national pride. Since South Africa is a cosmopolitan society where many cultures come together and overlap, heritage is also used to foster interest in traditions and practices outside of one’s own cultural comfort zone.According to the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999, “heritage celebrates our achievements and contributes to redressing past inequities. It educates, it deepens our understanding of society and encourages us to empathise with the experience of others. It facilitates healing and material and symbolic restitution and it promotes new and previously neglected research into our rich oral traditions and customs.”In 1996 then-president Mandela said, “When our first democratically-elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we knew that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus on [email protected] e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view Related articlesSouth African artSouth African musicSouth African theatreSouth Africa’s festival of spiritSouth African dancer enjoys global successYouth month marked in SA Useful linksDepartment of Arts and Culture South African Heritage and Resource AgencyNational Heritage Council Dance.co.za Earthdancelast_img read more

Data Access up in the Air

first_imgTwo announcements over the last couple of days stand in an interesting contrast to each other.  One is Google’s announcement of Google WiFi and the availability of free WiFi access across all of the city of Mountain View.  The second is Boeing’s announcement to exit from providing WiFi access on board carriers flying Boeing aircraft in December 2006, after having equipped 156 aircraft with their Connexion service, including those from carriers like Lufthansa, SAS and Singapore Airlines. (This follows an announcement in June of Verizon to also exit the in-flight phone business.)Access to things like VoIP, web-based on-line services and data content, like that of our own Formtek | Orion repository, or any of hundreds of other kinds of services from anywhere and anyplace is enticing.  The net is becoming (or has become) the driving force for business communication and data.  Google’s roll-out across the entire city of Mountain View seems to have been challenging and have had a few glitches.  All transmitters are not in place just yet either.  Also the disclaimer that the service is an “outdoor service” and does not work well in-doors is a bit disappointing.  Considering the service has only been up a few days, it seems to be doing well — I’m looking forward to the planned roll-out in San Francisco.The exit of Boeing and Verizon from in-flight WiFi might prove to be an interesting alternative for Google.  For example, immediately after Boeing’s announcement ASiQ in turn announced that they see Boeing’s exit as greater opportunity for them.  Boeing’s Connexion was based on technology circa 2000.  It’s only six years, but technology has changed quickly and ASiQ has developed a much cheaper alternative. There has been a lot of press about Google’s efforts to try to penetrate the Enterprise market.  While free community-wide net access is great (especially if it is somewhere that I’ll be frequently), I wonder that if Google is really serious about the Enterprise that it might be a better and more cost-effective strategy for them to provide free WiFi in places like airports and airplanes, places where business people are in high numbers.  It seems like it would be far easier and have fewer obstacles in getting approval to do something like that rather than to try to blanket the landscape of an entire community with WiFi.last_img read more

Creating Beautiful Slow Motion in Adobe Premiere Pro

first_imgSlow-motion video can be beautiful, if executed correctly. Here, we take a look at creating slow-motion from 60fps video in Premiere Pro.Don’t make the mistake of slowing down standard frame rate video for slow motion. It’ll give your footage a choppy look, and it doesn’t present well.Instead, to make smooth slow-mo, you’ll need to shoot your footage at a high frame rate, and then play back your footage at a lower frame rate in your video editing app. Most DSLRs and mirrorless cameras can shoot 720p or even 1080p at 60 frames-per-second (fps). If you don’t have a camera that can shoot up to 60fps, check out our list of the most affordable options. Shooting at 60fps allows you to play back your footage at a slower fps (like 24fps), while still maintaining a streamlined, cinematic look.In this walkthrough, we’ll show you how to create a similar effect by converting 60fps footage to 24fps in Premiere Pro. These are just the foundation slow motion features in Premiere, so once you get comfortable with the frame rate interpretation and time remapping settings, take a look at the video below that goes into using keyframes in your timeline to speed ramp your footage. 1. Slow Down in Your TimelineThis one is simple and straightforward. Create a 24fps sequence.Place a 60fps clip in your 24p timeline. Right-click the clip, and make sure frame blending is OFF.Right-click the clip and go to “Speed/Duration” (⌘R).Set your speed to 40% (40% is going to be the lowest you can go without making your footage choppy). If you’re working in a frame rate other than 24 fps, you’ll have to determine your speed by dividing your destination frame rate by your clip’s frame rate (e.g. 24/60=.4).Now, your footage is in smooth slow-motion. You’ll notice that every frame plays back and there is no frame blending. Beautiful!2. Re-Interpret Frame RateThis is the way I usually conform 60fps clips into slo-mo. (This is also a good way to make multiple clips slo-mo in one simple step.) This will make the selected clips in your bin slow-motion, so if you want to keep your original 100% speed clips in your project, you’ll want to duplicate them before doing this.Select the clips in your bin that you want to make slo-mo.Right-click and select “Modify > Interpret Footage.”Select “Assume this frame rate” and set the value to your timeline’s frame rate.Done. Now, Premiere will reorganize and stretch the existing frames in your 60fps clip to conform to a 24fps sequence.By implementing these simple techniques, using 60fps video to create slow-motion in Premiere Pro is easy.Looking for more video production tips and tricks? Check out these articles.Editing Tips: Sorting Footage and Creating Quality TimelinesWhy You Should Wait to Download Your NLE’s Beta ReleaseQuick and Easy Tips on Shooting and Processing Day for Night Getting Creative: Five Cool Video Edits that Genuinely WorkProduction Tip: How to Calculate Power for Your Cameralast_img read more

IRCTC to pay compensation after delayed run of Tejas

first_imgA delay of more than three hours in the running of the Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express on October 19 has cost the IRCTC around ₹1.62 lakh which the railway subsidiary will pay through its insurance companies as compensation to around 950 passengers, a first in the history of the Indian Railways, officials said on Monday. The train left Lucknow at around 9.55 a.m. instead of the scheduled 6.10 a.m. and reached New Delhi at around 3.40 p.m. instead of 12.25 p.m. It left New Delhi at 5.30 p.m. instead of 3.35 p.m. and reached Lucknow at around 11.30 p.m. instead of 10.05 p.m.The 450 passengers from Lucknow to Delhi would get ₹250 each and the 500 passengers from Delhi to Lucknow would be paid ₹100 each. One official said each passenger can avail himself of the compensation through a link of the insurer provided with every ticket. He also said the delay on October 19 had been caused by a derailment near Kanpur. Since it began commercial operations from October 6 for six days a week, the train has maintained a tight schedule. On October 20, the Lucknow-Delhi Tejas reached 24 minutes late while the Delhi-Lucknow Tejas arrived right on time. Under the IRCTC’s policy, ₹100 would be paid in case of delay of over an hour and ₹250 for delay of over two hours, the IRCTC said ahead of the launch of its first train.The travel insurance includes a cover of ₹1 lakh against household theft and robbery during the travel period of the passengers, again a first for those travelling on board trains.last_img read more

Chelsea’s Antonio Conte plays down significance of Manchester United clash

first_imgChelsea manager Antonio Conte reckons the title race will continue right until the end of the season.”I think this game is like any other game and for us the most important thing is the three points,” the Italian manager told a news conference on Friday.”This (title) was our target at the start of the season… For sure the road is long and there are other teams who want to win the title and I think for this reason it will be until the end of the season.”United manager Jose Mourinho will field a strong side this weekend despite the game being sandwiched between the two-legged Europa League quarter-final against Anderlecht. (Manchester United midfielder Mata to miss rest of the season)Fifth-placed United are four points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, with a game in hand, and need to finish in the top four or win the Europa League to make the Champions League.”For sure we will face a really strong team because Manchester United are a really good team, physically and technically very strong, and for this reason we must pay great attention,” Conte added.”United also want to play and find a place in next season’s Champions League and arrive in the first four and I think they have every possibility to do this.”United are on a 21-game unbeaten league run since losing 4-0 in October at Chelsea, who have the best away record in the league, having lost just twice in 16 games this season.advertisementlast_img read more