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​The Joburg Arts Alive International Festival is in full swing, with a wide variety of productions guaranteed to enthral audiences of different tastes.

This annual event is brought to you by the City of Joburg and managed by the Directorate of Arts, Culture and Heritage, part of the City’s Community Development Department. Following its kick-off on September 1, the Joburg Arts Alive International Festival has entertained fun-seekers with a diverse range of theatre productions, musical performances, literary recitals and dance presentations.

This coming weekend’s programme is packed with arts and entertainment for the entire family. Today (Thursday, 6 September) sees a variety of dance and theatre productions performances. The lineup includes the opening of the FNB Joburg Art Fair at the Sandton Convention Centre at 18h00 and a capacity building programme hosted by the Department of Arts, Culture and Heritage aimed at assisting arts and culture organisations and individual artists in making strides in the industry.

On the menu on Friday is a range of musical, theatrical and poetry performances. The Newtown Music Festival at Mary Fitzgerald Square is set to sizzle as it boosts entertainers such as Big Nuz, Magesh, Bucie, Donald, Pro and TKZee. Tickets cost R80 at Computicket and the show starts at 20h30.

If theatre is your forte, go to the Market Theatre Laboratory at 18:30 for the opening of Hayani by Nat Ramabulana and Athandwa Kani, a production that explores a true South African tale.

Hayani, which means home in Tshivenda, reflects on the meaning of “home” in the South African context and what it means to be a South African. Hayani will also be performed on Saturday at 18h30.

Friday night also provides the opportunity to “experience the beauty of township theatre” with Theatre Night, a theatre development programme aimed at showcasing the circle of mainstream theatre productions from and outside Alexandra. This event is mentored by the South African Theatre Initiatives, with the opening night showcasing Baby Shower and Show Off.

Friday night also sees the staging of Speak the Mind, which is in its seventh season, at Arts on Main from 19h00. One of the main objectives of this event is to create permanent platforms for the word and related genres to assist up-and-coming South African voices and poets of international standing.

Another item not to be missed is the globally renowned puppetry production, The Charm of Fujian.

This production will be performed at various regionally identified schools and at the Globe, Gold Reef City, at 20h00.

This delightful traditional Chinese puppet show is perfect for the whole family and will also be showcased on Saturday at the Joburg Zoo’s bandstand from 10h00 to 11h30.

A dance extravaganza called Dance Umbrella 2 – Dada Masilo’s Swan Lake is set for Saturday at the Dance Factory on the eve of its international tour. Other dance productions set for Saturday include Umqombothi Kabar by French/Via Katlehong and Afternoon at a Foehn V1 by Phia Menard.

There will also be a range of dance and theatre productions, including the Eldos Jazz Festival at Eldorado Park Extension 3.

The Joburg Arts Alive International Festival ends on Monday September 10 with Arts Alive Plus programmes scheduled for September 15-16 and September 18-19. For further details