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ICA launches third annual Live Art Festival

The Institute for Creative Arts (ICA) has launched the highly anticipated international Live Art Festival 2017.

The third in a series of biennial festivals showcases a gathering of some of the most influential artists from across the continent for an explosion of performances set to push the boundaries for audiences and artists alike.

With the city of Cape Town as the stage, this dynamic range of public, collaborative and often transgressive performative artworks will disrupt public spaces across the Mother City from February 2 to 26.

Continuing the ICA’s history as an initiator of innovative projects, the festival establishes itself as a pioneer in the region, blurring the fields of fine art, dance, theatre, music and literature to form a unique platform for cutting-edge interdisciplinary art.

Some of the performances at LiveArt 2017
Some of the performances at LIVE ART 2017

With an emphasis on works by African artists and those from the diaspora, the festival makes possible new and transformative interactions within diverse personal, political, public and architectural spaces.

This fascinating collection of visceral adventures transports audiences into a creative world of theatre often unknown in South African borders, navigating the public to the corners of their comfort zones.

The festival offers audiences an immersive experience to connect with relevant issues confronting society on a journey of the imagination that embraces the outer limits of society.

ICA director and associate professor at the University of Cape Town Jay Pather said: “The festival represents the intersection of visual and performing arts and culture with some of the enduring personal and political themes of our time and provides an arena for these elements to clash, marry and influence each other.

Our efforts to engage audiences and expand their expectations of the possibilities of live theatre and art brings to life some of the most esoteric and experimental work by key African artists.

“The captivating images and experiences generated by revolutionary artists who partner with the ICA and Live Art are the fabric of what we know as the fringe of the creative industries, offering audiences the chance to plunge into the limits of their imagination.”

This year’s programme features screenings, performances, artworks and interactive installations by more than 30 contemporary artists including Standard Bank Young Artist Award winners Donna Kukama and Anthea Moys, Zimbabwean-born, New York-based celebrated choreographer and performer Nora Chipaumire, Nigerian multimedia artist Jelili Atiku, acclaimed choreographer and performer Mamela Nyamza, British-Ghanaian visual artist Larry Achiampong, Mozambican choreographer Panaibra Gabriel Canda, pioneering and internationally-renowned South African performance artist Steven Cohen and many more.

LIVE ART 2017 is supported by the Mellon Foundation, the University of Cape Town, Iziko Museums of South Africa, Pro Helvetia, the British Council Connect ZA and the Goethe-Institut Lagos.



  • LIVE ART 2017 Launch: Thursday 2 February as part of First Thursdays, Cape Town
  • Official Programme: Friday 10 February to Sunday 26 February 2017

WHERE: Public spaces across the City of Cape Town

ENTRANCE FEE: All performances are FREE of charge

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