The arts took a knock last week when it was announced Gauteng Opera and Dance Umbrella will come to an end.

For 18 years Gauteng Opera has played a big role in introducing opera and classical music to the public, as well as training more than 150 singers, technical experts and art administrators.

Funding has, however, become such a high wire act that the board of directors announced the company will shut down on March 31.

The current Dance Umbrella will also be its last. After 30 years, the behemoth dance festival will end.

Dance Umbrella 2018 opened on March 6 at the UJ Centre for the Arts with two works – Gula Matari by Vincent Sekwati Mantsoe and Mayhem by Gregory Vuyani Maqoma.

Since inception, the festival played a major role in developing contemporary dance choreographers and dancers, many of whom ended up working internationally.

The last Dance Umbrella show will take place next Sunday at Wits Amphitheatre. The production, titled Nothing Makes Sense by Thulani Chauke, is an interrogation of violence with a specific focus on the violence that emerges because of humanity’s continued obsession with systems of classification based on sex, race, gender, sexuality, class, culture and physical ability.

Dance Umbrella also presents a full programme this week with a number of events and shows around Johannesburg.

Similarly, Gauteng Opera will bow out this coming Sunday with the last performance of Sacred Songs at the Tin Town Theatre at 3pm. All proceeds and donations will go to ensuring a last salary for the artists and staff of Gauteng Opera.

A milestone in movement

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