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All That (African) Jazz

Sonnies promise fireworks

Constance van Niekerk, Vereeniging in SA

All roads lead to sleepy Sonlandpark come the 28th, 29th and 30th this week as Laerskool Sonlandpark (Sonnies) will be showcasing an out of this world experience in their show dubbed ‘Leeto’.

“Leeto is a journey of song and dance experienced by two aliens, Astro and Naut and their robot T on earth,” says Christo Graaff, the director and writer of the show. Christo is a senior teacher and Head of Department at Laerskool Sonlandpark. He shows his theatre expertise on Leeto, a production well worth seeing!

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Ms Marx though on leave popped in to make sure her class performs excellently on rehearsal day

Christo Graaff says that there have been shows before at the school but, “way back in the past.” In the line-up were productions such as ‘Die Towerring, Bestemming Atlantis, The sun is a star and Charlie’s Circus.’ Christo says, “Most of the shows were done in the Vereeniging Civic Theatre.”
This is the first show since Mr Neels van der Merwe took office as Principal from Mr J.J Goss who retired in 2013. Christo adds, “The event is to raise funds for the school to replace the old, worn-out school hall curtains.” One of the teachers at the school says that the curtains have never been changed since the school hall was built over thirty years ago. That makes this show a very worthwhile cause.

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Grade 7s backstage before rehearsal

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Grade 1T ready to go on the stage

“The curtains are very expensive, not less than R150 000, and we might not even raise the whole amount but, at least it will go a long way in trying to raise the money,” says Lizette van der Merwe, the Head of Department of the Foundation Phase at the school.

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Deputy Principal Ms Smit and class teacher (in black) Ms Coertzen backstage before rehearsal

The show indeed promises to be fireworks. The students of Sonlandpark have been working very hard with their teachers to make sure they deliver nothing but the best. One group of learners who practised all by themselves will be a special treat for the audience, if not as novelty. The boys, ranging from grade 5 to grade 7 are a dedicated and talented group called The Portable Gumboots Boys. These children will definitely go a long way with the right mentorship. They are proof that talent does not live in Johannesburg alone but little Vereeniging in the Vaal also has talent, and a lot of it too. These boys’ gumboot dance is definitely worth watching. The choreography is riveting and will most likely keep everyone on their toes. I can promise you, you’ll want more! It is pleasing to note that the youth of South Africa is carrying on with some of the world’s most definitive culture- a culture passed on to them by earlier generation.

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Part of the Portable Gumboots Boys

Dynamite does come in small packages! The show openers are Grade Rs, just 4 and 5 years old. The little ones’ performance is so incredible, and so is the performance of the entire grades right up-to grade seven. The Grade Rs led by their class teacher Ms Otto are delectable and such a pleasure to watch, even though their faces are hidden in their alien costumes. The dances are very excellent it won’t matter not seeing their faces.
The music used in the show is full of variety to cater for every taste. You will be taken from the beach, to the moon, to somewhere in space, to the jungle, ooh, and just about everywhere on earth. 

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Christo, backstage giving last minute advice before performance on rehearsal dsy

“The children are very talented, especially the dancers and the main characters,” assures Christo.   
Christo says that Leeto is an idea he walked with for a long time. “This year I just decided that this must be the year.”

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Ready for rehearsal, grade 1L with Mam Manana

“If you love music, or theatre come and enjoy with us the journey of the aliens on earth. You can also just come simply to support the only primary school in Sonlandpark, even if you don’t have a child at the school. Come and give back to the community. The show starts at 18:30 sharp, and tickets are available at the office at R30.00 per seat. Come and join in the adventure.”
Make a date with the youngest and most amazing talent in the Vaal. Don’t miss this once- in- a- blue- moon event.

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Grade 6R backstage before rehearsal

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Grade 6R on stage during rehearsal

 

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About Editor

Constance van Niekerk is a South African-based Zimbabwean-born creative writer, poet, music lover, spoken word artist, freelance writer, blogger and educator. She has contributed to several anthologies and published her own collection, Echoes of My Heart: A Poetry Collection available for purchase on all Amazon Stores Worldwide. She is also Editor at ZimOnlineNews. Follow her on Twitter : @convanniekerk Connect with her on Facebook and Linkedin.

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Echoes of My Heart: A Poetry Collection by Constance van Niekerk

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