Todd Anderson

William Kentridge - Refuse The Hour



A huge thanks to my company CTTC Design and Nedbank for the invitation to the premier of 'Refuse the Hour", a chamber opera (performance art) by South Africa's most internationally acclaimed artist, William Kenteridge.

The venue for the evenings performance was the Cape Town City Hall. It always feels like such an honour to be inside this important and beautiful building. The very same place that in February 11th 1990, Nelson Mandela, standing on the balcony, made his first public speech after his release from prison.

The evening began with dinner and drinks. On the table was a flipbook by Kenteridge titled 'Hurdle' to accompany the evenings performance. After dinner we entered the incredible auditorium, the amazing backdrop to the evenings show. The stage was set with mechanical structures made from bicycle wheels, drums, pipes and megaphones.

The performance begins with the story of an eight-year-old boy on the train with his father who chronicling the ancient Greek myth of Perseus. The story continues on a journey through cosmology and science, ending with a narration featuring Einstein.

The enthralling, 80 minute performance is a visual experience combining Kentridge's narrative and art works, a score by Philip Miller, video by Catherine Meyburgh and dance performed and choreographed by Dada Masilo.




Both Nedbank and Design Indaba sponsored the performance and the evening ended with many of the audience sharing conversation over a coffee. In the room I spotted a number of speakers from the weeks Design Indaba, including Dan Weiden, Stanley Hainsworth and Pepe Mirais. I also had the great honour to speak briefly with one of my design heroes Michael Beirut that I have to confess, really made my evening!
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