The birds of Princess Vlei were well and truly celebrated by the Flight of Dreams Carnival and Concert on 27 September. The day began early in the morning, when students from Lotus High joined the Flight of Dreams team to finish off the puppets that had been made at the workshop on August 30 by learners from Lotus High, Immaculata and John Graham Primary.
At last the puppets were ready, as the participants for the parade gathered outside LOFOB hall. The rain cleared up just in time, chased away by a fresh South Easter.
At 3.30, the parade set off. In the lead were the St Cyprians Church Lads and Girls Brigade Band, followed by the colourful cast of the Hyde Park Primary school production, The Birds Great Race. Then the learners from Lotus High, John Graham and other Princess Vlei enthusiasts with their beautiful puppets, and finally the Mzantsi Carnival with their giant leopard toad and carnival band. The parade was escorted by members of the local Community Police Forum, down First Avenue, across Victoria Avenue and Prince George Drive to Princess Vlei.
At the Vlei, the paraders met up with other performers for the concert. First up was the Ned Doman marimba band.
Then the crowd was treated to the mellow sounds of the South Peninsula High Junior Jazz band.
Then it was the turn of the talented Hyde Park Primary learners. They had been working for weeks with Vincent and others from Jungle Theatre, helped by their own teachers and Bradley van Sitters, to create a magical retelling of the Khoisan myth The Bird's Great Race. The small weaver defeats the great eagle in the race to the arms of the great Mantis creator.
The Oaklands High choir sang beautifully, followed by a magnificent solo.
Talented young dancers from the Embo Nangoku Arts Movement (Philippi) enthralled the crowd with their exuberant moves.
The concert ended on a high note with a dynamic performance by hip hop group Emile Jansen and Mixed Mense.
After the concert, the birds were taken down to the waters edge. Here Bradley van Sitters led the crowd in a Nama prayer, and song which he taught to the school learners. The birds seemed to come to life, gazing out solemnly over the silver waters of the vlei beneath the evening sky, listening to the words of an ancient language much like that one spoken by the first humans to bathe in the waters of Princess Vlei.
The Flight of Dreams was a moving and beautiful event, made possible by the hard work and creativity of many working together. It demonstrated again how Princess Vlei can help to bring the community together to celebrate nature, and can serve as an inspiration and platform for the wonderful talent of our youth.
Posts by Bridget Pitt unless stated otherwise.