Director Mark Dornford-May and Music Director Pauline Malefane formed what is now the core of Isango Ensemble in Cape Town in 2000. From the beginning the company has drawn its performers from the previously disadvantaged townships surrounding the city. Their company’s structure embraces artists at all stages of creative development, allowing senior artists to lead and contribute towards the growth of rising talents. Isango’s productions re-imagine classics from the Western theatre canon, finding a new context for the stories within a South African or township setting, thereby creating inventive work relevant to the heritage of the nation. Isango Ensemble’s stage productions have played to sold-out audiences across the world, and have received numerous accolades including an Olivier Award, a Globes de Cristal, and an Arts and Culture Award from South Africa for Excellence in Opera. Their films have been featured at festivals including Cannes, Toronto, Sundance (Grand Jury Prize nomination), and the BFI London.
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