Muse brings good music to Kirstenbosch

23 February 2004

The sassy, funky, bow-twirling and dancing all-girl string quartet Muse will be performing at the Show of the Summer at Kirstenbosch Gardens on February 29.

The UCT-based group invites you to bring a bottle of wine, your friends and family, a picnic basket and blanket (on which you are unlikely to remain seated) and some extra Rands (to purchase their first ever, hot-off-the-press album entitled My Dance). The show kicks off at 17h30 and lasts for an hour.

As one of the few all-girl string quartets in the country, the group has developed a trademark image and sound that has seen them on stage before a 7 000-strong audience at the opening of the Cape Town International Convention Centre, a lead-in for electric violin icon Vanessa-Mae.

Their unique style, a mélange of Latino House, jazz and hip-hop dance styles using amplified beats, has allowed the group to take their classical genre to numerous clubs, pubs, parties, fashion shows and high-profile corporate events.

Muse includes violinist Larah Eksteen (24), who completed her BMus at the University of Pretoria and who is doing her master's in chamber music at UCT. She is also the group's composer, writing original works to bolster their repertoire. Olivia van Gass (23) is also a violinist and completed her BMus and her honours in performance at UCT. Violinist Annemi van der Merwe (25) also concluded her BMus at UCT (passing with distinction). The fourth member, Carol Schutz (29), has a BMus from Rhodes (also with distinction) and works as a public relations consultant at the UCT Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing. She is also the marketer and business manager for the group.

In other arts and entertainment news The Memory of Water, a bitter-sweet, hilariously funny comedy by one of Britain's hottest new playwrights Shelagh Stephenson, is on at the Baxter Theatre from February 17 to March 6.

Winner of an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 2000 and voted the UK "Play of the Year", The Memory of Water is about three very different sisters reunited for their mother's funeral. During their unexpected reunion the estranged siblings bicker constantly over conflicting memories of their childhood and, in trying to come to terms with their loss, create some outrageously funny and deeply touching situations.

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