Africa Premiere
September 2011
King Zwelithini Stadium
Umlazi, Durban, South Africa

An anchor event of Celebrate Durban!

Let Spirit of America take you on the musical adventure of a lifetime.

Thrilling music, precision marching, an inspiring story

Spirit of America’s 2011 Field Show—EXPLORATION!, was a ground-breaking production that expanded the traditional American football halftime show into an hour-long theatrical experience for the field. Over 100 musicians—brass, woodwind and percussion—performing high-speed drill maneuvers were joined by dancers, props and brilliantly costumed characters to tell a story on an ever-changing set that spanned the length of the pitch.

EXPLORATION! tells the story of Annie Collins, a young photographer who leaves her home in the American Midwest to make her way in the bustling streets of New York City. She finds success, but loses her spark of inspiration—her “stardust”.

Returning to visit her childhood home, Annie photographs the grand opening of the library that her beloved Nana has dreamed of building her whole life. Nana takes a moment to remind Annie of the spark she had as child, her gift for capturing the truth about a person on camera.Alone in her darkroom later that night, Annie realizes in a flash that she has let her gift become a tool for getting the best story, regardless of the hurt she causes other people. She has let her spark fade and almost die. Suddenly, the negatives she is developing come to life and Annie is swept up into a fantastical world where explorers of the past and present surround her!

She is led through dramatic experiences with visionaries like Brendan the Bold, Leonardo daVinci, and Jacques Cousteau. Finally, she meets the great Nelson Mandela himself, who teaches her to embrace the past from which she has been running—to truly discover who she is, and who she can become if she follows her destiny. Then the real adventure begins!

Celebrate Durban
It was with pride that Spirit of America accepted the invitation to mount EXPLORATION! in Umlazi as an anchor event of Celebrate Durban. “I am very excited…I really think it’s a powerful message of forging links between the United States and South Africa, through and event, through art.” —Eric Apelgren, International Governance Relations, City of Durban.

100 performers, 225 costumes, and 275 instruments took part in this dynamic show—along with famous figures like Leonardo da Vinci, Jacques Cousteau, Nelson Mandela, and others—on this spell-binding journey of Exploration!



Press release

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Celebrate Durban