The celebrations of the Cape Town City Ballet’s 80th anniversary continue this month with yet another beautiful performance called Ballet Beautiful, now on at Artscape’s Theatre in Cape Town.
Look forward to a combination of both classical and modern performances, comprising Paquita by Marius Petipa, the premieres of Serendipity and Of Gods and Men by SA choreographers Yarisha Singh and Kirsten Isenberg, and a new pas de deux by Robin van Wyk called The Fragile Balance.
When the curtains went up on opening night, the audience was treated to a performance of Uvuyo (Celebrate) by the ZAMA Dance School, who will be at each performance in the ballet’s schedule. It was wonderful to see these young dancers show their talents on stage and I so enjoyed the broad, bright smiles of the dancers as they completed each leap or turn.
One of my favourite performances of the night was Of Gods and Men by Johannesburg-based choreographer Kirsten Isenberg. I’m not usually a fan of more modern ballets but I found this beautiful, unique and rather mesmerising at times. It depicts the mythological struggle between gods and man and how their strengths and weaknesses ultimately result in their equality.
The contemporary dance style of Yarisha Singh’s Serendipity left me rather confused after seeing it for the first time but after watching it the next day again (I just can’t get enough of the ballet) I understood the story far better and found it quite quirky and whimsical.
The word serendipity originates from a Persian fairy tale where the characters were “always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of”. The story portrayed is an almost movie-like script with lots of little sub-plots going on at the same time, making it quite a lot to take in, so pay attention. The idea is that we are all connected in ways that we might not know or understand at the time.
One of the biggest drawcards of Ballet Beautiful is Paquita, which was first staged in Russia as a full-length ballet for the Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg. Audiences in Cape Town can look forward to a variety of intricate and technically-wowing smaller dances from the final act. I adored watching the amazing Mami Fujii in Saturday’s performance. She’s the most wonderful, confident and utterly beautiful dancer and the applause from the audience during her multiple fouettés (complicated ballet turns that would have the ordinary person on the floor in seconds) was astounding and well-deserved.
Robin van Wyk’s The Fragile Balance also sees the long-time favourite partnership of prima ballerina Tracy Li and Daniel Rajna return to the stage in an emotional pas de deux. It’s been seven years since these two have danced on stage together and provides a treat for long-standing patrons of the ballet.
Book Your Tickets
Ballet Beautiful is on at the Artscape until 12th July 2014.
Look who’s dancing
Fri 11 July @ 19h30 – Angela Hansford & Daniel Szybkowski and Kim Vieira & Daniel Szybkowski
Sat 12 July @ 14h00 – Laura Bosenberg & Thomas Thorne and Mami Fujii & Conrad Nusser
Sat 12 July @ 19h30 – Tracy Li & Daniel Rajna and Kim Vieira & Daniel Szybkowski
*Photography courtesy of Pat Bromilow Downing and Jacques Conradie.