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NEWLY renamed Joburg Ballet (formerly known as Mzansi Ballet) will be in Cape Town next week with Celebration 5 at the Joseph Stone Auditorium.
The short season showcases a cultural collaboration between South Africa and Colombia, with the Cartagena dance company El Colegio del Cuerpo joining forces with Joburg Ballet for two performances, directly after a season in Joburg.
The director and co-founder of El Colegio del Cuerpo, Alvaro Restrepo, has been working with Joburg Ballet for three weeks, while the company arrived last week.
Restrepo has been working on God-By-The-Sea with Joburg Ballet, which he has choreographed in partnership with Marie France Delieuvin.
Joburg Ballet soloist Nicole Ferreira says working with him has been a learning experience:
“It’s been wonderful. He’s very inspiring because he gets you to do things you wouldn’t normally do.
“When you’re doing a ballet, normally you’re acting a character. You know what that character is supposed to do. His piece, though, you’re completely yourself, you show your emotions,” explained Ferreira.
“I think we’ll see how it all works once we start working together, but in the few weeks we’ve worked with him, we’ve come to realise that he likes to get the dancers involved. ‘Put your emotion in it,’ is what he says a lot,” she continued.
Ferreira says her fellow dancers at Joburg Ballet have really enjoyed working with the Colombian choreographer, since it is different from the set choreography they have been working on over the past few years as a ballet company with a broad and diverse repertoire that includes neo-classical work.
“We’ve not done that much of this kind of content, we do more classical ballets. It’ll be good to see how the audience reacts to the contemporary pieces,” she said.
In addition to working with Joburg Ballet, the Colombian dancers will also perform Romanian Dances to the music of Bela Bartok. Joining them on stage will be Cape Town City Ballet, Cape Dance Company, La Rosa Spanish Dance Theatre and Dance for All, who will showcase their repertoire at Celebration 5.
The performance on September 24 will pay tribute to the late Carolyn Holden, the artistic director of La Rosa, who died suddenly earlier this year.
Completing the programme for Celebration 5 are two classical pas de deux – the Act 1 pas de deux from Le Corsaire by Burnise Silvius and Jonathan Fraser and the grand pas de deux from Act 3 of The Sleeping Beauty by Mama Fuji of Cape Town City Ballet and Ramiro Samón of Cuba, who is with Joburg Ballet.
l Alvaro Restrepo and Colegio del Cuerpo, in association with Joburg Ballet, will facilitate a workshop on stage at the Joseph Stone on September 25 from 11am to 1pm, open to the public, with no charge.
• Celebration 5 at the Joseph Stone Auditorium September 24 and 25 at 7.30pm. Tickets R120 to R150 from Computicket.