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Cape Town City Ballet is concerned about artists and dancers in Ukraine

Giselle currently staging at Artscape. Picture: Supplied

Giselle currently staging at Artscape. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 1, 2022

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With the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, the Cape Town City Ballet is “concerned’ about artists and dancers that are affected by the war in the two countries.

Suzette Raymond, Chairperson of both Cape Town City Ballet and Friends of Cape Town City Ballet, says, “Cape Town City Ballet notes with concern the current crisis in Ukraine.

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“The CTCB empathises with artists from the warring countries who are caught in the crossfire. The CTCB hopes that rationality will prevail and that the arts will be able to bring healing, comfort and understanding between nations.”

This comes after the Principal dancer of the Hungarian National Ballet, who was originally scheduled to perform as part of the programme, withdrew from the production amid the warfare in Europe. Melnik was replaced by Ksenia Ovsyanick, Principal Ballerina with Staatsballett Berlin.

“The CTCB empathises with Tatiana Melnik about her fear to travel to South Africa under the current crisis, and the CTCB accepts her request to withdraw from the production,” adds Raymond.

Principal dancer at Birmingham Royal Ballet, Brandon Lawrence, joins the Cape Town City Ballet at select performances in April. He plays the role of Albrecht alongside local dancer and choreographer Leanè Theunissen who plays the role of Giselle.

Maina Gielgud’s “Giselle” is currently staging at the Artscape Opera House until April 9.

“Giselle” presents a romantic story of innocent love and betrayal portrayed in two acts.

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Giselle, a naive and beautiful peasant girl who loves to dance, unsuspectingly falls in love with a philandering nobleman, Albrecht.

He disguises himself as a peasant while pursuing her affections, and when the deceit is revealed, Giselle is inconsolable. In discovering that he is already betrothed, she dies of a broken heart.

The story continues in the moonlit land of the Willies, a mysterious landscape inhabited by the vengeful spirits of virgin brides who never reached their wedding day. The ghostly Wilies torment Albrecht as he appears in search of the spirit of Giselle.

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The duality of the body and spirit, an evocation of the supernatural, and the tale of undying love and devotion endear this quintessentially romantic ballet to a universal audience.

“Giselle” is performed to the music of Adolphe Adam, with choreography by Maina Gielgud, after Jean Coralli & Jules Perrot.

The stellar creative team again includes the powerhouse team of Designer Peter Cazalet for Costume Design and Décor, assisted by Michael Mitchell, and Lighting Design by Wilhelm Disbergen.

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Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of conductor Brandon Phillips, performs alongside the dancers at various performances.

“Giselle” is currently staging at Artscape Opera House, until April 2022.

Tickets prices range from R175 to R750 and are available at Computicket.

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