With an impressive contingent of 60 dancers and support staff, the National Ballet of Cuba will be one of the largest ballet companies to tour to South Africa and marks the company’s first ever visit to this country.
The tour opens with five performances at the Teatro at Montecasino in Johannesburg on Thursday 30 August. The company will perform a showcase of the best of Cuban ballet titled The Magic of the Dance, bringing together in a single performance the jewels of the company’s repertoire. These include highlights from Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Giselle, Coppélia and Don Quixote well as works from the Cuban repertoire and a new ballet choreographed especially for the SA tour by the legendary founder of the NBC, Alicia Alonso. Now 92 and still the Director and guiding light of the NBC, Miss Alonso will visit SA with the company. Fêted on her 90th birthday two years ago at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and the Metropolitan Opera House in New York with celebratory Galas in her honour, Miss Alonso was one of the world’s great ballerinas of the post-war era.
Ballet lovers will be thrilled to know that South African Mzansi Ballet dancers Burnise Silvius, Kitty Phetla and Michael Revie will perform solos and pas de deux with the National Ballet of Cuba in Johannesburg on 30 August and Bloemfontein on 24 September. All three will also appear in the Finale of the performances on those dates that will be choreographed by Alicia Alonso herself.
“The visit by the National Ballet of Cuba moves South African-Cuban cultural ties to a new level,” says Dirk Badenhorst, director of Mzansi Productions,“and like a fine wine, the tour will mark the culmination of a maturing process that has been developed over several years”. Badenhorst added that he tour by the NBC is an important step in further cementing the friendship between South African and Cuba through ballet diplomacy. Cuba is unequalled as a model for ballet in this country, embracing as it does the entire Cuban population regardless of race and class, and attracting aspiring dancers as well as audiences from all communities across Cuba. The Embassy of Cuba in South Africa has been at the forefront in promoting and supporting the ballet links between the two countries.
The National Ballet of Cuba’s SA tour runs in Johannesburg at the Teatro at Montecasino from 30 August to 2 September 2012. The company will perform at the Artscape Opera House, Cape Town, from 13 to 16 September and at the Sand du Plessis Theatre, Bloemfontein, on 23 and 24 September – the last performance will form part of SA’s Heritage Day celebrations.
Tickets cost from R80 to R350 via Computicket or 08619158000. Discounts are available for group bookings of 10 or more.
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