Thursday, August 23, 2012

Special Post: #NoMoreDiscoWeWantBallet

I’m not one to blog about lifestyle events, but I guess all these happenings I’m getting invites to are suggesting I start doing otherwise. Attending Artscape Opera Hosue is always a pleasure for me. Eve though I’ve, up until now, only been attending smaller productions, the grandeur of the venue beckons getting dressed up and all of a sudden adopting a much more polished accent. Now, thanks to my most recent invitation, I get to attend a big production. A big ballet production. Raymonda.

No fewer than four guest artists will grace the stage in this glamorous re-creation of Norman Furber’s masterpiece, last seen in South Africa in 1996, when danced by the CAPAB Ballet Co. Hikaru Kobayashi and Valeri Hristov, both Senior Soloists in the ROYAL BALLET, will dance the roles of Raymonda and Jean de Brienne at two performances, while Trevor Schoonraad, formerly of the ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET and now an international freelance artist, shares the role of Abderam with Xola Putye and Ivan Boonzaaier.

Dirk Weyershausen, of the NORWEGIAN NATIONAL BALLET, will partner Laura Bosenberg at three performances and the third pairing is Kim Vieira, formerly of the DUTCH NATIONAL BALLET, with Daniel Szybkowski, making this a truly international production. The sultry role of Semiramis will be shared by our own Angela Hansford, Lauren Rogers and Kirstel Jensen, supported by an exciting cast of soloists and corps de ballet, portraying the story of Raymonda’s abduction by Abderam and her rescue from his harem by her betrothed, Jean de Brienne.

With sumptuous sets and costumes and danced to the glorious Glazunov score, played by the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Allan Stephenson, this production will showcase the wealth of South African talent alongside the best in the world, leaving you in no doubt as to the standard achieved by the CAPE TOWN CITY BALLET in it’s 78-year existence!

Raymonda was incorporated into the CAPAB Ballet’s repertoire in 1977, with choreography by Alfred Rodrigues and designs by Peter Cazalet. On 10th August, 1980, David Poole and Norman Furber hosted a lecture demonstration at the Nico Malan Opera House in anticipation of Furber’s new production of the ballet, and on 2nd September, 1980, Furber’s re-choreographed version was added to the CAPAB repertoire. It was reproduced five times subsequently until 1996, which is the last time Cape Town audiences saw the ballet.

The show opens on Friday, 24 August and runs on the following Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, with a closing performance on Saturday, 1 September at 14H00. You can get your tickets through Computicket or Artscape’s Dial-A-Seat service.

This production promises to be epic and I find it befitting it be my first ballet viewing.

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