GaySA Radio is hugely supportive of the vibrant Joburg Ballet Company, arguably the best company in the country. With a tight ensemble, balancing classical ballet with contemporary work, and mentoring and teaching young dancers, Joburg Ballet reaches across all cultural divides and is instrumental in changing the face of ballet in Africa.
We attended Opening Night at the Joburg Theatre, and it was delightful and magical as always.
The first half of the Programme was devoted to ‘Raymonda Act 3’, staged by Brazilian producer, Guivalde de Almeida. This was a first for Johannesburg, and breathtaking in its presentation and interpretation.
Joburg Ballet Artistic Director, Iain MacDonald says: “When I saw Guivalde’s work last year I was so impressed I immediately asked him to share his expertise with us. His staging of the technically challenging but breathtakingly beautiful third act from Raymonda will give Joburg audiences the opportunity to see this great classical jewel for the first time.”
Andrea Delgado’s costumes were exquisite and enchanting.
Shouts of ‘Bravo!’, was heard by a clearly appreciative audience. We experienced the Magic of Ballet, where it seems effortless and the storyline and dancers flow with the music, taking the audience along. It was beautiful.
I was also impressed with the progress that the younger dancers showed. Joburg Ballet has an enviable work ethic, and it’s paying off handsomely.
After the interval, we were treated to a wildly different experience. ‘Whispers of my Soul’, is a contemporary piece, commissioned by Joburg Ballet from Redha.
CEO Esther Nasser says: “Always known simply as Redha – powerful, wildly imaginative, poignantly beautiful. That is Redha.”
‘Whispers of my Soul’, was a somewhat dark piece, in stark contrast to the first half of the Programme. The music was an edgy montage of sound and melody, complimenting the greys and black of the costumes and stage.
Redha also designed the costumes and soundtrack.
I loved the staging, with scaffolds way at the back, almost a bleacher effect, with people sitting in various parts of the wood- and steel pavilion.
Dancers engaging in various forms of social contact, functional and dysfunctional with undertones of violence, danger and isolation.
It was weird and wonderful, and mesmerized the audience.
Once again I came away feeling utterly impressed by the artistic integrity displayed once again by an excellent company.
‘Fire and Ice’, a double bill, will have ten performances from Friday 29 June to Sunday 8 July 2018.
Bookings for the Season, which includes discounts for pensioners and group, is in person at Joburg Theatre Box Office, tel 0861 670 670 or via www.webtickets.co.za
Keep up with the Company through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter or online at www.joburgballet.com