What's On - On Stage
NATIONAL BALLET OF CUBA TO DANCE IN SA
Tue, 14 August 2012
The National Ballet of Cuba (NBC), hailed as being among the great ballet companies of the world, arrives in South Africa at the end of August for performances in major SA cities.
With an impressive contingent of 60 dancers and support staff, the National Ballet of Cuba will also be one of the largest ballet companies ever to visit South Africa.
The tour opens with five performances at the Teatro at Montecasino in Johannesburg on Thursday 30 August.
The National Ballet of Cuba 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 as 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 director and guiding light of the NBC, Miss Alonso plans to 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.
The idea of a South African tour by the National Ballet of Cuba was first raised in meetings between Dirk Badenhorst, director of Mzansi Productions, and the NBC in Havana in 2008. Over the past four years, South Africa has welcomed several smaller groups of Cuban dancers as well as individual dancers and teachers from the National Ballet School of Cuba who have appeared and worked under the auspices of Mzansi Productions.
The Embassy of Cuba in South Africa has been at the forefront in promoting and supporting the ballet links between the two countries.
“The visit by the National Ballet of Cuba moves South African-Cuban cultural ties to a new level,” says Dirk Badenhorst, “and like a fine wine, the tour will mark the culmination of a maturing process that has been developed over several years.
“The 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 our own 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,” he said.
The National Ballet of Cuba’s SA tour opens in Johannesburg at the Teatro at Montecasino on 30 August. 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 performance on 24 September will form part of SA’s Heritage Day celebrations.
Booking for Joburg and Cape Town at Computicket. Durban to be confirmed.