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SWAN LAKE (article first published : 2006-03-20)

Tickets are selling fast for the not-to-be-missed historic South African tour of Swan Lake by the acclaimed St Petersburg Ballet Theatre, a visit which is heading for a sell-out although seats are still available and extra shows are being hastily arranged into the company's schedule.

The company - the first Russian to visit South Africa with a complete work - performs within its own sumptuous settings and with hundreds of beautiful costumes brought all the way from St Petersburg. The production has received rave reviews from its recent performances in the UK where it also performed at London's famed Royal Albert Hall.

Konstantin Tachkin's St Petersburg Ballet Theatre includes 55 principals, soloists and a full corps de ballet. Following the original choreography of Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa, they will perform the full length of classical ballet's mos-loved work with music by Tchaikovsky. Celebrated young prima ballerina Irina Kolesnikova will star in the ballet with Russian maestro Alexander Kantorov conducting a full South African orchestra in each centre.

St Petersburg's origin as a ballet company is an interesting one. The company's founding director, Tachkin, was a paratrooper in the Soviet Army in Berlin. Demobbed in 1991, he returned to St Petersburg and realising the great demand for Russian classical ballet, he started his own company.

Swan Lake is presented in South Africa by international producer Michael Edgley who staged the blockbuster tour of The Great Moscow Circus earlier this year. The company tours to Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Cape Town before reaching Durban.

Performances will take place in the Playhouse Opera from April 27 to May 3 with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra. Book at Computicket.




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