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ST PETERSBURG BALLET (article first published : 2006-12-2)

The St Petersburg Ballet Theatre premiered its first-ever South African season at the State Theatre in Pretoria in March 2006. The following day, the box office was under siege. The already heavily booked season sold out within hours and tour producers Edgley International hastily arranged additional performances to satisfy demand. This pattern of sell-out seasons was repeated across South Africa and by the end of the tour in May, a staggering 63,000 people had attended the Ballet’s performances.

In response to this unprecedented success and the clear demand by ballet and theatre patrons to see first-class productions of the great classics, The St Petersburg Ballet will return to South Africa in early 2007.

The ballets chosen for the 2007 season are Giselle, a classic production of the work which was first performed at the Paris Opera on June 28, 1841. Often described as the world’s most romantic ballet, Giselle was first performed in St Petersburg in 1842.

The second work to be presented is the timeless favourite Swan Lake. This magnificent full-length production was sold-out when it performed in Durban in 2006.

The St Petersburg Ballet will ship its complete sets and costumes for both full length works to Pretoria immediately after the conclusion of their four-month UK tour. The touring company of 55 dancers plus support staff will be the largest Russian company to visit South Africa and certainly the only troupe to present full-length works.

The beautiful Adolphe Adam musical score for Giselle and Tchaikovsky’s magnificent Swan Lake will be performed by a full Symphony Orchestra. The 2007 season premiere of the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre will open at the State Theatre, Pretoria, on February 28.

The St Petersburg Ballet Company ends its national tour in Durban in the Playhouse Opera with Giselle running from April 25 to 29 and Swan Lake running from May 1 to 6. The ballets will be accompanied by the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Durban ticket prices range from R160 to R375 (children R96 to R225). There will be no concessions or group booking discounts on Saturday nights. Book at Computicket on 011 340 8000 or 031 369 9540 or on www.computicket.com




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