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BALLET THEATRE AFRIKAN FOR KZN (article first published : 2003-10-18)

Ballet Theatre Afrikan makes a rare trip to KZN with two complete dance programmes thereby presenting an exciting, eclectic collection of both classical and contemporary work. Each performance includes the beauty of classical dance side by side with contemporary works that will transport audiences to the outer limits of their imagination.

Programme No 1 Made in Holland will be performed at the Playhouse on October 28 at 19h30. Ballet Theatre Afrikan has again opened up an opportunity for new South African choreography, this time with the financial assistance of the Royal Dutch Embassy. Gavin Louis, one of South Africa's leading male dancers before he left to spread his wings internationally, has been performing, choreographing and now heading a dance department in new choreography in Amsterdam. The world premier of his new classical/contemporary work, Home of the Brave, a creation for BTA, will be a feature of this season. The stimulating and exciting Lift to the Scaffold, a contemporary work by the well-loved Adele Blank, Artistic Director of Free Flight Dance company and the beautiful Les Sylphides after Michael Fokine will provide the perfect balance for an enjoyable evening of dance. Les Sylphides has been mounted and produced by Irina Zyrianova, formerly a principal dancer of the State Theatre Ballet Company. Principal ballerinas in Les Sylphides will be permanent guest artist Tanja Graafland, Yolandi Olckers and Kitty Phetla, the male lead being performed by Thoriso Magongwa. All three ballets are premiers for BTA.

Programme No.2, Me & You ....and Friends will be performed at the Playhouse on October 30 and 31 at 19h30. In Ballet Theatre Afrikan's highly successful second programme, the classical repertoire divertissements include Petipa’s wedding scene from Raymonda and the Act II pas de deux from Swan Lake. Two works of South African contemporary choreography will also be featured: A new work by Natalie Fisher of Free Flight Dance Company entitled Pieces of a Dream which is a virtuoso montage of visually geometric and stylistically eclectic snapshots, infusing an African idiom and a ritualistic dimension into pointe work. Christopher Kindo's Me & You has been described recently as "a highly polished and seductive work wrought from diverse dance styles and cultures."

Under the artistic direction of Martin Schönberg, Ballet Theatre Afrikan is a dynamic professional dance company that is creating waves both at home and abroad. Interest generated in the company is due to the uniqueness of the training, the breadth of its repertoire, and the talent of the dancers who are drawn from the multi-cultural communities of South Africa. Ballet Theatre Afrikan is in the business of developing the pride and talent of hundreds of young South Africans. All members of the company are highly technically accomplished dancers who bring the warmth, heart and energy of Africa into even the most classical choreography. The diverse repertoire features works by leading South African and international choreographers in styles ranging from classical, neo classical, jazz, kwaito, and contemporary to afro- fusion.

The Playhouse season is staged in association with the Playhouse Company. Ballet Theatre Afrikan exists through the generous funding of the National Arts Council and the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund. Tickets R65 (R45 pensioners/scholars/students) exc. Computicket charges. Season Tickets including both programs less 10%. Book at Computicket Dial a Seat Tel 031 369 9444 or email www.computicket.co.za Block Bookings of 10 or more less 10% (R25 dance students through dancing teacher).

Me and You ... and Friends will be performed at the Hexagon Theatre in Pietermaritzburg on November 1 at 18h00. Tickets R45 (R35 pensioners/scholars/students) All tickets subject to R2 booking fee. Block Bookings of 10 or more R5 off each ticket price. Book at the Hexagon Theatre on 033 260 5537.




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