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CISNE NEGRO (article first published : 2004-08-14)

Brazilian contemporary ballet company Cisne Negro is set to enthral Durban audiences when they return to the Playhouse Drama from August 20 to 29. Proudly presented by Petrobras in association with The Playhouse Company, Cisne Negro combines raw athletic energy with the discipline of classic ballet training. This high-powered dance company last wowed Durban dance fans four years ago, and audiences can once again look forward to more of their neo-classic style, exciting energy and innovative dance.

One of the most important and established dance companies in Brazil, Cisne Negro combines originality and tradition – and mirrors its home city, São Paulo: Cosmopolitan, urban and a magnet for Brazil’s rich mix of races and cultures.

Cisne Negro – which means ‘black swan’ – was founded in 1977 by artistic director Hulda Bittencourt, who gathered students from the established Cisne Negro Ballet Studio and gymnasts from the local Physical Education University. For more than 27 years this combination of diverse backgrounds has given the ensemble its fundamental characteristic: spontaneous, exuberant energy and breathtakingly virile dance marked by a highly technical and artistic character.

The company has set new standards in the Brazilian dance scene, working with versatility, professionalism and passion. Their reputation for brilliance has earned them a strong following – and gave birth to a new dance audience in Brazil. Not only has the company performed in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo but all over Brazil, and in England, Scotland, Spain, Germany, the United States, Canada, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and South Africa. Like São Paulo, Cisne Negro’s style explores and integrates apparently diverse elements. Brazilian black and folk traditions meet modern style and the wider influences of one of the world’s biggest cities.

Cisne Negro’s repertory strongly emphasizes contemporary dance – the rich result of working with a variety of choreographers of different styles and backgrounds. The company has discovered and developed young Brazilian choreographers, as well as invited international choreographers, such as Itzik Galili (Israel), Patrick Delcroix (France), Michael Bugdahn (Germany), Mark Baldwin (England), Vasco Wellencamp (Portugal), Gigi Caciuleanu (Romania), Janet Smith (England), Ana Mondini, Dany Bittencourt, Denise Namura, Mário Nascimento, Rui Moreira, Tindaro Silvano (Brazil), Julio Lopes (Argentina), Victor Navarro (Spain) and Luis Arrieta (Argentina).

Cisne Negro are renowned the world over for combining discipline with wild energy, classic balletic lines with creativity, beautiful costumes and the youthful exuberance of the dancers. Passion, vitality and brilliant choreography combine to offer an evening of memorable dance.

Over the next year Cisne Negro plans a tour of Europe, including guest performances at the Maifestspiele Festival in Wiesbaden, Germany, performances at many summer festivals in Italy and a third season at The Joyce Theater, New York. Cisne Negro is sponsored by Petrobras, the biggest oil company in Brazil – an initiative that has proven vital for the development of the company’s various projects.

There are performances in Durban in the Playhouse on August 20 and 21 at 19h30; August 22 at 18h00, August 25 at 19h30, August 28 at 14h30 and 19h30 as well as on August 29 at 18h00

Tickets R55 (R40 for the Saturday matinée/R15 for scholars). There is a special schools’ performance at 11h00 on August 27. Early booking at Computicket is advised. Call Thanduxolo on 031 3699467 to book for the schools’ performance.




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