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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

PETER AND THE WOLF (article first published : 2005-07-16)

This year, Durban City Dance Company took the innovative move of staging a ballet for young people at Kwasuka Theatre over the holidays. The season has proved to be such a sell-out success that DCDC has laid foundations for regular holiday programmes at this charming Morningside venue in the future.

Originally created as an educational touring dance company, DCDC has the specific aim of assisting educators in their daily school syllabus. Within the first three months of 2005, DCDC performed to over 6,000 learners throughout the province and are presently actively doing reach-out and teaching workshops at various schools in abled as well as disabled communities.

Multi-award winning dancer and choreographer Quinton Ribbonaar, DCDC’s Artistic Director, has re-choreographed Sergey Prokofiev’s favourite classic. Designed to introduce youngsters to instruments of the orchestra such as the flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon, it tells the tale of an independent young lad called Peter who lives with his grumpy grandfather on the edge of dark wood. In the story are a bird, a duck, a cat, a wolf, and two hunters.

Farla Ribbonaar has designed a sensible, economical set which is easily-movable as the show shares the stage with Frank & Stein in the evenings. Next to a picket fence covered with flowered creeper stand two ladders representing the trees with another ladder placed across the rungs for the branches. The pond is made of crystalline fabric with two large lily pads. This is long-suffering Duck’s domain and Debi Wells was highly amusing as this character, even sporting a massive pair of sunglasses. I was delighted with Quinton’s twist to the original story, allowing Duck to survive after a short period of incarceration!

Chloe Perling shows major promise as a sassy and engaging Peter and we are bound to see more of her on the dance scene. In a charming feathered tutu as the brave little Bird and handling most of the ballet work is Lisa McKellar while Julia Wilson is a mischievous and crafty cat. All three dancers are still at school but put in well-disciplined and professional performance.

The evil Wolf is played with much gusto and energy by Sifiso Majola while Sanele Mzinyane and Sibusiso Ngidi provide the humour as the Hunters. Candice Daniels was suitably grouchy as Grandfather.

There is no more delicious sound that that of children’s helpless laughter and this morning’s audience was as much a delight to watch as were the dancers!

Peter And The Wolf had its final performance today but watch out for the next holiday productions such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears in September and the Gentle Magic Music Show in December. Described as a spectacular music and dance extravaganza, it looks as if it should be entered into the holiday diary right away!

Contact DCDC on 031 202 0827 or email: dcdcompany@gmail.com – Caroline Smart




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