Andile back home for maiden Le Corsaire
AFTER spending some time in Washington award-winning dance sensation Andile Ndlovu is back home to dance in the ballet Le Corsaire at the Joburg Theatre. See him dance from July 19 to 29.
The ballet dancer, who was born in Ladysmith, was in his third season with the Washington Ballet, where he danced the role of Ali the slave, after dancing for one season with the Studio Company.
Ndlovu made a name for himself when he broke into a genre traditionally seen as predominantly the preserve of white dancers in South Africa.
His is a Cinderella story. He began his training in Latin American and ballroom dance at the age of 10.
At 15 he began ballet training under Martin Schonberg in Johannesburg. In 2007 he performed with the South African Ballet Theatre, dancing among other roles the lead in Don Quixote and the Jester in Swan Lake
He went on to dance with the Cape Town City Ballet and tied for first place in the contemporary category of the 2008 Cape Town International Ballet Competition. He has also been part of the 15-year anniversary of Step Afrika! as a guest artist, performing his collaborative choreography solo with Gregory Vuyani Maqoma in Beyond Skin and was part of Somebody To Love: A Dance Celebration to the Music of Queen with Mzansi Productions, choreographed by Debbie Rakusin and Timothy le Roux. In 2011 he danced in the International Ballet Gala in Johannesburg and Cape Town and in the Mzansi Productions staging of Don Quixote in Johannesburg and Durban.
Ndlovu will perform with US-based rising ballet star Michaela DePrince in the first production of the ballet company established by the merger of The South African Ballet Theatre and Mzansi Productions.
DePrince was born in Sierra Leone, where her parents were victims of the west African country's civil war, leaving her orphaned at the age of three.
One of the great 19th century ballet classics, Le Corsaire, is a treasure among classical showpieces, atale of love, set to a sparkling score and glowing with classical ballet at its most irresistible.
An excited Ndlovu says he always feels blessed to set foot in South Africa.
"Seeing my mother is mostly what gives me strength and power to appreciate my art form and my career. It's exciting to have the privilege to dance on the South African stage."
About the production, Ndlovu says he thinks the first South African production of Le Corsaire is a great show to be put on stage in this country.
"This being the first production of the ballet is really amazing and I am grateful to be a part of it."