Triple ballet treat for all seasons

Kitty Phetla. Pic. Johnny Hogg.
Kitty Phetla. Pic. Johnny Hogg.

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Lovers of ballet are poised to be spoilt from November 7. Ballet Theatre Afrikan will present a triple bill at the State Theatre's Drama Theatre in Pretoria.

The bill, which will run until November 17, comprises Vivaldi's Four Seasons, choreographed by Martin Schonberg, who is the artistic director of Ballet Theatre African. There's Adele Blank's Collaborations set to the Claude Bolling Concerto for Jazz and classical piano and Jukebox Gentleman, choreographed by Andrea Schermoly.

Says choreographer Schermoly about her work: "Jukebox Gentlemen is a simplistic personification of how music so effectively and instantaneously displaces or alters our moods and thoughts.

"I am always astounded at the profound nostalgia, happiness or deepest melancholy I can ping-pong to and from, within seconds, just reeling through my iPod.

"And each time certain memories seem permanently attached to specific pieces, never to escape their assigned soundtrack. In essence a jukebox is a memory cave," she said.

"My grandfather Ernst de Jong had painted a vibrant painting of the Jukebox Gentleman he envisioned. The magical, motivational quality of it just seemed a perfect backdrop for a playful attempt at creating cavities of different experiences."

Ballet Theatre African has received praise both locally and internationally for their energetic performance and alternative training.

The dancers are recruited from a cross-section of society and culture. The award-winning dance company maintains a focus on uplifting previously disadvantaged sectors of society.

BalletTheatre African presents classical repertoire and works by leading South African choreographers covering a cross section of dance disciplines including jazz, contemporary and Afro-fusion.

Based in Johannesburg, the company was launched professionally five years ago and they have been performing as a youth dance company both nationally and internationally in programmes including Cinderella, Debut, En Route, Voila, The Adventures of Alice, The Stars of Tomorrow and A Season of Dance.