Your last chance to see Malan

IT CAN sometimes take a single event to change one's perception of something.

IT CAN sometimes take a single event to change one's perception of something.

That is what happened to me this week at the South African State Theatre in Pretoria during the Naledi Theatre awards when I saw a snippet of Swan Lake and gained a new appreciation of ballet.

The show opens on Friday at the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein.

The performance in Pretoria was short and sweet and stunning, with Korean dancer Hyung Kyung Scho and Burnise Silvius, the South African Ballet Theatre's principal dancer, doing their magic on the stage.

Both mesmerised and in shock is the best way to describe the audience's reaction to the stunning performance.

If you missed that display of talent and skill at the State Theatre , the last performance of Swan Lake with SABT of senior principal dancer Angela Malan, cancel all your other engagements and go to the Joburg Theatre on Friday.

South Africa's dance community will be left the poorer when Malan leaves the classical dance company for other opportunities abroad.

Malan has been invited to appear as a guest artist by Peter Bo Bendixen (artistic director of the Pantomime Theatre and Ballet Gæstespil) in Tivoli in Copenhagen, Denmark, from July to September.

"The past nine years with SABT have been extraordinary and I have learnt so much," Malan said.

"I am keen to continue learning and growing as a dancer and I hope that the experience I gain through performing and travelling over the next few months will enrich me.

"It is this enrichment and knowledge that I hope to bring back to South Africa with me."

She is at present in rehearsal for the new season of Swan Lake. This will be your last opportunity to see poetry in motion as malan will be away.

Iain MacDonald, SABT's artistic director and Malan's frequent partner, has nothing but praise for the dancer.

"Angela has been an integral part of SABT for the past nine years and her invaluable expertise has contributed enormously to maintaining the high standard that audiences have come to expect of SABT," MacDonald said.

"We know that Angela will be a wonderful ambassador for South Africa during her travels and we look forward to possibly welcoming her back to our stages in the near future."

Born in Johannesburg, Malan studied classical ballet with Lynne Fouché and at Pro Arte, Pretoria, and at the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg.

At the age of 16, she took up scholarships at Scuola de Danza in Florence, Italy, and at the National Ballet School of Canada in Toronto. The gifted dancer joined the National Ballet of Canada and lived in Canada for five years.

Malan returned to South Africa in 1994 and joined PACT Ballet, becoming a principal dancer of the State Theatre Ballet in 1998 and performing in most of the company's principal roles.

She was a founder member of SABT.