Artist behind South Africa’s bank notes collaborates with Stars of American Ballet

| June 18, 2014 | 0 Comments
Ernst de Jong with his American Dream Wheel.

Ernst de Jong with his American Dream Wheel.

South African artist Ernst de Jong – considered somewhat of a legend in the art and design world – marks his 80th birthday with artworks and stage designs specially painted for the Stars of American Ballet production, taking place at Montecasino’s Teatro from 20 to 22 June 2014.

As the design director for the South African bank notes (with the big five animals) and the artist behind many everyday items, from Five Roses Tea to the blue and red designs on Cobra taps, Ernst de Jong has been quoted as saying, “Nobody can escape art. [It’s] the furniture that we sit on, the fashion that we wear, the designs of the cars we drive.”

And now his artistic influence stretches to the ballets we watch too.

The paintings he’s created each reflect one of the items performed in the Stars of American Ballet galas, such as Tarantella, Le Corsaire, Balanchine’s Who Cares and others. They will appear behind the dancers on large onstage LED screens, making it the first time that LED screens form the décor for ballet in South Africa. The artworks will also be exhibited in various locations at the Teatro at Montecasino.

Okay, this is lovely, but what’s the link you ask?

The link is a rather personal one, with Ernst de Jong’s own granddaughter, the Johannesburg-born and New York-based Andrea Schermoly, appearing as one of the stars in the show. She was awarded the Outstanding Choreographer Award in 2012 and 2013 at Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) and this year received the Emerging Choreographer Grant to choreograph at Lincoln Center at YAGP’s 15th anniversary gala.

Here’s an entertaining example of her choreography from the 2012 YAGP. This one’s called “Tricks are for kids”, performed by junior competitor Adam Bernstein.

You can watch more of Andrea Schermoly’s choreography in action, along with works by Balanchine and pieces from other crowd-pleasing classics such as Le Corsaire and Don Quixote at the 5-performance-only season of Stars of American Ballet this weekend.

Born in the USA by South African artist Ernst de Jong.

Born in the USA by South African artist Ernst de Jong.

Presented by local ballet entrepreneur Dirk Badenhorst, the show is directed by Joaquin de Luz of the New York City Ballet and features the following American dancers:

Ashley Bouder, Joaquin de Luz, Amar Ramasar, Emilie Gerrity and Indiana Woodward (all from New York City Ballet);
Adiarys Almeida (International free-lance dancer, previously Boston Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet and Corella Ballet Madrid);
Isaac Hernandez (Dutch National Ballet, previously San Francisco Ballet);
Jonhal Fernandez (Ballet de Monterrey);
Joseph Gatti (international freelance dancer, previously Boston Ballet and Cincinnati Ballet);
Anna Maria Lucaciu (Cedar Lake);
Andrea Schermoly (Nederlands Dans Theater);
and Michaela DePrince (Dutch National Ballet Junior Company and star of the First Position movie).

Booking Details:

Dates: 20 June 2014 at 8pm; 21 June 2014 at 3pm and 8pm; 22 June at 11am and 3pm.
Venue: The Teatro at Montecasino, Johannesburg
Tickets: from R150 to R420 via Computicket.

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Category: Dance News

About the Author ()

Hi, I'm Robynn, and I'm a student of the potential of the body, the marvels of the mind, and the beauty of it all combined in ballet. As the editor, BodyMindBallet is where I get to learn, to share and to enjoy this wide world of dance - and with every day I gain an ever richer respect for the athleticism of dance and the skill of performance artistry.

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