Celebrating new and contemporary ballet with Celebration 5

| September 20, 2013 | 0 Comments
Dancers from Joburg Ballet rehearsng Belinda Nusser's new piece, called The Deep and Lovely Quiet.

Dancers from Joburg Ballet rehearsng Belinda Nusser’s new piece, called The Deep and Lovely Quiet. Photo by Bill Zurich.

Coming to both Johannesburg and Cape Town, the newly renamed Joburg Ballet (previously South African Mzansi Ballet) is collaborating with a leading Colombian dance company to bring audiences a showcase of classical and contemporary dance.

Starting on 20 September 2013, at the Joburg Theatre, audiences will see new works by South African choreographers – Belinda Nusser, Kitty Phetla and Shannon Glover – along with special pieces by Álvaro Restrepo, performed by the professional dancers from his Colombian company, El Colegio Del Cuerpo (The School of the Body) and dancers from Joburg Ballet.

For an inspiring and insightful insight into Restrepo’s School of the Body and its dancers, watch this short feature on the school in this episode of ArtsWorld from AlJazeera TV.

Coming up in the Celebration 5 programme…

Starting off the show will be a piece called The Deep and Lovely Quiet by Belinda Nusser. The ex-Joburg and now European-based Nusser explains her piece with these questions: “Does the feeling of belonging to a group make it any less lonely? How far does loneliness go, and where we can we find our peace?” Performed by 11 dancers from Joburg Ballet, they’ll explore the social interactions we experience in daily life and the monotony of them, but also the impact of group power and the strength that comes out of work in unison.

European-based South African choreographer, Belinda Nusser, as she works with Joburg Ballet dancers at their studios.

European-based South African choreographer, Belinda Nusser, as she works with dancers at their Joburg Ballet studios. Photo by Bill Zurich.

Talking of strength, Shannon Glover revealed at a recent choreographic discussion that her work – called Use Somebody – is all about strength, saying that the men in the Joburg Ballet company are so strong that she’s allowed them to dominate the stage. Sounds like we can expect some powerful jumps and impressive macho dancing.

Celebration 5 will also see Kitty Phetla premiere her new piece, called I am. At the same choreographic discussion, she confidently admitted that she’s “a very abstract choreographer” and likes to work with the “educated body”. Considering Phetla’s strong choreographic experience, her work with the very educated bodies of the Joburg Ballet dancers should create something rather special.

But when it comes to special moments, one of the much anticipated highlights of the production will be the work by the Colombian Álvaro Restrepo. Having watched him in action, Restrepo has a very grounded, humble, yet also spiritual approach to his work, which creates pure magic in movement. There’s also a deep sincerity and a depth of meaning to the man that seems to percolate through his wonderfully talented dancers.

These seven dancers will perform Romanian Dances, and will then join forces with 13 Joburg Ballet dancers to perform God-by-the-sea, which Restrepo says is in part a contemplative tribute to the memory of his sister, who died tragically 13 years ago.

But for those who can’t go to the ballet without actually seeing some classical ballet, you’ll be in for a treat with a pas de deux from The Flower Festival at Ganzano. It’s an enchanting Danish piece, which has not been seen on the Johannesburg stage for many years. The programme also includes a classical pas de deux from Act 1 of the ballet Le Corsaire.

Booking details – Johannesburg:

Dates: Friday 20 September at 19:30; Saturday 21 September at 19:30; Saturday 28 September at 19:30.
Venue: Joburg Theatre, Johannesburg
Tickets: From R189 to R336 from www.joburgtheatre.com

Booking details – Cape Town:

Dates: Tuesday 24 September at 19:30; Wednesday 25 September at 19:30.
Venue: Joseph Stone Auditorium, Athlone, Cape Town
Tickets: R150 (or R120 for children under 12) from Computicket

Dancer interviews about Celebration 5 and Cinderella

See Joburg Ballet’s Nicole Ferreira and Michael Revie as they talk on Ballz Radio about both Celebration 5 and their current production of Cinderella.

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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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