MEDIA REVIEWS

“A feat of concentration, synchronization, and athleticism…”

MEDIA REVIEWS

“Simply have to see because this show is of an incredible standard and an artistic delight…”

ALCHEMY 2021

“Emblematic of the innovation, energy and artistry of the company...
“An intoxicating programme… emblematic of the innovation, energy and artistry of the company… the dancing and dancers are mesmerising… Alchemy is a must see… Do not miss…”

Full review here

Robyn Cohen, The Cape Robyn

“So beautiful and mesmerising, you may actually forget to breath..."
“ALCHEMY is pure ballet magic… it is so beautiful and mesmerising, you may actually forget to breath… Troy Game is a visual treat… a dynamic fusion of technique and amusement; a colourful explosion of leaps and pirouettes… Troy Game is pure joy…”

Full review here

Barbara Loots, Theatre Scene Cape Town

“The talent and formidable prowess of Cape Town City Ballet..."

“The talent and formidable prowess of Cape Town City Ballet members glitters under the spotlight in Alchemy — Three Dances… Falling Angels is a gripping piece, overflowing with exuberance, yet exquisitely structured and danced… Because Falling Angels is so picturesque (almost any moment could be frozen in time to render a gorgeous photograph), it opens itself up to many different interpretations, some light, some dark…”

Full review here

Claire Keeton and Tanya Farber, Times Live

“A feat of concentration, synchronization, and athleticism..."

“Falling Angels, was nothing like I had seen before… a feat of concentration, synchronization, and athleticism… ALCHEMY…was nothing short of astounding… definitely a production from 2021 not to be missed…”

Full review here

Lindsay Kruger, Broadway World

“Gave us a most delicious and glorious rest..."
“Alchemy is a show of three very different parts, all of which are a little challenging, none of them ever confronting, or hard. No pressure or head-scratching at all. I would venture to say that almost no thinking is required; lots of feeling though.

The senses are in charge during this production by Cape Town City Ballet at Artscape, which gave us a most delicious and glorious rest, especially coming as it does as we stagger to the end of this 2nd of two very tough and looong years.

Kyle Baird, Tamlyn Higgins and Chanté Daniels in Concerto Barocco, choreography by George Balanchine, performed by permission of the ©The George Balanchine Trust
Alchemy opens with Concerto Barocco, George Balanchine’s plotless ballet, of which Balanchine famously said: “See the music (Bach’s Double Violin Concerto).”

Make up your own story (who doesn’t do that anyway), with no danger of a conflict with the ‘real’ story, no risk of clashing with the official version. Your story is The Story.

In my story, which is almost entirely focused on the pas de deux between the two women (1st violin Tamlyn Higgins and 2nd violin Leane Theunissen on the night we saw it), they are non-identical twins, completely different while perfectly in sync. They are different in looks, energy and style yet perfectly in tune with each other.

As in life, the perfect partnership has a secret magic to it … ‘Who would have thought those two would be so good together …’

Concerto Barocco is performed by permission of the ©The George Balanchine Trust.

Part II, Jiri Kylian’s Falling Angels, is set to a hypnotic Steve Reich score, inspired by the percussive musical rituals of West Africa. This piece is about the tension between discipline and freedom. Or so we were told, but we were already lost to discipline. I blame Concerto Barocco, which freed us from the need to follow a plot. We chose that dreamy kind of freedom, where the brain is off and everything else is on.

Memory, knowledge and etc were banished as the senses were switched on. Falling Angels was mesmerising: eight ballerinas who never left the stage. This was rhythmic, fluid, contemporary dance of the type that takes you to another place and makes you moan with pleasure.

Alchemic, really.

For the finale, we had Robert North’s humorously butch and athletically impressive Troy Game. Rugby be dammed, I tell you.

As a pure representation of masculine power, the France-Argentina game later on the night Alchemy opened at Artscape, couldn’t hold a candle to this piece.

Athletic, ripped men throw each other around between gymnastic displays in what often looks like a video game featuring gladiators. Yet somehow this high octane, all-male ballet is threaded together with control, grace and rhythm, things that were missing in the France-Argentina game, which seemed a bit tame and very rough after Troy Game.

Alchemy, a fun and delightful night out, is on at the Artscape Opera House until November 13.”

Full review here

Capo Cassidy, Call off the Search

Ingoma / Les Sylphides 2021

“Captivating… a true tour-de-force on stage..."

“Captivating… a true tour-de-force on stage… an accomplishment for Cape Town City Ballet in 2021 that will not easily be forgotten.”

Full review here

Lindsay Kruger, Broadway World

“Overcome with the artistry, magnitude and sense of moment...”

One is overcome with the artistry, magnitude and sense of moment – of witnessing and experiencing dance which – is beyond expectation… hypnotic to watch… takes my breath away… exquisite… It is a bill which speaks to me about humanity and above all the spirit of providing strength for each other. In both ballets, there is a vivid sense of the energy of a group-harnessing energy together.

Full review here

Robyn Cohen, The Cape Robyn

“Brilliant... energetic, visceral, engaging, amazing… "

Pippa Hudson, Cape Talk

“Beautiful fusion of ballet and African song and dance...”

“A pair of lovers dancing love’s intimate dance has us catching our breath with excitement and then with heartache… brave, new and pure… raw, thrilling and relevant.”

Full review here

Siobhan Cassidy, Calloffthesearch.com

“Full of originality, energy, passion and emotion...”

The historic celebration of the Artscape 50th birthday performance – Cape Town City Ballet juxtaposed a classical Les Sylphides with an absolutely outstanding Ingoma – choreographed by Mthuthuzeli November referencing the African Mine Workers strike from 1940’s and Marikana, and inspired by a poem by Asisipho Ndlovu Malunga. Full of originality, energy passion and emotion. An historic and fitting performance for the 50 year celebration!”

Marlene le Roux, Artscape CEO 

Satori October 2019

“Exhilarating… get to this beautifully curated programme...”

Robyn Cohen, The Cape Robyn

“Unforgettable, magnetic, leaves you wanting more...”

Lindsay Kruger, Broadway World

“We did not want it to end…”

Jessica Bader, Theatre ZA

“Astounding, an artistic delight, one of the best ballet experiences I have had...”

“Cape Town City Ballet’s (CTCB) new production of SATORI, which consists of a trilogy of ballets, is simply astounding. It is one of those dance productions you simply have to see because this show is of an incredible standard and an artistic delight. This must-see production is currently on at the Artscape Theatre.

… All in all, this counts as one of the best experiences I have ever had with ballet in a theatre. During the third ballet, I found my mouth was hanging open (literally, hanging open like an idiot), in amazement at what I was seeing. Words will fail me every time when I try to communicate the magic that I witnessed. I can only hope that my excitement sparks your curiosity to take the action necessary to buy the tickets to go and see this triumph of a production” Hendrik Baird, QPlus, view full review here

“An eclectric repertoire of style...”

“A colourful palette of dance charms as the Cape Town Ballet perform Satori – an eclectric repertoire of style, lighting and bursting colour, showcasing their impressive ability to transition from one choreographer to the next. Yusuf Latief, What’s on in Cape Town Writer

“Dance lovers should not miss SATORI...”

Karisa Nicholls, Cape Town My Love, view full review here

“Sets the room on fire, mesmerizing, wonderful, wonderful stuff...”

Siobhan Cassidy, Calloffthesearch.com, view full review here

“Cutting-edge blend of all that ballet has to offer...”

Tanya Farber, Times Live, view full review here

“Captivated and in awe of the Company’s ballerinas...”

“A trilogy of ballets ranging from neoclassical to modern contemporary kept us captivated and in awe of the Company’s ballerinas, many of whom danced in all three performances.

The opening ballet, Concerto Barocco, is a masterpiece by the father of neoclassical ballet, George Balanchine, staged by a former Balanchine NYC Ballet soloist, Diana White (yes, this is a perfect time to hit the Glossary). The all-female corps de ballet beautifully complimented the powerful pas de deux of principal dancers, Mariette Opperman and Kristel Paterson and senior soloist, Ivan Boonzaaier. The ballet, self-proclaimed as ‘plotless,’ draws the viewer into the energy and clean lines of the dancers.

Our second ballet, SHEEPLE, was a contemporary, captivating, and sometimes unsettling exploration of the power of the masses and the pervasive inclination of society to blindly follow the pack. Choreographed and staged by local dance treasure (and our new #wcw) Michelle Reid and performed to music from a selection of modern composers, this homegrown ballet fills the stage with emotion and movement.

After catching our breath, and a glass of wine at the intermission in the grand Opera House Bar we were treated to the final ballet, Polarity. Award winning choreographer Kenneth Tindall was inspired by the suggestion that opposites are interconnected and everything is dual. This was wonderfully brought to life by Opperman and Paterson and several pas de deux, no doubt with hard work behind the scenes by répétiteur, Dreda Blow. As was the case throughout the night, Wilhelm Disbergen’s lighting design brilliantly complimented the incredible athleticism of the dancers and transported us into the magic.” Jess Bador, Theatre ZA, view full review here

“Beauty, innovation and mastery of CTCB's latest offering is an awe-inspiring feat...”

SATORI opened Cape Town City Ballet’s Spring Season this past weekend at Artscape Opera House. The limited run presents a trilogy of works presented by the CTCB that includes two that are newly staged as well as an original commissioned work from an international choreographer. True to its meaning of “enlightenment”, SATORI is a refreshing offering from the local company following Sleeping Beauty.

I shall admit I am not well versed enough in ballet technique and refinement to appreciate the true artistry of the three dances that make up SATORI. But – even to the untrained eye – the beauty, innovation and mastery of CTCB’s latest offering is an awe-inspiring feat. Lindsay Kruger, Broadway World, view full review here

“Exhilarating to watch this triple bill...”

“Make an effort to get to this beautifully curated programme of three ballets.

First up is Concerto Barocco. According to the Balanchine Trust: “In the first movement of the concerto, the two ballerinas personify the violins, while a corps of eight women accompany them. In the second movement, a largo, the male dancer joins the leading woman in a pas de deux. In the concluding allegro section, the entire ensemble expresses the syncopation and rhythmic vitality of Bach’s music.”

So from 1948 to 2019 and here we see it staged by Diana White – the official emissary of the Trust – and it comes across as utterly contemporary, edgy and precise. I have not seen this ballet before so cannot compare. The precision of the dance formations is immaculate. They wear costumes as designed by Balanchine. In 1951, he changed the design of the costumes that he used when the ballet was first staged. In 1951, he robed the dancers in practice clothes- which was regarded as very “modern”. He stripped away the costumes and let the dance talk. Concerto Barocco is an essay in the artistry of dance.

In the programme notes, Michelle Reid describes Sheeple as a derogatory noun – plural noun – sheeple – people compared to sheep, in being docile, foolishly easily led. It’s a compilation of sheep and people. We follow; acquiescent (I like that word). As with the Balanchine ballet, there is a stunning sense of precision as the dancers move across the marked up stage- slipping, sliding, and thronging across the space. The piece pinged for me against Enemy Behind the Gates by Christopher Huggins which was staged in June/July 2019 by Cape Town City Ballet.

There is a sense of the military as groups of people are not only following mindlessly as sheep but perhaps following orders as they fall into columns across the stage. It is a very disturbing piece to watch with images of boots cavorting across that stage. Years ago when I first saw a work by Michelle Reid, I went – wow and again I am gasping at her ability to conjure up chilling imagery through dance. I would like to see this performed with a live band.

Polarity is a newly staged work by UK choreographer Kenneth Tindall. It was commissioned by Cape Town City Ballet. That is something which is worthy of a bravo of a shout-out to CTCB CEO Debbie Turner and her team. It is all happening in Cape Town. In the programme notes, Tindall reflects that polarity is “inspired by the suggestion that opposites are interconnected and everything is dual. So things that appear to be opposites are actually inseparable parts of the same thing…” It is a striking ballet – intensely conceptual piece – bodies interacting – pulling apart; coming together, emerging and dissolving.

Wilhelm Disbergen’s lighting is like a character as he delineates the the push and pull of bodies polarising – splitting, diverging, coalescing.

Disbergen is lighting designer for the entire triple bill but with Polarity, he is given reign to conjure up space/landscape through light. There is no set but his lighting design frames each scene with a visual narrative which transects with the figures on stage- archway becomes column; becomes strident strip of neon reminiscent of a night club.” The Cape Robyn, view full review here

Sleeping Beauty AUGUST 2019

“Rapturous applause from a clearly adoring public...”

Sleeping Beauty August 2019
“Cape Town City Ballet’s much-anticipated production of Sleeping Beauty opened to a full house at the Artscape Opera House in Cape Town at the weekend. The first full-length classical ballet to be presented under new CEO Debbie Turner, dance fans were eager to see the result of months of hard work behind the scenes by company and cast alike and, for select performances, to see international guest stars in the lead roles.” Debbie Hathway, Bizcommunity.com, view full review here

“There are so many jewels in this sparkling crown of scenes...”

Sleeping Beauty August 2019
“There are so many jewels in Sleeping Beauty’s sparkling crown of scenes, from Aurora’s christening to her wedding, with some especially charming scenes when the forest creatures awaken along with Aurora after their 100-year sleep. The spectacular and expansive sets and sensational wardrobe (all by Peter Cazalet) and genius lighting design by Wilhelm Disbergen complete this fairytale of a show that is staged by Denise Schultze Godfrey. Sleeping Beauty will dazzle audience members of all ages. Siobhan Cassidy, Call Off The Search, view full review here

Amaranth JULY 2019

“Mesmerising… deliciously different and equally beautiful… captivating…”

Amaranth July 2019
Orielle Berry, Cape Argus

“Goosebumps… pretty special...”

Amaranth July 2019
Theolin Tembo, IOL

“Breathtaking, a joy to behold. Will make every ballet lover’s heart dance with delight.”

Amaranth July 2019
Barbara Loots, Theatre Scene Cape Town. Read full review here

“Beautiful images and excellent ensemble dancing...”
Amaranth July 2019
“A true celebration of the marriage of classical ballet with more contemporary styles, Cape Town City Ballet’s Amaranth is a must-see.” 
The Show Guy. Read full review here
“Cape Town gets a taste of the feast of ballet that awaits...”

Amaranth July 2019
“George Balanchine’s Serenade, is the perfect appetizer. It is light, but not frothy… set to Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings… it fires up all our taste buds.”

“We are soothed and pleased, held and caressed...”

Amaranth July 2019
“Bliss! The music, the dance, the colour washes gently over us… Balanchine himself said of Serenade that there is no hidden story, that it is just people dancing beautifully in the moonlight.”

“Moving and satisfying...”

Amaranth July 2019
“Veronica Paeper’s staging of South African-born Frank Staff’s Transfigured Night is moving and satisfying.  The young lovers provide a joyous counterpoint to the jealousy and rage of the family drama. Leané Theunissen as the older sister was the standout performer of the night for me.”

“60 dancers... sensational piece delivers again and again.”

Amaranth July 2019
“… when the cast of 60 dancers claims the stage and the audience for Enemy At The Gates Christopher Huggins’ sensational piece delivers again and again.”

"Breathtaking fusion of contemporary ballet and modern movement...”

Amaranth July 2019
“Spectacularly athletic ballet leaves one totally satisfied, yet we wouldn’t say no to a second helping, or even a third. A hot and spicy final course.”

"A sweeping statement on the breadth and depth we can expect from the new CEO..."

Amaranth July 2019
“Amaranth… is a tantalising tasting menu of what is to come… a sweeping statement on the breadth and depth we can expect from the new season and the new CEO at Cape Town Cuty Ballet.” Siobhan Cassidy, Call Off The Search, view full review here

“Takes your breath away...”

Amaranth July 2019
“George Balanchine’s Serenade is a lyrical patterning of perfectly groomed dancers in silvery blue and the visual impact takes your breath away… Repetiteur for the George Balanchine Foundation Rebecca Metzger did a wonderful job translating this work for a cast eager to learn something new.” Debbie Hathway, Bizcommunity.com here

“Keeps its audience in thrall...”

Amaranth July 2019
“What makes this production so pleasing is the commitment and well-honed proficiency of its executants… Tightness of ensemble in such a huge group of dancers is admirable, attesting to the discipline of long and intensive rehearsal common to both classical and contemporary ballet and, in this case, bringing its reward.” Beverley Brommert, Weekend Special here

"A triumph of classical meets contemporary ballet... exhilarating..."

Amaranth July 2019
Robyn Cohen, The Cape Robyn

CINDERELLA OCTOBER 2018

"Sophisticated elegance but also capable of expressive tenderness..."

Cinderella October 2018
“Performance-wise, there is much to recommend this production. Janet Lindup as Daffodil (the senior Ugly Sister) breaks with the panto tradition of cross-dressed females, and is stellar in the part, exploiting its comic potential with her infectious sense of fun. Quiroga dazzles as the Prince, all sophisticated elegance but at the same time, capable of expressive tenderness in pas de deux with Laura Bosenberg as Cinderella. Their first partnership in the pre-ball fantasy of Act 1 is memorable, its calibre confirmed by later appearances together. Reliable accompaniment from the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, stunning visuals resulting from Kirsti Cumming’s digital design and Faheem Bardien’s lighting, and the collective commitment of the cast, combine to make this an auspicious start to the 2018 summer season.” Beverley Brommert, Cape Argus

GISELLE JULY 2018

"Bringing emotional depth to this ballet drama..."

Giselle July 2018
“Angela du Preez and Pam Golding, two recently deceased Cape Town City Ballet stalwarts, were honoured, on Friday 6 July, by Giselle’s opening night. These two indomitable women, were giants in their long-term commitment to CTCB, and have left an “unfillable” void in our local ballet world. For over a half-century Elizabeth Triegaardt has played significant roles within CTCB’s frame… and now shows an extraordinary talent for schooling traditional ballet blanc corps de ballet to meet the highest standards. The female corps’ togetherness and style created the eerie supernatural quality Act 2 demands, backed by equally implacable leading Wilis, Hannah Ward and Claire Spector, Rosamund Ford turned in a fine performance as the cold heartless Myrtha. And Daniel Szybkowski as Albrecht, blended well to Laura Bosenberg’s Giselle, bringing emotional depth to this ballet drama. Bosenberg’s fresh approach to the “mad scene” made it one of the most heart breaking yet seen at Artscape. Xola Putye’s physical looks ideally suit Hilarian; of note in particular was his excellent mime craft.” Sheila Chisholm

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Cape Town City Ballet