When Ballet Meets Jazz at The Orbit

Media release For Immediate Release 

“When Ballet Meets Jazz”. At The Orbit: A Collaboration between CuDanSA, Carstens Ireland Ballet Studio, Andre Petersen and Aymeric Peguillan:  15 October and Sunday 16 October 2016.


Dirk Badenhorst, CEO of the South African International Ballet Competition

The Orbit – Home of Jazz, in collaboration with renowned dance entrepreneur Dirk Badenhorst, The Cartstens Ireland Ballet Studio, and well known Jazz pianist, arranger, composer and academic Andre Petersen, presents “When Ballet Meets Jazz” on 15 October and Sunday 16 October at said venue.


Andre Petersen, Jazz sensation

“When Ballet Meets Jazz” is an innovative and unique collaboration between classical as well as contemporary dance entities CuDanSA and Carstens Ireland Ballet Studio with eminent jazz persona Andre Petersen and The Orbit´s Music Program Director Aymeric Peguillan.

The vision of Dirk Badenhorst, CEO of the South African International Ballet Competition and the newly formed CuDanSA for this collaboration was immediately supported by Andre Petersen and Aymeric Peguillan who contributed and added value to the project with their artistry in line with some their previous artistic explorations.

This unique and original production brings together young up coming South African dancers from Carstens Ireland Ballet Studio, one of the most reputable dance studios in Gauteng, as well as dancers from CuDanSA, with a formidable cast of Jazz (and classically trained) musicians. The program will be again be mixing the Live Jazz music genre with other performing art forms (like previous artistic collaborations of The Orbit – Home of Jazz that included poetry, opera, Western classical music, and even comedy)


It will present a memorable journey into artistic creativity, exploring the SA and US Jazz standard repertoires in harmony with freshly crafted modern choreographies combined with a few more classical pieces.  The choreography among other includes ballet highlights like the Cygnets from Swan Lake, the ever popular The Dying Swan, and some beautiful neo classical and contemporary choreography to amazing jazz standards.


Juan Carlos Hernandez Osma and Savannah Ireland

The choreography is by Douglas Sekete, John Motebejane Tsunke, Natasha Ireland and Dirk Badenhorst. The female dancers are from the Carstens Ireland Ballet Studio: Savannah Ireland, Tannah Levick, Veronica Louw, Michaela Louw, Gemma French and Nehanda Péguillan, and the male dancers are from the newly formed CuDanSA: Gustin Makgeledisa, Nceba Sithokwe and John Motebejane Tsunke


Nehanda Peguillan

John Motebejane Tsunke is an experienced dancer, teacher and choreographer and danced on the professional stage in contemporary dance and classical ballet works with Mzansi Productions and Joburg ballet. Gustin Makgeledisa’s studies, local and overseas, included community dance teaching, contemporary dance, African dance, Jazz, Afro fusion, teaching methodology, choreography, stage lighting and sound. He, among other, staged his own works at the celebrated Annual Dance Umbrella in Johannesburg and performed with several companies as a professional dancer, among other as a guest artist in Mzansi Productions’ The Nutcracker.

The musical repertoire is essentially very eclectic, ranging from the Pan African pianisim of Abdullah Ibrahim, Bheki Mseleku to one of Andre Petersen’s own works.

The awesome configuration of musicians we have assembled for this project are some of the most innovative and progressive post-apartheid jazz musicians. The band will also feature 2016 Standard Bank Young Jazz Artist, Siya Makuzeni.

The Musical Director is the legendary Andre Petersen on Piano and the band members are Siya Makuzeni (Voice/Trombone); Mthunzi Mvubu (Saxophone); Neville Nhlanhla Radebe (Double Bass) and Sphelelo Mazibuko  (drums). The mouth watering musical program include compositions of Abdullah Ibrahim; Bheki Mseleku; AndrePetersen;  The PLINT Trio; Richie Beirach; Sting; Billy Joel; Jon Schmidt; The Piano Guys and Michael Buble.

Join us for a pioneering performance that will make you discover the rich heritage South Africa Jazz has to offer and how its unique voice marries exquisitely with dance.

Notes on Participants

CuDanSA, is a program that emanated from the Training Teachers in the Townships Program under the auspices of the South African International Ballet Competition.  It is another initiative stemming from the Cultural Interchange with dance institutions in Cuba initiated by Dirk Badenhorst, CEO of the South African International Ballet Competition which is now being part of the ongoing cooperation in terms of the 20/20 Agreement between Cuba and South Africa.

The Carstens Ireland Ballet Studio is a training institution that prepares dancers for a life on the professional stage and to excel in international ballet competitions.  It has a long tradition of excellence and Anya Carstens who is now a teacher at the Studio and former principal dancer of the South African Ballet Theatre is a prodigy of this Studio.

Andre Petersen is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s most sought after pianists and educators and recipient of numerous classical music and jazz music awards among other at the Solal Competition as the only African pianist to be selected from 68 international pianists he received a Special Mention Award. While residing in Europe (2010-2011), he completed a Masters Degree in Jazz Piano Studies, at

the prestigious Lemmens Institute, Belgium, graduating Cum Laude. His recording and performance credits literary include a “who’s who” in the jazz world. He has been described by the Mail and Guardian as “Potentially the most interesting South African pianist!”

Aymeric Peguillan was first exposed to the Jazz music genre as a 12 year-old child while growing up in France. A classically trained violinist, he then found out about the rich and extraordinary musical repertoire of Abdullah Ibrahim and Bheki Mseleku in 1993 during a work trip to South Asia and was totally conquered. The following year, he came to South Africa and witnessed Live the magic of SA Jazz and never looked back. He is one of the partners in the Orbit – Home of Jazz and its musical program director. This is his second Live Jazz venue project in Johannesburg following the establishment of Pegs Cosy Corner in 2000 in Troyeville


Performance Details:

Program: When Ballet Meets Jazz – Live at The Orbit! (Contemporary & Classical Dance with SA/US Jazz)

Date and Time: Saturday 15th October at 20 h 30 and Sunday 16th October 2016 at 18h00

Venue: The Orbit – Home of Jazz, 81 de Korte Street, Braamfontein,

Bookings: Email on info@theorbit.co.za or call 011 339 66 45 / 081 534 28 67 – Tickets will be collected at the door.

Ticket Price: R 200

Seating only upstairs, Dinner downstairs before or after the performance.

Secure Parking on 86 Juta Street, Arbour Square, Braamfontein or street parking (with guards) on De Korte Street.

Issued by Leon Bezuidenhout (082 459 6748) on behalf of CuDanSA, The Orbit Home of Jazz and Andre Petersen, on 3 October 2016

Enquiries on the Program: Dirk Badenhorst on 083 324 0949 or badenhorstdirk.db@gmail.com


About moirads

Clergy person, theatre and music lover, avid reader, foodie. Basically, I write about what I do, where I go and things I love (or hate).
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