Ballet lovers are constantly being told that ballet is an aging Eurocentric art form with little relevance to general South African audiences.
In contrast jazz music is recognised as an art form which spans the many gaps between South Africans, black and white, rich and poor, older and younger, as long as their tastes run to the sophistication of jazz.
Well, now Dirk Badenhorst of Mzansi Ballet and Aymeric Peguillan from The Orbit (jazz club in Braamfontein), bring audiences of both ballet and jazz an exciting collaboration in which the classical ballet and contemporary dancers perform works together with a sextet of jazz musicians directed by pianist Andre Peterson.
The unfamiliar collaboration allows one to “discover the rich heritage of South African jazz and how its unique voice marries exquisitely with dance”, according to Dirk Badenhorst.
The concept first saw the light of day in October 2016 when it premiered at The Orbit, and When Ballet meets Jazz now finds itself on the boards at the Pieter Toerien Main Theatre at Montecasino for four nights only – 24 to 28 October 2018.
Choreographed by John Motebejane Tsunke, Natasha Ireland and Dirk Badenhorst, the music comprises mainly South African and international jazz standards composed by Abdullah Ibrahim, Bheki Mseleku, Alan Silinga, Moses Molekekwa, Andre Pietersen, Pablo Lapidusas, Leo Espinosa, Anthony Newly and Leslie Bricusse. These are performed by Andre Petersen, Siya Makuzeni, Mthunzi Mvubu, Neville Nhlanhla Radebe, Lwanda Gogwana and Sphelelo Mazibuko. There are some of the more classical pieces as well, just to highlight the versatility of South African artists.
The dancers are drawn from Mzansi Ballet and the Carstens Ireland Ballet Studio and feature Tayla De Bie, Veronica Louw, Michaela Louw, Angela Revie, Nehanda Peguilla, Aaron Smyth and John Motegejane Tsunke. Ballet newbies can look forward to ballet highlights like the famous Cygnets from Swan Lake and Saint Saens’ The Dying Swan.
Booking at Computicket for When Ballet Meets Jazz at the Pieter Toerien Main Theatre, Montecasino, for four nights only – 24 to 28 October 2018.