Cape Town City Ballet (CTCB) is pulling out all the stops for its upcoming season of Shades of Love at Artscape, from Saturday May 7 to Sunday May 22.
The company has been working closely with acclaimed international choreographer Ashley Killar to prepare four of his ballets – Towards Illusion, The Miraculous Mandarin, Sarabande and Glazunov Variations.
Added to these, the company also prepared the new Romeo and Juliet balcony pas de deux by Robin van Wyk, the Beauty and the Beast pas de deux inspired by that of John Cranko, as well as the sparkling pas de trois, Tritsch-Tratsch, again adapted and performed in his honour. The thread that binds these ballets is the universal theme of love, with different kinds of love portrayed in each interpretation – hence Shades of Love.
With its provocative subject matter, The Miraculous Mandarin is arguably the most anticipated ballet. Originally written by Hungarian composer Béla Bartok the work caused a scandal when it was first staged in 1926 and was banned on moral grounds.
The ballet tells the story of a girl who is forced by three thugs to stand in a window luring men inside to be robbed. Her first two victims, an old rake and a shy young man, are penniless; the third is a mysterious, but wealthy, Mandarin.
The thugs attack him, but he cannot die until he finds compassionate love in the arms of the girl.
For the CTCB season, Killar invited his longstanding friend, colleague and award-winning designer, Peter Cazalet, to take care of the designs. Audiences can expect dancers in electrifying costumes and an equally dramatic set.
In Towards Illusion, the audience is drawn into the fascinating world of the dancer and their passion for dance, their quest for perfection, the ecstasy of performance and, in the words of Killar, the threshold between reality and stage illusion.
Sarabande is inspired by the beauty of Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand with its glittering cascades of notes and dark sensuousness.
The sarabande is a stately dance from 17th century Spain, and this is suggested in Ravel’s introduction and by some of Killar’s dance steps.
Especially created for the Shades of Love season, Killar found his inspiration for Glazunov Variations in Marius Petipa’s original choreography for one of the most elegant and celebrated ballets of all time, Raymonda.
The variations, which include a breathtaking pas de deux, are danced to the original music by Alexander Glazunov.
The Miraculous Mandarin will only be performed at evening performances and be replaced at matinee performances by Glaz-unov Variations and the pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet while Tritsch-Tratsch will be performed at all performances.
For more information, visit www.capetowncityballet.org.za or the company’s Facebook page. Tickets for evening performances range from R120 to R220 and for matinees from R100 to R180. Book at Computicket or Artscape Dial-a-Seat on 021 421 7695.
* The Plainsman is giving away three double tickets for the opening night performance of Shades of Love on Saturday May 7, at 8pm. To stand a chance to win, SMS PMLove your name and contact details to 34445. SMSes cost R1.50. Lines are open and close on Sunday May 1 at midnight. Winners will be notified telephonically.