Cape Town City Ballet has announced a change in the programme for its production of Maina Gielgud’s GISELLE.
GISELLE will be presented from 18 March until 9 April 2022 in the Artscape Opera House.
Ksenia Ovsyanick, Principal Ballerina with Staatsballett Berlin, will dance the role of Giselle opposite Vadim Muntagirov (Principal of The Royal Ballet) as Albrecht at the performances on 19, 21, 23 and 25 March.
She replaces Tatiana Melnik, who was originally scheduled to perform as part of the programme.
International guest artist Brandon Lawrence (Principal at Birmingham Royal Ballet) excitingly also joins Cape Town City Ballet at select performances in the role of Albrecht, partnering Cape Town City Ballet’s Leanè Theunissen as Giselle.
Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of conductor Brandon Phillips, perform alongside the dancers at various performances.
Seating remains strictly limited due to social distancing and government regulations. All Covid-19 regulations will be in place including social distancing and wearing of masks throughout.
Suzette Raymond, Chairperson of both Cape Town City Ballet and Friends of Cape Town City Ballet, says, “Cape Town City Ballet notes with concern the current crisis in Ukraine. The CTCB empathises with artists from the warring countries who are caught in the cross-fire. The CTCB hopes that rationality will prevail and that the arts will be able to bring healing, comfort and understanding between nations.”
“The CTCB empathises with Tatiana Melnik about her fear to travel to South Africa under the current crisis and the CTCB accepts her request to withdraw from the production. Vadim Muntagirov is contracted to the CTCB on his British citizenship.”
Principal Ballerina with Staatsballett Berlin, Ksenia Ovsyanick started her training in Belorussian State Ballet College, followed by winning a scholarship at Prix de Lausanne to come to English National Ballet School. Her career started with English National Ballet and over the years she performed on stages around the world including: Opera National de Paris Palais Garner, Royal Opera House Muscat, Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Royal Albert Hall London and Buckingham Palace. She participated in gala performances in China, Singapore, India, Russia, Chile Greece, Sweden, Spain, Italy, France, Denmark, Latvia, Belarus, among others, as well as participating in the closing ceremony of Olympics in London 2012.
At the age of 20 she danced her first Giselle and was nominated for English National Ballet’s Emerging dancer award.
In March 2012 Ksenia had a title role of Firebird choreographed on her in the world premiere of “Firebird” by George Williamson, which brought her the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for an outstanding performance.
In 2013 Ms Ovsyanick was nominated for “Prix Benois de la Danse” best female dancer award and in 2018 she won “Dance Open“ international Ballet Award in St. Petersburg.
Ksenia has created roles with choreographers such as Nacho Duato, Liam Scarlett, George Williamson, Alexej Ratmansky, Itzik Galilli, Yabin Wang and performed ballets by Kenneth Macmillan, John Cranko, Jiri Kylian, George Balanchine, Serge Lifar and Wayne Eagling among many others.
In 2016 she joined Staatsballett Berlin as Principal Ballerina, performing leading roles in Nacho Duato’s Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, the title role in ballet Erde created on her by Duato, as well as Rubies and Diamonds in Balanchine’s Jewels, Giselle, Onegin, Don Quixote, La Bayadere and others.
GISELLE is a much-loved ballet which presents a romantic story of innocent love and betrayal portrayed in two acts. Giselle, a naive and beautiful peasant girl who loves to dance, unsuspectingly falls in love with a philandering nobleman, Albrecht. He disguises himself as a peasant while pursuing her affections and when the deceit is revealed Giselle is inconsolable. In discovering that he is already betrothed, she dies of a broken heart.
The story continues in the moonlit land of the Wilies, a mysterious landscape inhabited by the vengeful spirits of virgin brides who never reached their wedding day. The ghostly Wilies torment Albrecht as he appears in search of the spirit of Giselle.
The duality of the body and spirit, evocation of the supernatural, and the tale of undying love and devotion endears this quintessentially romantic ballet to a universal audience.
GISELLE is performed to the music of Adolphe Adam , with choreography by Maina Gielgud, after Jean Coralli & Jules Perrot. The stellar creative team again includes the powerhouse team of Designer Peter Cazalet for Costume Design and Décor, assisted by Michael Mitchell, and Lighting Design by Wilhelm Disbergen.
GISELLE will be presented at Artscape Opera House from 18 March to 9 April 2022.
Performances dates are:
- 18 March @ 19h30 (With International UK Guest Artist, Brandon Lawrence and Leanè Theunissen with the CTPO)
- 19, 21, 23, 25 March @ 19h30 (With International Guest Artists, Vadim Muntagirov and Ksenia Ovsyanick with the CTPO)
- 22 and 31 March @ 19h30 (TO RECORDED MUSIC with Chanté Daniels and Gabriel Ravenscroft)
- 24 and 30 March @ 19h30 (TO RECORDED MUSIC with Kirstel Paterson and Lêusson Muniz)
- 26 March @ 15h00 (TO RECORDED MUSIC with Chanté Daniels and Gabriel Ravenscroft)
- 26 March @ 19h30 (With International Guest Artist, Brandon Lawrence and Leanè Theunissen TO RECORDED MUSIC)
- 1 and 7 April @ 19h30 (TO RECORDED MUSIC with Kirstel Paterson and Lêusson Muniz)
- 2 April @ 15h00 (TO RECORDED MUSIC with International Guest Artist, Brandon Lawrence and Leanè Theunissen)
- 2, 6 and 8 April @ 19h30 (TO RECORDED MUSIC with Chanté Daniels and Gabriel Ravenscroft)
- 9 April @ 15h00 (TO RECORDED MUSIC with Kirstel Paterson and Lêusson Muniz)
- 9 April @ 19h30 (With International Guest Artist, Brandon Lawrence and Leanè Theunissen with CTPO)
* Tickets cost from R350 to R750 for performances featuring International Guest Artist/s and accompanied by Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.
* Tickets cost from R250 to R395 for performances to recorded music.
* Tickets to matinee performances cost from R175 to R295.
Bookings can be made at Artscape Dial-A-Seat 021 421 7695 or through Computicket.
*Pensioners tickets can be purchased from Artscape Box Office only, at R20.00 discount per ticket.
*Block bookings (ten or more) – R10.00 discount per ticket through Artscape Box Office
THIS CASTING SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE IN THE EVENT OF NECESSITY.
Cape Town City Ballet is grateful for the support of all sponsors including the City of Cape Town, Western Cape Government, Food Lovers Market, Erica Manning for the Cape Town City Ballet Endowment Trust, The Christian Ludolph Marais Trust and the Friends of Cape Town City Ballet.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Cape Town City Ballet
Established in 1934 as the University of Cape Town Ballet Company, Cape Town City Ballet has a strong heritage and roots. The organisation is moving into the next era of dance with the objectives of delighting anew its loyal supporters as well as inspiring new audiences to engage with and develop a love of ballet, striving to achieve this by delivering unique dance performances aligned with the global dance landscape with diversity and inclusivity at the forefront of creativity, integrity and the pursuit of excellence.
Since the Company’s inception, it has been renowned for providing opportunities for training and employment to all, despite the ruling laws of previous times. It remains committed to developing the dancers of the future. The CTCB’s various development and education programmes have reached more than 320 000 young people. Its audience development and training initiatives include the Young Male Dancer Development Programme, the Apprentice Programme and partnerships for training programme with various dance schools.
The Choreolab programme was introduced in 2019 as a platform to incubate, nurture and invest in aspiring South African choreographers from within the Company. The choreographer is supported in creating and staging a work, while developing their choreographic skills by also working with a mentor. Three dancers took part in the 2019 initiative. With the onset of Covid-19 and accompanying restrictions, the Choreolab programme was adapted for 2020. Nine dancers each created a dance piece for a short dance film in collaboration with Norval Foundation and inspired by and celebrating the work of William Kentridge from his Why Should I Hesitate: Sculpture exhibition. The Choreolab will be an annual programme to further develop new South African creative talent, each year working with different choreographers as mentors on the programme.
During the 2020 lockdown, Cape Town Opera and kykNET in collaboration with Cape Town City Ballet, Camerata Tinta Barocca and Wyrd Films, presented Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. The work was choreographed by London-based South African Mthuthuzeli November, and premiered on kykNET in October 2020.
As part of their 2021 Autumn Season at Artscape, CTCB proudly presented the South African premiere of Mthuthuzeli November’s Olivier Award winning Ingoma, which was commissioned in 2019 by Cassa Pancho for Ballet Black and which premiered at the Barbican in London.
CTCB aims to serve the dance community as a whole and provides opportunities for teachers and young dancers in training from around the City to participate and gain experience in professional productions and attend various rehearsals. In 2019, students and young dancers took part in A Christmas Carol, Sleeping Beauty and Enemy Behind the Gates. In 2020 students had the opportunity to observe rehearsals of Maina Gielgud’s Swan Lake, before the sudden lockdown and subsequent cancellation of all seasons. In December 2021, after almost two years, the company was once again able to offer performance opportunities to young dancers for the restaging of the extremely popular and uplifting A Christmas Carol at the Artscape Theatre.
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Russian dancer Vadim Muntagirov trained at Perm Ballet School before moving to The Royal Ballet Upper School. He joined the Company from English National Ballet as a Principal in March 2014. His numerous roles with The Royal Ballet have included Basilio (Don Quixote), Albrecht (Giselle), Prince Siegfried (Swan Lake), Aminta (Sylvia), Prince Florimund (The Sleeping Beauty), Prince (The Nutcracker). Mr Muntagirov’s many awards include the 2013 and 2018 Benois de la danse and the 2021 Dance Europe Outstanding Dancer Award.
As a guest artist he has danced with companies including Paris Opera Ballet, Mariinsky and American Ballet Theatre, in repertory including Solor (La Bayadère), Armand (Marguerite and Armand) and at National Ballet of Japan, Bavarian State Ballet, Mikhailovsky and Cape Town City Ballet.
Brandon Lawrence trained with Penny Murray and Andie Nydza before attending the Royal Ballet School where he graduated to join Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2011 to then reach the rank of Principal Dancer in 2019. Mr Lawrence has danced many of the Classics including Swan Lake (Prince Siegfried); The Nutcracker (Prince); Sleeping Beauty (Prince Florimund); Giselle (Count Albrecht); Romeo and Juliet (Romeo); La Fille Mal Gardée (Colas) and Beauty and the Beast (Beast). He has also danced many notable roles including Southern Cape Zebra from Sir David Bintley’s Still Life at the Penguin Cafe, Friday Night and Bethena Waltz in Macmillan’s Elite Syncopations. While dancing the varied and diverse repertoire at Birmingham Royal Ballet, Mr Lawrence has created roles in Sir David Bintley’s King Dances, Alexander Whitley’s Kin, George Williamson’s Embrace, Juanjo Arques’s Ignite, Didy Veldman’s Sense of Time and most recently Miguel Altunaga City of A Thousand Trades as well as being nominated for two National Dance Awards in the ‘Best Classical Male Performance Category’ for Ruth Brill’s Arcadia (Pan) and Jessica Lang’s (Wink).