New dates have been announced with extra shows added for Cape Town City Ballet’s production of Veronica Paeper’s CARMEN.
CARMEN will be performed from 1 to 4 September as planned, with additional performances added on Tuesday 31 August at 18h30, and on Sunday 5 September at 14h00 and 18h30. Patrons who have purchased tickets for the earlier performances can contact the Artscape box office to change their tickets or for a refund.
Seating in the Artscape Opera House will be strictly limited to 50 seats due to social distancing and government regulations. All COVID-19 regulations will be in place including social distancing and wearing masks for entry.
The start of the run was postponed due to some of the dancers testing positive for Covid-19.
“The health and well-being of our dancers, staff and everyone involved is of paramount importance,” says Debbie Turner, CEO of Cape Town City Ballet. “There are stringent protocols in place for daily operations at the Cape Town City Ballet studios and at Artscape.”
“All the necessary steps have been taken, including further testing, isolating, and sanitizing of the relevant spaces. We are grateful to Artscape for accommodating us in the additional performance slots, and we can’t wait to get back on stage with this powerful production,” says Turner.
Set to Georges Bizet’s dramatic, famous score, CARMEN will be performed to a recording by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. Inspired by Prosper Mérimée’s romantic novel of 1845, CARMEN is the ultimate tale of love, passion, betrayal and revenge.
Carmen is a fiery gypsy girl who mesmerises and seduces a young soldier, Don Jose. He gives up everything for her, abandoning his childhood sweetheart and deserting his military duties. However, Carmen’s free spirit will not be tamed and her unfaithfulness to him leads to tragic results.
Completing the stellar creative team for the production, Design is by Peter Cazalet with Lighting Design by Wilhelm Disbergen.
“I was truly delighted when Debbie Turner invited me to re-produce Carmen, a ballet I consider one of my better efforts,” says Veronica Paeper. “Bringing this wonderfully wild, passionate and headstrong gypsy back to life has been a real challenge in these difficult times, a challenge I have relished. Together with the dedicated dancers and all the staff of CTCB – artistic, admin and stage – I believe we have created a wonderful evening of entertainment. I certainly have enjoyed producing the Ballet.”
“Carmen is a perennial favourite with its powerful story of love, passion, revenge and power, performed to Bizet’s sweeping score,” says Turner.
“We are delighted to be able to present this production by one of South Africa’s iconic women and ballet legends, Veronica Paeper. Veronica is a former Artistic Director of both Capab and Cape Town City Ballet and it is a privilege for all of us at the Company to be able to appropriately restore her work and once again bring together the creative powerhouses and artistic partnership of Veronica with designer Peter Cazalet, coupled with the masterful lighting design of Wilhelm Disbergen.”
CARMEN is one of more than 40 ballets, among them 16 full-length works, that have been choreographed by Paeper, who began her creative portfolio in 1972. She choreographed her first production of CARMEN in 1987 for Capab. Her production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL – THE STORY OF SCROOGE for Cape Town City Ballet played to sold out houses and critical acclaim in December 2019, and will be restaged in December.
Paeper received her ballet training under the tutelage of Dulcie Howes at the UCT Ballet School, where she also studied with David Poole, Pamela Chrimes and Frank Staff. Staff, whom she married in 1966, and from whom she drew and continues to draw great inspiration, was to have a profound influence on her work as a choreographer.
During her performing career, Paeper rose to become a principal dancer with three South African companies: Capab Ballet, Pact Ballet and Pacofs Ballet.
Paeper held the position of Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer of Capab from 1990, and Cape Town City Ballet from 1997 until 2005. She led the company on its first international tour of a South African ballet company in 1994.
Paeper’s first work, created for Capab Ballet in the early 1970s, was John the Baptist, a dramatic one-act ballet set to music by Ernest Bloch. It featured scenery and costumes designed by Peter Cazalet, an innovative, witty artist who would remain Paeper’s most frequent artistic collaborator for the next 25 years.
Established as the Nico Malan Theatre in 1971, the Artscape building this year marks its 50th anniversary in existence. CARMEN is presented as part of Artscape’s celebrations for National Woman’s Day, which run throughout August and include the 15th annual Women’s Humanity Arts Festival.
The age recommendation for CARMEN is PG 10yrs.
CARMEN will be presented on 31 August at 18h30 and on 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 September at 18h30.There will matinees on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 September at 14h00.
Tickets cost from R300 to R350. Bookings can be made at Artscape Dial-a-seat 021 421 7695 or through Computicket.
Please Note: The event complies with all COVID-19 regulations including social distancing and patrons must wear masks for entry.
Cape Town City Ballet is grateful for the support of the City of Cape Town, Western Cape Government, Food Lovers Market and Toby Fine Ballet Fund.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Cape Town City Ballet
Cape Town City Ballet is one of the longest standing ballet companies in the world. With strong heritage and roots, the organisation is moving into the next era with the objectives of delighting anew its loyal supporters as well as inspiring new audiences to love ballet, all to be achieved by delivering unique dance entertainment through integrity, creativity and 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, and 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 Africa premiere of Mthuthuzeli November’s Olivier Award winning Ingoma, which was commissioned by Cassa Pancho for Ballet Black and premiered at the Barbican in London in 2019.
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.
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