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 Post subject: The South African Ballet Theatre: Classical ballet thriving
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:47 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 6883
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Issued on 28 April 2009 for SABT by Samantha Saevitzon: Publicity & Publications
(011) 877 - 6894<><>


On Sunday April 5 2009, The South African Ballet Theatre (SABT) presented its final
performance of the Cinderella-the Ballet season. Accompanied by seventy musicians of
The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the company performed to a capacity house,
one of many during the season effectively making Cinderella-the Ballet, The SABT's
biggest seller to date, by-passing the previous record which was held by SABT's 2007
production of Swan Lake.
At just eight years old, The SABT is the country's largest professional ballet
company and is housed in two state-of-the art studios at the newly rebranded Joburg
Theatre (formerly The Johannesburg Civic Theatre) in Braamfontein.
Despite the downturn in the economy, it appears that SABT patrons, of all ages,
cannot do without a regular visit to the ballet and the season at the Joburg
Theatre's Mandela stage gave patrons a chance to see choreographer Veronica Paeper's
full - length classic in all its splendour. SABT's Acting Artistic Director Iain
MacDonald said "It is heartening, in these difficult times, to see that our art form
is loved and appreciated by so many - but at the same time, we cannot take the
success of Cinderella for granted; we are trying to raise finds on a daily basis to
accommodate those who wish to find employment in the sector. We currently have
thirty five dancers on full time contracts and I am looking forward to the dancers
in our Mamelodi, Eesterus, Katlehong, Soweto and Alexandra programmes expanding our
ranks when they are old enough to audition for the professional Company. The
Cinderella season has certainly indicated that we now, more than ever, have to keep
classical ballet alive in our country"

Also acknowledging the success of the Cinderella season, was SABT Board Chairman Don
MacRobert: "The SABT Board was extremely pleased with the beautiful performances
however no matter how hard the dancers rehearse, future successful seasons such as
Cinderella - the Ballet, are not sustainable without significant funding from both
the corporate sector and government funding bodies in the near future".

It was also fitting that The SABT offered to send six of its dancers to participate
in the same production of Cinderella presented by its Cape Town counterpart The Cape
Town City Ballet (CTCB). The CTCB season took place at the Artscape Theatre with
nine performances ending April 26. SABT dancers Haydee Baker, Chloé Grové, Nicole
Ferreira, Shannon Glover, Sanmarie Kreuzhuber and Yolandi Olckers were selected to
travel to the Cape to perform various roles. Said Senior Soloist Chloé Grové "It is
always exciting to guest with another company and it made sense for SABT and CTCB to

In line with the drive to raise funds, and consolidate those already generated, The
SABT will no longer be presenting Dracula as previously announced but has instead
replaced it with the ever-popular Giselle for its second season at The Joburg
Theatre from August 28th to September 20th 2009. The season of Giselle will happily
also be accompanied by The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (JPO), bringing the
quality, glamour, escapism and magic that has become synonymous with SABT and JPO
collaborations to growing audiences.
Those wishing to pledge support for The SABT can make a financial contribution (from
as little as R50 per month) by downloading a pledge form on The SABT's website

The SABT presents the comedy ballet Coppélia at the Pro Musica Theatre in Roodepoort
from June 12 - 28 2009. Bookings for Coppélia are now open through Computicket on
083 915 8000 or visit<>.

The year ends off for The SABT with a short visit to Knysna to raise funds for
Hospice and a two-month long season featuring the entire Company in the Joburg
Theatre's annual pantomime as special guest artists in Pinocchio.

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