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Joburg Ballet launches 2017 with La Traviata

Joburg Ballet’s first production of 2017 will be the long-awaited return of celebrated choreographer Veronica Paeper’s La Traviata – The Ballet to Joburg Theatre for ten performances from 31 March to 9 April. The ballet was last performed in Johannesburg to public and critical acclaim in 2008.

Joburg Ballet
Joburg Ballet | Burnise Silvius as Camille in La Traviata | Photo by Lauge Sorensen

Veronica Paeper is South Africa’s leading choreographer working in the classical style and has created an extensive repertoire of ballets. She is particularly admired for her full-length story ballets, among which La Traviata – The Ballet is one of her most popular works. It has been performed by various companies (CAPAB and subsequently the Cape Town City Ballet, before SABT and England’s Northern Ballet Theatre added it to their respective repertoires) at intervals since its creation in 1990.

Joburg Ballet
Joburg Ballet | Dayana Acuna & Michael Revie in La Traviata | Photo by Lauge Sorensen

The plot La Traviata – The Ballet, of course, is based on one of the world’s greatest love stories, Dumas’s 19th century novel The Lady of the Camelias, which has inspired countless playwrights, composers, film-makers and choreographers. A deeply moving portrait of a woman who sacrifices all for the man she loves, the ballet tells the evergreen love story of Marguerite, a courtesan, who falls in love with the young Armand Duval. Through the interference of Armand’s father, their relationship is doomed.

Joburg Ballet
Joburg Ballet | Juan Carlos Osma & Shannon Glover in La Traviata | Photo by Lauge Sorensen

The ballet is set to the unforgettable music of Verdi’s opera La Traviata, arranged and adapted for the ballet by conductor Allan Stephenson.

Joburg Ballet
Joburg Ballet | Juan Carlos Osma & Shannon Glover in La Traviata | Photo by Lauge Sorensen

In addition to performances in South Africa, La Traviata – The Ballet has also been presented in the UK where critics admired it as ‘graceful, passionate and ravishingly romantic’, ‘an utterly compelling production’ and ‘outstanding throughout’.

Joburg Ballet
Prima ballerina Burnise Silvius in La Traviata 2005 | Photo by Susanne Holbaek

The company has also announced several new appointments for 2017: after leaving Joburg Ballet for the last four months of 2016 to take part in a Cape Town production of Spartacus, Juan Carlos Osma and Dayana Acuna have rejoined the company; Spanish dancer Sergi Castello has joined as a soloist; Jessica Hurwitz and Savannah Ireland from the Joburg Ballet Academy have joined as members of the junior corps de ballet; and Shayne Greene, Luisa Higgo and Sibusiso Mtsweni have joined the company’s aspirant programme for 2017.

Joburg Ballet
Joburg Ballet | Shannon Glover & Juan Carlos Osma in La Traviata | Photo by Lauge Sorensen

Promotions announced by Joburg Ballet for 2017 are Dayana Acuna and Kirstel Jensen to senior soloist, Shana Dewey to soloist, Ruan Galdino and Thabang Mabaso to senior corps de ballet, Alice le Roux to corps de ballet, and Kyle Baird and Mahlatse Sachane to junior corps de ballet. Krystn Janicek and Jessica Lombard, who were in the aspirant programme in 2016, have been named as ad hoc dancers for 2017.

Joburg Ballet
Joburg Ballet | Juan Carlos Osma & Dayana Acuna in La Traviata | Photo by Lauge Sorensen

Revised casting for La Traviata – The Ballet

New productions – Big City, Big Dreams & Snow White – announced for 2017
Booking open for Joburg Ballet Autumn School

Guest artists Juan Pablo Ledo from Buenos Aires and Daniel Szybkowski from Cape Town City Ballet join Joburg Ballet’s dancers in the casting line-up for the company’s 10-performances of La Traviata – The Ballet at Joburg Theatre from 31 March to 9 April. Due to the departure of Dayana Acuna and Juan Carlos Osma to Cuba, Joburg Ballet has revised the season casting. The changes do not affect the dates for Burnise Silvius’ final three performances as prima ballerina with Argentinean guest artist Juan Pablo Ledo on 1, 8 and 9 April, all at 15:00.

Also dancing the leading roles of Camille and Armand in La Traviata are Shannon Glover and Michael Revie (Friday 31 March at 19:30, Sunday 2 April at 15:00, Wednesday 5 April at 11:00, Friday 7 April at 19:30) and Claudia Monja and Daniel Szybkowski (Saturday 1 April at 19:30, Tuesday 4 April at 11:00, Saturday 8 April at 19:30).

Joburg Ballet has also announced the productions for their second and third seasons of 2017. A new work, Big City, Big Dreams, presented by Joburg Ballet in collaboration with Moving Into Dance Mophatong and Vuyani Dance Theatre, will have ten performances at Joburg Theatre from 28 July to 6 August. Early Bird booking is now open and runs until Sunday 4 June; Standard Price booking opens on Monday 5 June.

The third Joburg Ballet season for 2017 will be a new ballet version of Snow White choreographed by artistic director Iain MacDonald, with a 10-performance season at Joburg Theatre from 13 to 22 October. Early Bird booking is open and runs until Sunday 20 August; Standard Price booking opens on Monday 21 August.

Joburg Ballet will host a fun filled-week of classes in ballet, contemporary dance, pas de deux, pointe work, Pilates and much more for children aged between 6 to 18 from Wednesday 19 April to Sunday 23 April at Joburg Ballet Studios. Information on schedules, fees and booking for the Autumn School is available from Edgar Moagi on 011-877 6898 or

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Booking for La Traviata – The Ballet is now open via Joburg Theatre:

Cell: 0861 670 670

Webpage: Joburg Theatre

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