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Carmen promises a sizzling start to Joburg Ballet’s 2018 season, in association with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra

Joburg Ballet opens a bumper 2018 ballet year in sizzling style when the company brings South African choreographer Veronica Paeper’s production of Carmen to Joburg Theatre for ten performances from 6 to 15 April. Performing to live orchestral accompaniment for the first time in many years, the relaunched Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (JPO) will take its place in the orchestra pit under the baton of conductor Brandon Phillips, bringing to life composer Georges Bizet’s famous music.

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     Paeper, whose La Traviata was one of the highlights for both the company and its audiences in 2017, will return to Johannesburg to restage her celebrated production of Carmen. Commenting on working with the company, she said: ‘When I produced La Traviata for Joburg Ballet I found the dancers very skilled on a technical level and superb dramatically, so I’m really looking forward to restaging Carmen and fascinated to see what we can achieve.’
     Last seen on the Johannesburg stage eight years ago, Paeper’s acclaimed full-length ballet returns to showcase a new generation of Joburg Ballet stars in the roles of Carmen and Don José in this searing story of passion and betrayal under the Spanish sun.
     Of the season’s four ballerinas sharing the title role, Shannon Glover and Sanmarie Kreuzhuber will return to a role they first danced several years ago, while Claudia Monja and Monike Cristina are making their debuts as Carmen. Carmen’s lover Don José will be danced by Ruan Galdino (with Glover), Leusson Muniz (with both Monja and Kreuzhuber) and Revil Yon (with Cristina).
     Joburg Ballet’s CEO Esther Nasser welcomes the company’s association with the JPO, adding, ‘No matter how fine a ballet company is, dancing to a live orchestra brings a dynamic brilliance and dramatic force to performances. Joburg Ballet is thrilled to be working with the JPO in an association that brings two of Johannesburg’s most applauded artistic companies together.’
     Speaking on behalf of the orchestra, JPO Artistic Director and CEO Bongani Tembe said, ‘The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra is excited by the new collaboration with Joburg Ballet. Both organisations share the mission of enriching the local community by offering high calibre productions, implementing education initiatives and offering performance opportunities to a wide range of artists.’
     Joburg Ballet offers a range of affordable ticketing options for Carmen, including half price on opening night and two budget-priced morning matinees at 11:00 when all seats are just R100.
     Principal casting for Carmen is available at joburgballet.com, booking via webtickets.co.za

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