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Joburg Ballet launches 21st anniversary celebrations with ‘Evolve’

Joburg Ballet kicks off the company’s 21st Anniversary year with Evolve, a celebration of dance to be presented for eight performances at the Joburg Theatre from 25 March – 3 April 2022

Evolve, the first of Joburg Ballet’s three main celebratory seasons this year, offers a scintillating blend of the new and the classical, bringing together four ballets, three of them world premieres, as well as a glittering showpiece from the classical repertoire. Evolve was to have been presented in 2021 but due to an escalation in Covid-19 cases was postponed to 2022.

Nicole Ferreira-Dill, Monike Cristina, Gabriel Fernandes, The Game, Joburg Ballet 2021 PHOTO Lauge Sorensen

The new works are The Afterlife: Souls, an introspective piece by principal dancer Shannon Glover in which she explores the concept of death as the great equaliser; The Game by Mario Gaglione in which the game of kings has inspired the choreographer to draw parallels between the game of chess and the game of life; and Legae, an evocative dance piece by Tumelo Lekana about which the choreographer simply says “the leaves pray for the roots to heal”.

The programme’s classic, the Grand Pas from Paquita, is ballet at its most majestic, providing a showcase for ballerina, partner, soloists and corps de ballet to shine in a series of superb classical showpieces. Choreographed in the 19th century by Marius Petipa, creator of legendary ballet classics such as The Sleeping Beauty, Paquita is being produced for Joburg Ballet by company soloist Ivan Domiciano.

Mario Gaglione, Revil Yon, Savannah Ireland, Monike Cristina, Claudia Monja, Legae, Joburg Ballet 2021 PHOTO Lauge Sorensen

Commenting on Evolve, Joburg Ballet artistic director Iain MacDonald says: ‘We are proud that, as Joburg Ballet celebrates its 21st anniversary, the company continues to consolidate its standing as a creative force in South African dance. In 2021 we presented 13 new works and we are set to continue this trend in 2022. This aligns with our vision to offer opportunities for new choreographic voices to be heard, to offer works that reflect our world and provide new experiences for our audiences while at the same time continuing to honour the classical ballet foundations on which Joburg Ballet is based.’

Darragh Hourrides, Craig Pedro, Shana Dewey Loureiro, Revil Yon, The Afterlife – Souls, Joburg Ballet 2021 PHOTO Lauge Sorensen

A true South African ballet company with its own identity, despite the challenges

At a press launch at the company’s studios in Braamfontein on 23 February, CEO of Joburg Ballet Esther Nasser both praised the commitment and dedication of full-time arts companies such as Joburg Ballet, and lamented the lack of support from the government since 2000.

‘The fact that Joburg Ballet still stands today is testimony to the commitment and dedication of the many artists, administrators and fundraisers who ensured the art of ballet survives. It is still a battle to make sure the art of ballet moves forward into the future with its present funding and its need to align with new visions and aspirations of our country, but I believe Joburg Ballet is on that road and will flourish as a true South African ballet company with its own identity with which the global village will want to engage,’ said Nasser.

Joburg Ballet programme 2022

Paquita, Joburg Ballet 2021 PHOTO Lauge Sorensen

Evolve will take place from 25 March – 3 April 2022. Full details below.

Dates and Times:
Friday 25 March at 18:30
Saturday 26 March at 15:00
Saturday 26 March at 18:30
Sunday 27 March at 15:00
Wednesday 30 March at 11:00 (All tickets for this performance are R100)
Friday 1 April at 18:30
Saturday 2 April at 15:00
Sunday 3 April at 15:00

Standard Ticket Prices: R475, R410, R375, R275, R200 (applicable to all performances except Wednesday 30 March for which all tickets are R100)

Book now: At Joburg Theatre Box Office; or tel. 0861 670 670; or online at

Patrons can also book and pay via the Nedbank app and at selected Pick n Pay stores (full list at

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