Lights, costumes, music, technique, exceptional coordination and agility were all what the Joburg Ballet displayed during their performance at Maitisong Amphitheatre on Monday. The ensemble’s coordination was breathtaking and spectacular.
The ballet group delighted the audience with various ballet pieces such as la Bayadere, Gamzatti’s Variation, the spectacular solo variation for the character of Gamzatti, Rajah’s daughter. Kitty Phetla showcased ballet moves by German composer Carl Orff in ‘Carmina Burana’.
The crew also treated the audience to beautiful African fusion ballet moves from Kopano. The rhythm and blend of South African music in ballet successfully achieved greater cultural diversity and understanding when reflecting the SA demographics to the audience who seemed satisfied with the act.
In the intro, a woman wearing a red dress and her partner captivated the audience with their superb performance, using body language, body contact, to showcase their talents. The act left the room extremely quiet as the revellers watched in deep concentration. The act was titled ‘Diana and Acteon Pas de Deux’. The act followed the Diana and Actaeon myth.
The tale recounts the unfortunate fate of a young hunter named Actaeon, who was the grandson of Cadmus, and his encounter with chaste Artemis, known to the Romans as Diana, the goddess of the hunt. The story was very popular during the Renaissance times.
In the next act of ‘The Dying Swan’, Kitty Phetla brilliantly displayed a sad story of a dying swan as she flipped her hands with her head bended to the side, her face full of sadness capturing the agony of the bird.
The short ballet, which took about four minutes follows the last moments in the life of a swan, while the Big Swans, Czardas act showcased something different.
The act displayed by a number of ballets, showcased a happy and intimate feelings. The Black Swan Pas de Deux act on the other hand, displayed remarkable and powerfully dramatic choreography and music, which uses the five-part structure and virtuoso display typical of a grand pas de deux to progress the plot of the ballet.
The act comes from the story of Prince Siegfried who fell for Odette, the victim of an evil spirit who had been condemned to live as a swan unless someone who has never loved before swears to cherish her forever.
During a ball at the palace, the Prince fell for Von Rothbart, the evil spirit in human form. The bad spirit caught on to daughter Odile, who resembles Odette.
Not realising that he was deceived, the Prince fell under her spell.
Ballet is a type of performance dance that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century and later developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia.
It has since become a widespread, highly technical form of dance with its own vocabulary based on French terminology.
It has been globally influential and has defined the foundational techniques used in many other dance genres. Ballet requires years of training to learn and master, and much practice to retain proficiency.