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Cape Town City Ballet

Cape Town City Ballet

The Sleeping Beauty will be performed from the 20 May - 4 June

'We owe it to David Poole, the dancers of then and now, the world of classical dance and the dancers of the future to keep classics such as The Sleeping Beauty alive' says CTCB's Elizabeth Triegaardt.

Artscape Dial-a-seat on 021 421 7695. Performances start at 20h00.

Two of the world's finest ballet dancers, Thomas Edur and Agnes Oaks, will be performing as guest artists with the Cape Town City Ballet in May. The internationally acclaimed Estonian couple will be dancing the lead roles in a gala performance of The Sleeping Beauty.

This is a gala event with a difference. After the performance, guests are invited to join the company and have dinner with Edur and Oaks in Artscape's Chandelier Foyer. Cape Town City Ballet's CEO Elizabeth Triegaardt says this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for Capetonians to meet the award-winning husband-and-wife team: "Thomas and Agnes are in such demand because they're known throughout the world for their consistent excellence as well as their strong and well-schooled technique,".

First staged in 1975 by David Poole after Marius Petipa, The Sleeping Beauty has remained one of the most popular ballets in the classical repertoire and many versions are performed worldwide. It enthrals youngsters with divertissements such as Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots and the Blue Bird pas de deux in Act 3, but also thrills the discerning ballet lover with the breathtaking Rose Adage from Act 1 and the famous Grand Pas in Act 3.

Of the guest artistes' prior interpretations of the famously challenging principal roles, London critics say: "Ms. Oaks tackles the notoriously difficult role of Princess Aurora with a confidence matched by a perfect technique," and, "As the Prince, Thomas Edur is a premier danseur noble in the greatest traditions of that rare, rare breed."

Cape Town City Ballet is South Africa's longest-standing ballet company, and this black-tie gala event will mark the launch of its 75th anniversary appeal, to be celebrated in the year 2009.

The Cape Town City Ballet has a long and illustrious history, starting with the establishment of Dulcie Howes' UCT Ballet Company in 1934. His company consisted of students of the UCT Ballet School, dancing in the corps de ballet, with staff members and professional dancers performing the leading roles.

In 1994, notice was given that all funding from Central Government would cease and that all performing companies should become independent of their parent bodies, the Arts Councils, by 1997. The CAPAB Ballet Company consequently became a non-profit organisation and is now known as the Cape Town City Ballet, administered by a Board of Directors, under the chairmanship of Prof Elizabeth Triegaardt, also Director of the UCT School of Dance.

The Cape Town City Ballet has to now raise its own operational funding, which is no easy task in this age of shrinking sponsorship and escalating costs, but the Directors remain determined to ensure the continuation of this artistic treasure well into the new millennium.

The last decade has seen many changes at the UCT Ballet School, not the least of which was changing the name to the UCT School of Dance, which reflects the increased diversity of subjects now taught at the School.

The conversion from a ballet school to one which also offers contemporary and African dance as major subjects has not been without its problems. The most challenging has been the need to identify and implement methods of assessment which do not prejudice students who have not previously been exposed to a basic classical training.

1998 was also the year in which, for the first time in its 64-year history, the school was authorised to offer a degree in dance. Having been for so long on the fringes of academia, we now find ourselves taking the lead in dance research and other scholarly aspects of this art form. Possibly as a result of our previous academic isolation from the rest of the University, we are delighted to discover that the standard of our first Honours and degree graduates compares more than favourably with that of graduates from across the campus. This gives us the confidence to take our place within the new Faculty of Humanities with pride.

The Company has an exciting and comprehensive Educational, Outreach and Audience Development programme which continues to build on the foundations first established by the Company over 35 years ago!

During the past 10 years alone, Cape Town City Ballet has, through it's commitment to the wider community, reached over 250,000 through the various programmes. All of this undertaken with the limited resources and funding available.

The Outreach and Audience Development Programmes are co-ordinated by Cape Town City Ballet's Ballet Master, Keith Mackintosh, tel: (021) 650 2400.

20 May 2006 Tickets including dinner
20 May - 4 June 2006 Performance only
20 May - 4 June 2006 Performance only
20 May - 4 June 2006 Performance only
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