Apple and Eve at the ballet: Part 1 – Behind the scenes

_DSC6715Ballet lovers subconsciously know that much time and effort must be required to stage a professional ballet performance, but we recently had a glimpse of just how much it takes to put together a production of such a magnificent art form.

I was privileged to spend some time with the Cape Town City Ballet during rehearsals and had a first-hand taste of only some of the action that takes place in preparation for a production. It turned out to be an eye-opening and very rewarding experience.

_DSC6098

We always had much admiration and respect for theses artists, but observing them in action during rehearsals really brought some perspective to the effort they have to put in to make it all happen. It also brought to mind a comment made by someone in the audience at a recent performance who was muttering about the cost of the admission ticket. If such people only knew the effort and dedication that goes into such a production I’m sure they will stop their muttering and double their efforts to support ballet!

_DSC8148

I was impressed by the dedication and passion that these dancers applied to their art. Planning and rehearsals start months ahead of a major production, and they are working at it for hours a day, every day, with great enthusiasm.

Robin van Wyk, Artistic Director, explains what is required.

Robin van Wyk, Artistic Director, explains what is required.

Robin demonstrates how he envisions a scene.

Robin demonstrates how he envisions a scene.

_DSC5411

Space is at a premium in the studio and does not allow much space for a photographer !

Space is at a premium in the studio and does not allow much space for a photographer !

Space in a dance studio is at a premium and every bit of it is used while rehearsing. Although that somewhat limits the movements of a photographer, it does however bring you close to the action 🙂

A close-up view.

A close-up view.

Another close view.

Another close-up view.

Professor Elizabeth Triegaardt, the Executive Director of CTCB is heavily involved with the production and very enthusiastic about the art. On meeting her she jokingly invited me to take part in the rehearsal, an honour that I graciously but firmly declined 🙂

Prof. Triegaardt - every bit as passionate as the dancers.

Prof. Triegaardt – every bit as passionate as the dancers.

_DSC5652_DSC6347It is not all serious business all of the time. In between rehearsal there often is a lighter moment too!

Johnny Bovang, Principal Character Dancer and co-repetiteur, made some scary-looking nails from black duct tape which he used to great effect :-)

Johnny Bovang, Principal Character Dancer and co-repetiteur, made some scary-looking nails from black duct tape which he used to great effect 🙂

The black nails in action !

The black nails in action !

_DSC6845

Johnny Bovang – a man with a great sense of humour 🙂

_DSC5028It is not often that one see so much passion and enjoyment exhibited by practitioners of an art or craft as I have witnessed here – it was truly awesome !

Sheer delight.

Sheer delight.

_DSC8322

More delight !

Ballet is arguably the most graceful of all the performing arts, in my mind there is nothing to match it.

_DSC6794-01-01_DSC6735_DSC5116

Needless to say that there is a lot more to preparing for a performance than rehearsing !

Costumes need checking too.

Costumes need checking too.

A bit of massaging between scenes helps to keep muscles relaxed.

A bit of massaging between scenes helps to keep muscles relaxed.

One would think that a ballerina's toes are the most at risk - apparently the ankles are.

One would think that a ballerina’s toes are the most at risk – apparently the ankles are.

Here’s another low-down, close to the floor, perspective taken by Jaunine

Jaunine-1Jaunine-2Next time that you have the opportunity of attending a ballet performance, please do so. Everybody owe it to themselves to experience something so beautiful – it’s sheer poetry in motion and food for the soul – these artists really deserve our continued support.

Spreading the magic :-)

Spreading the magic 🙂

We can’t wait to attend the actual performance of the ballet that was rehearsed – come and join us !

( More information on the Cape Town City Ballet can be found here )

Next : Part 2 – The Sleeping Beauty

Viewed :9224

  9 comments for “Apple and Eve at the ballet: Part 1 – Behind the scenes

  1. Dave Jacobson
    August 9, 2013 at 23:51

    Very impressive – and artistic! Hope you’re enjoying retirement and doing all those fun things you hadn’t had time for. Take care and continue to enjoy the Fairest Cape.

  2. stefan
    August 8, 2013 at 07:32

    Wow, die passie waarmee die dansers en selfs onse fotograaf gewerk het, word bewonder, want vir hom was dit ook elke week klas toe om deel wees van die “werk” in die studio Well done en die Grand Dame Elizabeth T
    haar absolute liefde vir haar werk na al die jare is bewonderings waardig

  3. Ronel
    August 7, 2013 at 12:23

    Wow, dis ongelooflik!
    Ek is mal oor die foto met die rooi rokkie.
    Ons gaan 17 Aug kyk, kan nie wag nie!

  4. Henry
    August 7, 2013 at 11:25

    Beautiful pictures and wonderful words highlighting the best ballet company in Africa.
    Thank you for sharing them

  5. August 7, 2013 at 08:47

    Beautiful! Well done!!

  6. Pierre
    August 6, 2013 at 22:04

    Wow! mmmmmust say what a great few words explaining effort and grace. Well done. You’ve really done a great job of documenting and commenting! Sal beslis moet gaan kyk.

  7. Jaunine
    August 6, 2013 at 21:02

    How great to combine passion for two forms of art!

  8. Niggie
    August 6, 2013 at 20:12

    Magnificent images capture magnificent art!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *