The Joburg Ballet has been through some hard times of late, but if this latest production of Tschaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty is anything to go by there are good things on the horizon for SA’s premier ballet company.
The simple, but grand in scale, sets combined with sumptuous costumes provide the perfect backdrop for the dancers who give it their absolute all in what amounts to a fabulous evening out. Staged for the company by former British ballerina Maina Gielgud, the choreography does not shy away from being on the difficult side and while the dancers are sometimes obviously pushing themselves to match it the overall effect is extremely pleasing, eliciting gasps of delight from Friday night’s audience. Monike Cristina and Revil Yon in particular, shine in their roles as Princess Aurora and Prince Florimund.
The return of the Joburg Philharmonic orchestra to the pit in front of the ballet makes an astounding difference. Instead of the recorded music of past productions, the gorgeous authenticity of the instruments adds a depth to the production that has been lacking in the past and gives the production a sense of real theatricality.
Perhaps the only downside was the attendance, with plenty of extra seats available. It is a shame as the production, which was made possible by a grant of over R1 460 000 from the National Lotteries Commission, deserves packed houses and at ticket prices of between R200 and R475 each offer extremely good value.
Overall the production sounds rich, and moving, looks elegant and flows perfectly. If you haven’t got tickets you should definitely see it before the end of the run this Sunday. Head to www.joburgtheatre.com or www.webtickets.co.za or go to the Joburg Theatre Box Office; or tel. 0861 670 670.