CTCB announces International Guest Artists
l-r Brandon Lawrence, Fumi Kaneko (PHOTO CREDIT: Lara Cappelli), Tzu-Chao Chou and Vadim Muntagirov.
Ballet lovers are in for a rare treat with the opportunity to see four International Guest Artists perform as part of Cape Town City Ballet’s Winter Season.
The season line-up includes ROMEO AND JULIET based on William Shakespeare’s classic, tragic love story and choreographed by South African ballet doyenne Veronica Paeper, alongside an invigorating new triple bill IKIGAI inspired by the Japanese concept of Purpose, Happiness and Peace.
Vadim Muntagirov and Fumi Kaneko, both Principals of The Royal Ballet, dance the roles of Romeo and Juliet at the performances on 5, 8, 10 and 13 August at 19:30, accompanied by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.
Brandon Lawrence, Principal of Birmingham Royal Ballet excitingly returns to join the Company at select performances in the role of Romeo. Lawrence was seen on stage at Artscape earlier this year as Albrecht in Cape Town City Ballet’s production of Maina Gielgud’s Giselle.
As an additional delight for audiences, Lawrence will dance the principal male in the featured pas de deux in Sir Frederick Ashton’s LES PATINEURS, which forms part of the triple bill IKIGAI. He will perform on 17 August at 19:30 and 28 August at 14:00, with these performances also accompanied by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, in addition to three other dates.
“To complete our incredible line up of international guest artists, we are proud to be welcoming Tzu-Chao Chou, Principal Dancer with Birmingham Royal Ballet, to our Cape Town stage for the first time,” says Debbie Turner, CEO of Cape Town City Ballet.
Chou will perform the role of The Blue Boy in LES PATINEURS at selected performances of IKIGAI.
“We celebrate the renaissance of the performing arts, being able to play to capacity houses and the opening of international travel, with this stellar line-up of international guests performing alongside the talented dancers of Cape Town City Ballet and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. May the arts continue to flourish after these challenging times.
“We are happy to be offering audiences a diverse programme with our winter season, and the chance to witness the breath-taking performances by our international guests.”
Vadim Muntagirov trained at Perm Ballet School before moving to The Royal Ballet Upper School. He joined the Company from English National Ballet as a Principal in March 2014. His numerous roles with The Royal Ballet have included Basilio (Don Quixote), Albrecht (Giselle), Prince Siegfried (Swan Lake), Aminta (Sylvia), Prince Florimund (The Sleeping Beauty) and Prince (The Nutcracker). Mr Muntagirov’s many awards include the 2013 and 2018 Benois de la danse and the 2021 Dance Europe Outstanding Dancer Award. As a guest artist he has danced with companies including Paris Opera Ballet, Mariinsky and American Ballet Theatre, at National Ballet of Japan, Bavarian State Ballet, Mikhailovsky and Cape Town City Ballet.
Japanese dancer Fumi Kaneko joined The Royal Ballet during the 2010/11 Season and was promoted to First Artist in 2012, Soloist in 2013, First Soloist in 2018, and Principal, 2021. Ms Kaneko trained at the Jinushi Kaoru Ballet School, Osaka. She won gold medal at the Varna International Ballet Competition, 2008, and silver medals at the Moscow International Ballet Competition, 2009, and the USA International Ballet Competition, 2010. That year she joined the Jinushi Kaoru Ballet Company, where her roles included Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy (The Nutcracker) and Kitri (Don Quixote).
Ms Kaneko’s repertory with The Royal Ballet includes Odette and Odile (Swan Lake), Juliet (Romeo and Juliet), Kitri, Kitri’s Friend and Queen of the Dryads (Don Quixote), Sugar Plum Fairy (The Nutcracker), Princess Aurora and Lilac Fairy (The Sleeping Beauty), Gypsy Girl (The Two Pigeons), Myrtha (Giselle), pas d’action (Prince of the Pagodas), Mitzi Caspar (Mayerling), Hermione (The Winter’s Tale), Polyhymnia (Apollo), third moment Concerto, The Four Temperaments, Sweet Violets, Limen, Infra, ‘Diana and Actaeon’ (Metamorphosis: Titian 2012), Woolf Works, Asphodel Meadows, Symphony in C, Medusa, Dances at a Gathering, Within the Golden Hour, After the Rain and In Our Wishes. She created roles including The Dante Project.
Brandon Lawrence attended the Royal Ballet School where he graduated to join Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2011. He reached the rank of Principal Dancer in 2019. Mr Lawrence has danced many of the classics including Swan Lake (Prince Seigfreid), The Nutcracker(Prince), Sleeping Beauty (Prince Florimund), Giselle (Count Albrecht), Romeo and Juliet (Romeo), La Fille mal Gardée (Colas), Beauty and the Beast (Beast) and Don Quixote (Basilio, Espada). He has also danced many notable roles including Southern Cape Zebra from Sir David Bintley’s ‘Still Life at the Penguin Cafe’ Friday Night and Bethena Waltz in Macmillan’s ‘Elite Syncopations’ Twyla Tharp’s ‘In the Upper Room’ Lucentio in Cranko’s ’Taming of the Shrew’ Othello in Limón’s ‘The Moors Pavane’ and the 3rd Seminarian in David Bintley’s ‘Carmina Burana’. While dancing the varied and diverse repertoire at Birmingham Royal Ballet, Brandon has created roles in Sir David Bintley’s ‘King Dances’ Alexander Whitley’s ‘Kin.’ George Williamson’s ‘Embrace’ Juanjo Arques’s ‘Ignite’ Didy Veldman’s ’Sense of Time’ and most recent Miguel Altunaga ‘City of a thousand trades’ and Juliano Nunes ‘Interlinked’ as well as being nominated for two National Dance Awards in the ‘Best Classical Male Performance Category’ for Ruth Brill’s Arcadia (Pan) and Jessica Lang’s (Wink).
Born in Yi-Lan, Taiwan, Tzu-Chao Chou trained at the Australian Ballet School before joining the Australian Ballet in 2005. While in Australia, Mr Chou danced various ballets by choreographers such as Bournonville, Duato, McGregor, Robbins and Franz in Peggy Van Praggh’s Coppelia as well as Le Spectre de la rose with English National ballet as a Principal guest artist at Fall for Dance Festival, NYC.
Mr Chou is currently a Principal Dancer with Birmingham Royal Ballet where he’s danced many roles including Ashton’s The Dream (Puck), La Fille mal Gardée (Colas, Alain), A month in a Country (Kolia), Symphonic Variations and Les Rendezvous. Bintley’s Aladdin (Aladdin, Djinn), Beauty and the Beast (Raven), Giselle (Harvest pas de deux) and Still life at the penguin cafe (Texas Kangaroo rat). Macmillan’s Concerto (First movement), Elite Syncopations (Alaskan Rag) and Romeo and Juliet (Mercutio). Wrights The Nutcracker (Prince) and Coppelia (Franz). Nebrada’s Our Waltzes (Orange Couple) and Panov’s Liebestod. Acosta’s Don Quixote (Basilio, Amour).
Over the years he has created roles in Bintley’s The Tempest (Pan), Jessica Lang’s ‘Lyric Pieces and Wink’ Alexander Whitleys ‘Kin.’ Juanjo Arques ‘Ignite’ Jack Listers ‘A Brief Nostalgia’ and most recently Juliano Nunes ‘Interlinked’ and the role of Amour in Acosta’s ‘Don Quixote’.
Following her acclaimed recent productions of Carmen and A Christmas Carol – The Story of Scrooge, Veronica Paeper returns to stage ROMEO AND JULIET for CTCB. Performed to Sergei Prokofiev’s dramatic score, William Shakespeare’s quintessential boy-meets-girl tale, follows the life course of the ill-fated, star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. The dream creative team is completed with Décor and Costume Design by Peter Cazalet and Lighting Design by Wilhelm Disbergen.
IKIGAI is an invigorating triple bill inspired by the Japanese philosophy of life purpose, life happiness and life peace. Suitably depicted in those ideas are ballets by three generations of award-winning choreographers: Jiří Kylián’s FALLING ANGELS, Sir Frederick Ashton’s LES PATINEURS and Kenneth Tindall’s POLARITY, in collaboration with the artists of CTCB.
ROMEO AND JULIET will be presented at Artscape from 4 to 28 August.
IKIGAI will be presented at Artscape from 17 to 28 August.
Bookings can be made at Artscape Dial-A-Seat 021 421 7695 or through Computicket.
Performance dates are:
ROMEO AND JULIET
5, 8, 10 and 13 August at 19:30: (With International Guest Artist & CPO)
4, 9, 23 and 25 August at 19:30: (With CPO)
28 August at 18:00: (With CPO)
6 and 20 August at 15:00: (To recorded music)
14 August at 18:00: (To recorded music)
6, 11, 12, 27 August at 19:30: (To recorded music)
17 August at 19:30 and 28 August at 14:00: (With CPO)
25 August at 15:00: (To recorded music)
18, 20, 24 and 26 August at 19:30 (To recorded music)
27 August at 15:00 (To recorded music)
TICKET PRICES ROMEO AND JULIET : FROM R175 – R750.00
* Tickets cost from R350 to R750 for performances featuring International Guest Artist/s and accompanied by Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.
* Tickets cost from R300 to R500 for performances featuring CTCB Artists accompanied by Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.
* Tickets cost from R250 to R395 for evening performances to recorded music.
* Tickets to matinee performances cost from R175 to R295.
TICKET PRICES IKIGAI: FROM R175 – R475
* Tickets cost from R175 to R475 for performances accompanied by Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra
* Tickets cost from R175 to R350 for performances to recorded music.
*Pensioners tickets for specific performances can be purchased from Artscape Box Office only, at R30 discount per ticket.
*Block bookings (ten or more) – R30.00 discount per ticket through Artscape Box Office
Cape Town City Ballet is grateful for the support of all sponsors including the City of Cape Town, Western Cape Government, Food Lovers Market, Erica Manning for the Cape Town City Ballet Endowment Trust, The Christian Ludolph Marais Trust and the Friends of Cape Town City Ballet.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Cape Town City Ballet
Established in 1934 as the University of Cape Town Ballet Company, Cape Town City Ballet has a strong heritage and roots. The organisation is moving into the next era of dance with the objectives of delighting anew its loyal supporters as well as inspiring new audiences to engage with and develop a love of ballet, striving to achieve this by delivering unique dance performances aligned with the global dance landscape with diversity and inclusivity at the forefront of creativity, integrity and the pursuit of excellence.
Since the Company’s inception, it has been renowned for providing opportunities for training and employment to all, despite the ruling laws of previous times. It remains committed to developing the dancers of the future. The CTCB’s various development and education programmes have reached more than 320 000 young people. Its audience development and training initiatives include the Young Male Dancer Development Programme, the Apprentice Programme and partnerships for training programme with various dance schools.
The Choreolab programme was introduced in 2019 as a platform to incubate, nurture and invest in aspiring South African choreographers from within the Company. The choreographer is supported in creating and staging a work, while developing their choreographic skills by also working with a mentor. Three dancers took part in the 2019 initiative. With the onset of Covid-19 and accompanying restrictions, the Choreolab programme was adapted for 2020. Nine dancers each created a dance piece for a short dance film in collaboration with Norval Foundation and inspired by and celebrating the work of William Kentridge from his Why Should I Hesitate: Sculpture exhibition. The Choreolab will be an annual programme to further develop new South African creative talent, each year working with different choreographers as mentors on the programme.
During the 2020 lockdown, Cape Town Opera and kykNET in collaboration with Cape Town City Ballet, Camerata Tinta Barocca and Wyrd Films, presented Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. The work was choreographed by London-based South African Mthuthuzeli November, and premiered on kykNET in October 2020.
As part of their 2021 Autumn Season at Artscape, CTCB proudly presented the South African premiere of Mthuthuzeli November’s Olivier Award winning Ingoma, which was commissioned in 2019 by Cassa Pancho for Ballet Black and which premiered at the Barbican in London.
CTCB aims to serve the dance community as a whole and provides opportunities for teachers and young dancers in training from around the City to participate and gain experience in professional productions and attend various rehearsals. In 2019, students and young dancers took part in A Christmas Carol, Sleeping Beauty and Enemy Behind the Gates. In 2020 students had the opportunity to observe rehearsals of Maina Gielgud’s Swan Lake, before the sudden lockdown and subsequent cancellation of all seasons. In December 2021, after almost two years, the company was once again able to offer performance opportunities to young dancers for the restaging of the extremely popular and uplifting A Christmas Carol at the Artscape Theatre.
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