Ballet at Artscape

Mikayla Isaacs in Ingoma. Picture: Oscar O’Ryan

Cape Town City Ballet will present the South African premiere of Mthuthuzeli November’s Olivier Award-winning Ingoma as part of its autumn season from Wednesday May 19 at Artscape Opera House.

The performances will be strictly limited to 250 seats due to social distancing.

Commissioned by Cassa Pancho for Ballet Black in London, and choreographed by November, Ingoma collected prestigious awards including the Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production as well as Best Dance Production at the Black British Theatre Awards following its premiere in 2019 at the Barbican Theatre and run at the Lindbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House.

Ingoma is a fusion of ballet and African dance and song, engaging in a universal theme about being human and being true to yourself. Inspired by the artwork of Gerard Sekoto, most particularly the Song of the Pick and his Blue Head, it explores the milestone Witwatersrand miners’ strike of 1946, imagining the struggles of black miners and their loved ones as thousands of miners bravely embarked on strike action for better wages.

South African Peter Johnson composed the music for the production, marking his third collaboration with November.

The audience will also be able to enjoy the pastoral fantasy of Les Sylphides where Sylphs of imaginary spirits dance in the moonlight with the “poet” to the composition of Frederic Chopin.

There will be a second programme of  Cape Town City Ballet – Back on Stage following sold out houses in Cape Town and Durban.

The double bill features George Balanchine’s Serenade, performed to music by Tchaikovsky and staged by Rebecca Metzger for The George Balanchine Foundation.

It is accompanied by Moon Behind the Clouds, a suite of works made during the time of Covid-19, by leading South African choreographers Veronica Paeper, Kirsten Isenberg, Yaseen Manuel, Lindy Raizenberg and Marlin Zoutman.

The lyrical dancing and moving imagery is laced together through the text of Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata, and narrated by Marcel Meyer.

Ingoma and Les Sylphides will be presented from Wednesday May 19 until Saturday June 5, at 7.30pm with matinees on Saturdays May 22 and May 29, at 3pm.

Cape Town City Ballet – Back on Stage will be staged on Wednesday May 26, Saturday May 29 and Wednesday June 2 at 7.30pm with a matinee on Saturday June 5, at 3pm.

Tickets cost R300 each for the evening performances and R250 each for the matinee.

Book through Artscape Dial-a-seat on 021 421 7695 or Computicket.

Lêusson Muniz and Leané Theunissen in Les Sylphides. Picture: Oscar O’Ryan