Master dancer returns for ballets in Grahamstown

SOUTH African-born ballet master, Victor Hughes, jetted into Cape Town this past weekend. He arrived in time to attend final rehearsals for Cape Town City Ballet’s upcoming production at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. They will present two masterpieces by Hamburg Ballet’s legendary choreographer, John Neumeier.

Hughes’s visit coincides with the recent announcement that the prestigious 2015 Kyoto Prize for Contribution in Arts and Philosophy was awarded to Neumeier by The Inamori Foundation in Japan.

Hughes, who was highly instrumental in the acclaimed staging of three Neumeier ballets by the Cape Town City Ballet last year, is delighted to be back. He is also very pleased that a new group of graduate dancers at CTCB also have the opportunity to experience the choreographic world of John Neumeier.

Since his visit last year, Hughes has been engaged in numerous projects, amongst others the Dutch National Ballet’s staging of Neumeier’s riveting three act ballet, The Lady of the Camellias. “Every time I teach his ballets, I’m amazed at Neumeier’s ability, in his story ballets, to make the steps mean something, in order that they carry the narrative forward while providing emotional depth. A series of mere ballet steps can say very little, actually, but he has a truly amazing gift to take the audience on a complete emotional journey,” says Hughes.

Of the three Neumeier ballets staged in Cape Town last year, two will be presented in Grahamstown. Spring and Fall, danced to the String Serenade in E major by Dvorak and the iconic Le Sacre, danced to the revolutionary score of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, will be performed in the Guy Butler Theatre. The performances will take place on Thursday, July 2 at 7 pm and Friday, July 3 at 11 am and 6 pm.

To book, call 0860 002 004 or visit www.nationalartsfestival.co.za

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