‘The Ugly Duckling’ – a perfect holiday treat for the whole family

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Cydney Malcolm  (back) will dance the role of Mother Duck, with (from left) Jamie Knott as the Ugly Duckling and Robyn Curry, Caitlin Pillay, Casey Nugent and Itai Mubako as Ducklings in the KZN Midlands Youth Ballet’s production of ‘The Ugly Duckling’. Photo: Keith Cameron

THE KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Youth Ballet’s production of The Ugly Duckling will enchant dance and theatre-lovers of all ages, making it an unmissable treat for the school holidays, writes ESTELLE SINKINS.

Running at the Hilton College Theatre from July 14 to 15, the show features 75 dancers of all ages from Pietermaritzburg and the Midlands and four dancers from the Cape Town City Ballet – former Maritzburg dancers, Stephen Underwood and Sascha Nott, Hannah Ward from Durban and Ivan Boonzaier. Continue reading


The magic of the Bolshoi Ballet comes to the big screen at Cinema Nouveau


Svetlana Zakharova and Denis Rodkin in Swan Lake. Photo: Damir Yusupov

A new season of seven wonderful ballets from Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet company – one of the world’s great powerhouses of classical ballet – is currently being screened at Ster-Kinekor’s Cinema Nouveau theatres.

The next ballet to be enjoyed on the big screen is one of the classical ballets of all time, Tchaikovsky’s timeless Swan Lake, which releases on Saturday, February 18 for limited shows. Continue reading

The magic of the Bolshoi Ballet comes to the big screen at Cinema Nouveau


The season of ballets from Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet company continues with the screening of The Golden Age, which releases at Cinema Nouveau on Saturday, November 12 for limited screenings.

The other productions in this season include: The Nutcracker (December 17), Swan Lake (February 18, 2017), The Sleeping Beauty (March 10), A Contemporary Evening (April 21) and finally, A Hero of our Time (May 12). The ballets are brought to the big screen by Fathom Events, BY Experience and Pathé Live. Continue reading

The Imperial Ice Stars return to SA

THE world’s premier theatrical ice skating company, The Imperial Ice Stars, returns to South Africa with a dynamic new interpretation of its award-winning masterpiece Swan Lake on Ice.

Opening in December for a limited season at Johannesburg’s Teatro at Montecasino before moving to Cape Town for a season at Artscape Opera House, the acclaimed production is part of a world tour celebrating the company’s 10th Anniversary.

Performed in the intimate setting of a frozen theatre stage, to Tchaikovsky’s famous and well-loved score, this production of Swan Lake on Ice introduces a new prologue to the classic tale, humanising the legend of a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer. The show features exhilarating new choreography and some of the world’s most stylish dancing on ice from Artistic Director Tony Mercer, widely regarded as the world’s leading creator of theatre on ice.

“Inspired by my research into Tchaikovsky’s original score and intentions for the story, I wanted to create a more realistic interpretation of this much-loved tale, with an ending that was more plausible and left no unanswered questions. I also wanted to transpose the story onto ice, creating a new art form in the process – ice dance in a full theatrical setting,” explains Tony Mercer. “I always felt it was a natural fit, to have swans gliding on ice.”

“I created our original Swan Lake on Ice in 2006 in a classical style with elements of contemporary ice dance. With this production I’ve significantly re-worked the choreography to incorporate even more contemporary skating manoeuvres, including elements that have never been seen in the world of figure skating before, and challenged our skaters to reach for new heights!”

The 24 Olympic, World, European and National Championship level skaters, who between them hold more than 250 competition medals, tell the timeless tale through mind-blowing high-speed leaps and throws – and daring manoeuvres so complex they haven’t yet been named – coupled with graceful and sublime ice dancing.

In addition awe-inspiring acrobatics, aerial gymnastics and spectacular new pyrotechnic effects add drama and mystery to the theatrical experience.

The costuming has also been refined for this new production, with some dazzling and sophisticated designs from renowned costumier Albina Gabueva of Moscow’s Stanislavsky Theatre, and made by the famous Bolshoi Ballet’s costume cutters.

The Imperial Ice Stars last performed in South Africa from December 2013 to February 2014 with The Sleeping Beauty on Ice, garnering outstanding reviews and raves from local audiences.

Whether you’ve seen The Imperial Ice Stars’ Swan Lake on Ice before or have yet to experience the thrill of world-class ice skating in the intimacy of the theatre, this dramatic new ice interpretation of one of the most popular ballets will have you on the very edge of your seat.


JOHANNESBURG: The Teatro at Montecasino – 3 December to 10 January

Tickets: R400, R350, R325, R275, R250, R200, R150 and R100

Performances: Tue – Fri at 7:30pm, Sat at 2:30pm and 7:30pm, Sun at 2pm and 6pm

CAPE TOWN: Artscape Opera – 14 January to 31 January

Tickets: R400, R350, R325, R275, R250, R200, R175, R150, R125 and R100

Performances: Tue – Fri at 7:30pm, Sat at 2:30pm and 7:30pm, Sun at 2pm and 6pm