Ballet on the big screen

2010-10-06 00:00

THE South African Ballet Theatre’s (SABT) production of Coppélia is set to be screened at Cinema Nouveau Gateway in Umhlanga from tomorrow.

It’s the first time that a local ballet production has been shown on the big screen in South Africa.

The ballet, which stars SABT principal dancers Burnise Silvius as Swanhilda and Anya Carstens as Dawn, character artist Jacob Mose­hla as Dr Coppelius and guest artist Michael Revie as Franz, was filmed at the Promusica Theatre in Roodepoort.

Trish Downing, Ster-Kinekor Theatres’ senior marketing and communications manager, said: “This is the perfect production to launch a South African ballet production into our ‘Ballet on Screen’ series. It is a ballet treat for the whole family to enjoy, with magnificent choreography and costumes, and stellar performances from many of the country’s most admired dancers.

“We hope that by screening this production in cinema, which is in many ways a more accessible medium than stage, we grow new ballet-loving audiences across the country to the benefit of the entire dance-related­ community in the country.”

Coppélia was filmed in front of a live audience by Izithombe TV Productions and features an appearance by some of the students of SABT’s outreach programmes in Mamelodi, Alex­andra, Soweto and Melville in act three.

Created in Paris in 1870 and set to the music of Leo Delibes, Coppélia tells the story of an old and eccentric toymaker, Dr Coppélius, who is tricked by Swanhilda and her friends into believing that he has brought his most beautiful creation, the doll Coppélia, to life. He breathes air into her sawdust lungs, a beat into her wooden heart and life into her mechanical limbs. But his fantasy is soon shattered when the full truth of the trick played on him dawns. — Arts Editor

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