Win tickets to see St Petersburg Ballet

2007-02-01 00:00

THE St Petersburg Ballet will be at the Playhouse Opera Theatre in Durban next month in the much anticipated follow-up to their sell-out tour with Swan Lake last year. They will perform two of the greatest romantic ballets in the repertoire - Giselle, which runs from April 25 to 29 and Swan Lake from May 1 to 6.

The Witness has three pairs of double tickets to give away to each of the ballets to lucky readers - all you have to do to enter the draw is answer the questions at the foot of this story.

The St Petersburg Ballet Theatre travels with 55 soloists and corps de ballet, including renowned ballerina Irina Kolesnikova who wowed the South African audience last year. The ballets will be performed to live accompaniment, provided on the Durban leg of the tour by the country's top orchestra, the KZNPO.

Giselle tells the story of a young, innocent village maiden named Giselle, in love with a man she knows only as Loys. In reality, the man is Albrecht, a nobleman disguised as a peasant and who is betrothed to Bathilde, daughter of the Duke. When Giselle discovers the deceit, she is inconsolable and dies of a broken heart. In the second act, her undying love for Albrecht saves him from the wicked magic of the Wilis, vampiric ghosts of betrothed girls who have died before their wedding day and who are set to force Albrecht to dance himself to death.

At the end, Giselle forgives him for his treachery and the two pledge their love to each other before being separated for ever. The music for Giselle was composed by Adolphe Adam (with additions by Friedrich Burgmuller and Leon Minkus). It was choreographed by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot and first presented in Paris in 1841.

The timeless Swan Lake, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, is based on an ancient German legend, which tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by the curse of Rothbart, an evil sorcerer. It was first presented at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in 1877.

The St Petersburg Ballet are to ship the complete sets and costumes for both full-length works to South Africa immediately after the conclusion of their four-month UK tour.

Tickets are on sale at Computicket and prices range from R375 to R160, with special rates for groups of over 10 people, pensioners and children. For group bookings, please contact Alison or Samantha at Computicket at 011 340 8475/8128.

• Question for Giselle tickets: What is the name of the ghostly group who try to force Albrecht to dance to death in Giselle?

• Question for Swan Lake tickets: Who wrote the music for the ballet Swan Lake?

SMS your answer to 31458. For the Giselle tickets, type in Ballet Giselle, followed by the answer, not forgetting to leave your name and contact details. For Swan Lake, SMS to the same number, using the keywords Ballet Swanlake. The winners' tickets will be waiting at the box office before the show - on Thursday, April 26 for Giselle and on Tuesday, May 1 for Swan Lake.

• Rules: Staff of The Witness, Weekend Witness and Tumbleweed Communications and their immediate familes may not enter. The competition ends at close of business tomorrow and the winners will be contacted telephonically. The winners' names will be announced in the paper on Tuesday, April 3. Standard SMS rates will be charged. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. If you have won a competition from The Witness or Weekend Witness in the last three months, you are not eligible to enter.

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