Design of the week - Swan Lake sets are breathtaking

2015-03-22 15:00

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Andrew Botha’s set designs for Joburg Ballet’s upcoming Swan Lake drop the gaudy drapes of the production’s 200-year-old past to reveal a stage that is slick, stark and a little dark, but perfectly in line with modern times and audiences. Botha took inspiration from the production’s imperial history to imagine a new kind of Gothic, one rooted in Russia’s romantic opulence, but reimagined in a cleaner, simpler age. To Botha, doing this production is a lifetime’s work: “Swan Lake was the first ballet I ever saw, so when the opportunity came around, the production was so built into me I already knew exactly what I was going to do.” It is a big moment for any designer, but to do it in Joburg made it even more prominent for Botha. “Swan Lake is the magic touchstone of ballet. To design this ballet in my home town is a life and career highlight.”

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