Orlin’s theatre metamorphosis

2016-12-11 06:01
CHRYSALIS Ordinary camping tents were turned into costumes and sets as performer Elisabeth Tambwe transformed herself on stage

CHRYSALIS Ordinary camping tents were turned into costumes and sets as performer Elisabeth Tambwe transformed herself on stage

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The Market theatre in Newtown was filled to the rafters this week for the homecoming performance of Johannesburg-born choreographer Robyn Orlin, who is now based at the Paris Opera.

Orlin always draws an interesting crowd and the opening night of her latest production, the inordinately named In A World Full Of Butterflies, It Takes Balls To Be A Caterpillar ... Some Thoughts On Falling ... was no exception.

All the usual theatre suspects attended. Business and Arts SA CEO and SAfm host Michelle Constant looked great in a black-and-white wrap dress, as did dancer Nelisiwe Xaba, who also kept her look low-key.

Fashion designer and arts patron Marianne Fassler looked marvellous in an unusual oversized silk chiffon top made from Vlisco scarves – a nod, possibly, to the butterfly theme of the night.

She was accompanied by her protégé, Lezanne Viviers, who added her own splash of colour to the event.

Also on the guest list was SA Fashion Week founder Lucilla Booyzen, who came along with friend and celebrity milliner Albertus Swanepoel.

The Market theatre’s new CEO, Ismail Mohammed, made his way through the crowds on the night, which was one of the last events of the theatre’s 40th anniversary year.

The show itself was typically batty. Unsuspecting audience members began the night on stage themselves before the performers Elisabeth Tambwe and Eric Languet shooed everyone off.

Their collection of camping tents folded and flopped all over the stage into shapes and costumes, and even became dancers themselves at one point.

Thoughts on the show seemed to be conflicted, with many saying it was perhaps a bit too long. Either way, it’s been a major year for South African theatre.


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