7 July 2014

South Africa: Popcorn Ballet - Easy to Digest, Delicious to Swallow


In the age of instant knowledge, there should be a whole new way to consume ballet. ALEX ELISEEV pops out a few ideas.

Whispering in my ear between acts, my wife came up with what can only be an all-new term to describe a certain kind of ballet experience: popcorn ballet.

We were lost in another magnificent performance at the Joburg Theatre, watching some of Russia's best ballet dancers on stage, when the idea popped (forgive me) into her head. The show, Russian Ballet Stars, comprised ten short dances, four opera pieces and a grand finale with all of the dancers on stage.

Unlike traditional ballets, there were no grand sets and props, no dazzling costumes, no storyline, just brief explosions of brilliance. The performances covered some of the classics: Swan Lake, Carmen and Don Quixote. The show was a mix not only of ballet and opera, but also of traditional and modern dancing, from the Flames of Paris Pas de Deux to the enchanting acrobatic masterpiece Requiem, performed by Oleg Gabyshev and Lyubov Andreyeva and choreographed by the world-renowned Boris Eifman.

And so 'popcorn ballet' was born, the idea of watching something breathtakingly beautiful without having to concentrate on...

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