A ballet lover’s dream is dancing its way onto our Capetonian stages soon!
Cape Town City Ballet is proudly presenting Veronica Paeper’s CARMEN at Artscape from 25 August until 4 September.
Set to Georges Bizet’s dramatic and famous score, CARMEN will be performed to a recording by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. Inspired by Prosper Mérimée’s romantic novel of 1845, CARMEN tells the tale of love, passion, betrayal and revenge in glorious ballet fashion.
Completing the stellar creative team for the production, the design is by Peter Cazalet with lighting design by Wilhelm Disbergen.
According to Arts publicist Christine Skinner:
“Carmen is a fiery gypsy girl who mesmerises and seduces a young soldier, Don Jose. He gives up everything for her, abandoning his childhood sweetheart and deserting his military duties. However, Carmen’s free spirit will not be tamed and her unfaithfulness to him leads to tragic results.”
“Carmen is a perennial favourite with its powerful story of love, passion, revenge and power, performed to Bizet’s sweeping score,” says Debbie Turner, CEO of Cape Town City Ballet.
“We are delighted to be able to present this production by one of South Africa’s iconic women and ballet legends, Veronica Paeper, in Woman’s Month. Veronica is a former Artistic Director of both Capab and Cape Town City Ballet and it is a privilege for all of us at the Company to be able to appropriately restore her work and once again bring together the creative powerhouses and artistic partnership of Veronica with designer Peter Cazalet, coupled with the masterful lighting design of Wilhelm Disbergen.”
Of the production, Veronica Paeper herself expresses:
“I was truly delighted when Debbie Turner invited me to re-produce Carmen, a ballet I consider one of my better efforts,” says Veronica Paeper. “Bringing this wonderfully wild, passionate and headstrong gypsy back to life has been a real challenge in these difficult times, a challenge I have relished. Together with the dedicated dancers and all the staff of CTCB – artistic, admin and stage – I believe we have created a wonderful evening of entertainment. I certainly have enjoyed producing the Ballet.”
About choreography’s divine Veronica Paeper
CARMEN is one of more than 40 ballets, among them 16 full-length works, that have been choreographed by Paeper, who began her creative portfolio in 1972. She choreographed her first production of CARMEN in 1987 for Capab. Her production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL – THE STORY OF SCROOGE for Cape Town City Ballet played to sold-out houses and critical acclaim in December 2019, and will be restaged in December again.
Paeper received her ballet training under the tutelage of Dulcie Howes at the UCT Ballet School, where she also studied with David Poole, Pamela Chrimes and Frank Staff. Staff, whom she married in 1966, and from whom she drew and continues to draw great inspiration, was to have a profound influence on her work as a choreographer.
During her performing career, Paeper rose to become a principal dancer with three South African companies: Capab Ballet, Pact Ballet and Pacofs Ballet.
Paeper held the position of Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer of Capab from 1990, and Cape Town City Ballet from 1997 until 2005. She led the company on its first international tour of a South African ballet company in 1994.
Paeper’s first work, created for Capab Ballet in the early 1970s, was John the Baptist, a dramatic one-act ballet set to music by Ernest Bloch. It featured scenery and costumes designed by Peter Cazalet, an innovative, witty artist who would remain Paeper’s most frequent artistic collaborator for the next 25 years.
Artscape and Cape Town City ballet
Established as the Nico Malan Theatre in 1971, the Artscape building this year marks its 50th anniversary in existence. CARMEN is presented as part of Artscape’s celebrations for National Woman’s Day, which run throughout August and include the 15th annual Women’s Humanity Arts Festival.
Cape Town City Ballet is one of the longest-standing ballet companies in the world with strong heritage and roots, the organisation is moving into the next era with the objectives of delighting anew its loyal supporters as well as inspiring new audiences to love ballet, all to be achieved by delivering unique dance entertainment through integrity, creativity and excellence.
Since the Company’s inception, it has been renowned for providing opportunities for training and employment to all, despite the ruling laws of previous times. It remains committed to developing the dancers of the future, and the CTCB’s various development and education programmes have reached more than 320 000 young people.
Cape Town City Ballet notes that they are grateful for the support from the City of Cape Town, Western Cape Government, Food Lovers Market and Toby Fine Ballet Fund.
Back to CARMEN
Bookings open at Computicket on 16 August and seating in the Artscape Opera House will be strictly limited to 50 seats due to social distancing and government regulations. All COVID-19 regulations will be in place including social distancing and wearing masks for entry.
- The age recommendation for CARMEN is PG 13yrs.
- CARMEN will be presented on 25, 26, 27, 28 August and on 1, 2, 3 and 4 September at 18h30.
- There will be matinees on Saturday 28 August and Saturday 4 September at 14h00.
- Tickets cost from R300 to R350.
Bookings can be made from 16 August at Artscape Dial-a-seat 021 421 7695 or through Computicket.
You can access ticket’s through computicket here: