Those moments in life when the magic of two extraordinary things combine into something memorable are few and far between, but the magic that is the Night and Day ballet is one of those rare occasions. The Cape Town City Ballet has found a brand new and exciting way of sharing their love of dance with us mere mortals by shaking their ‘groove thang’ to some of Cole Porter’s most famous show tunes.
The stage is set amongst the lush trees of the Maynardville Open-air Theatre, where the backdrop is the greenery itself. The evenings are balmy due to the surrounding shrubbery, but the humidity is soon replaced by intrigue as the lone figure of Mr Porter makes his way over to the piano and begins to play snippets of a few of the all-time favourites. The serious moment is soon over and Cole proceeds to prance and twirl to the song the production is inspired by, flinging his annoyingly uncooperative sheet music all around. Mature, Cole.
He is then joined on stage by the lovely Linda, the temptress, Delilah, and the rest of the company in all their glory as they dance to the upbeat tempo of Anything Goes, a familiar favourite of musical theatre fundis. The other numbers in the show are a mix of buoyant and melancholy that take you on the same emotion journey that Cole Porter experienced in his lifetime. Songs like the cheeky Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall In Love, where the maid and butler chase and tease one another, peppering their routine with risque sexual innuendos contrasts beautifully with the somber mood of In The Still of the Night; accompanied by the immensely talented clarinet-wielding Jesse Williams.
As the show progresses, we follow Cole’s most famous pieces through Paris, Venice, New York and finally Hollywood, where the dancers tap, pirouette and leap through the incredible life of one of the most celebrated Broadway composers of the 20th Century.
The show closes with a toe-tapping rendition of Blow, Gabriel, Blow, which finds the audience clapping and bouncing in time, wishing there was more. But the end has come and, in the words of Mr Porter himself, it’s Just One of Those Things.
Where Maynardville Open Air Theatre
When Sundays, until 21 February 2016
Cost R130 – R150
Contact Book at Computicket or Artscape Dial-A-Seat +27 21 421 7695
Photography courtesy Hayley Stols