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April 10, 2009

Mzansi brings ballet dancer back to Cape stage – A Cape Town Tourism Flickr photo essay

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Mzansi Productions, a Gauteng-based dance company, went on tour to Cape Town with a production entitled MIXIT, which ran from March 18 to 22 at the Baxter Theatre.

Mzansi, under the directorship of Dirk Badenhorst (previously of SA Ballet Theatre and CEO of the Cape Town International Ballet Competition) and Esther Nasser (previously of State Theatre Dance Company), is a young dance company which was established last year. In a short time it has built an excellent reputation for outstanding performances.

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This was great news for many Capetonian ballet lovers who have missed ballet dancer Reika Sato since she left Cape Town City Ballet to join Mzansi last year. She was excited to be back on stage in Cape Town, saying, “I feel like I’ve come home and I’m pleased to perform here again as I love Cape Town.”

The pas de deux by internationally acclaimed soloist Michael Revie and Sato was beautiful to watch.

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The following pictures are from their rehearsal scenes. I found the atmosphere very different to the live performance, not just because there was no audience and no loud applause, but because it’s a different world backstage and a process which people do not usually see.

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As I was positioned close to the dancers, I could hear their breathing and energetic footsteps. I felt very moved by this reality and I saw great professionalism in the dancers.

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MIXIT featured a variety of performances such as classical pas de deux from Le Corsaire, Don Quixote and contemporary works like Nasser’s Angel on my Shoulder, Timothy Le Roux’s AngstKismet by Yarisha Singh and Casey Swales, and Belinda Nusser’s Phase 5 Confronted.

Mzansi is scheduled to visit Cape Town again in November this year with an acclaimed contemporary version of The Nutcracker.

Do you have images of Cape Town you’d like to share with us? We’d love you to join the Cape Town. Live it. Love it. Flickr group!

Images © Hirohiko Okada aka 1/8 sec 2009

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