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PRESS: International Guest Artists join Cape Town City Ballet for Maina Gielgud’s GISELLE

Christine Skinner


The international guest artists who will join Cape Town City Ballet for Maina Gielgud’s GISELLE have been announced. GISELLE will be presented from 18 March until 9 April 2022 in the Artscape Opera House.

International guest artists Vadim Muntagirov (Principal of The Royal Ballet), Tatiana Melnik (Principal at Hungarian National Ballet) and Brandon Lawrence (Principal at Birmingham Royal Ballet) join the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of conductor Brandon Phillips, alongside the dancers of Cape Town City Ballet at select performances.

It is fitting that we are able to mark the start of a new, post-pandemic era by bringing international guest artists to Cape Town,” says Debbie Turner, CEO of Cape Town City Ballet. “We are honoured to once again be presenting some of the world’s best ballet dancers on the local stage.”

We are especially delighted to welcome back Vadim and Tatiana, as well as hosting Brandon Lawrence for the first time performing with Cape Town City Ballet. He will partner with our very own Leanè Theunissen, who audiences have recently enjoyed watching in Veronica Paeper’s Carmen andA Christmas Carol – The Story of Scrooge.”

Mr Muntagirov and Ms Melnik previously delighted Cape Town audiences in 2019 in Cape Town City Ballet’s production of Denise Schultze Godfrey’s Sleeping Beauty.

This much-loved ballet presents a romantic story of innocent love and betrayal portrayed in two acts. Giselle, a naive and beautiful peasant girl who loves to dance, unsuspectingly falls in love with a philandering nobleman, Albrecht. He disguises himself as a peasant while pursuing her affections and when the deceit is revealed Giselle is inconsolable. In discovering that he is already betrothed, she dies of a broken heart.

The story continues in the moonlit land of the Wilies, a mysterious landscape inhabited by the vengeful spirits of virgin brides who never reached their wedding day. The ghostly Wilies torment Albrecht as he appears in search of the spirit of Giselle.

The duality of the body and spirit, evocation of the supernatural, and the tale of undying love and devotion endears this quintessentially romantic ballet to a universal audience.

GISELLE is performed to the music of Adolphe Adam , with choreography by Maina Gielgud, after Jean Coralli & Jules Perrot. The stellar creative team again includes the powerhouse team of Designer Peter Cazalet for Costume Design and Décor, assisted by Michael Mitchell, and Lighting Design by Wilhelm Disbergen.

Russian dancer Vadim Muntagirov trained at Perm Ballet School before moving to The Royal Ballet Upper School. He joined the Company from English National Ballet as a Principal in March 2014. His numerous roles with The Royal Ballet have included Basilio (Don Quixote), Albrecht (Giselle), Prince Siegfried (Swan Lake), Aminta (Sylvia), Prince Florimund (The Sleeping Beauty), Prince (The Nutcracker). Mr Muntagirov’s many awards include the 2013 and 2018 Benois de la danse and the 2021 Dance Europe Outstanding Dancer Award.

As a guest artist he has danced with companies including Paris Opera Ballet, Mariinsky and American Ballet Theatre, in repertory including Solor (La Bayadère), Armand (Marguerite and Armand) and at National Ballet of Japan, Bavarian State Ballet, Mikhailovsky and Cape Town City Ballet.

Tatiana Melnik is female principal at Hungarian National Ballet. She has been a member of the Hungarian State Opera since 2015. She trained at the Academy of Choreography, Perm. Her roles have included Odette/Odile in Swan Lake; Princess Maria in The Nutcracker; Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty; Kitri in Don Quixote; Giselle in Giselle; Cinderella in Cinderella; Manon in Manon; Princess Stephanie in Mayerling; Snow Maiden in Snow Maiden and Nkiya in La Bayadère. Her professional work also includes being a soloist at Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre and work with the Russian State Ballet (2006-2013).

Brandon Lawrence trained with Penny Murray and Andie Nydza before attending the Royal Ballet School where he graduated to join Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2011 to then reach the rank of Principal Dancer in 2019. Mr Lawrence has danced many of the Classics including Swan Lake (Prince Siegfried); The Nutcracker (Prince); Sleeping Beauty (Prince Florimund); Giselle (Count Albrecht); Romeo and Juliet (Romeo); La Fille Mal Gardée (Colas) and Beauty and the Beast (Beast). He has also danced many notable roles including Southern Cape Zebra from Sir David Bintley’s Still Life at the Penguin Cafe, Friday Night and Bethena Waltz in Macmillan’s Elite Syncopations. While dancing the varied and diverse repertoire at Birmingham Royal Ballet, Mr Lawrence has created roles in Sir David Bintley’s King Dances, Alexander Whitley’s Kin, George Williamson’s Embrace, Juanjo Arques’s Ignite, Didy Veldman’s Sense of Time and most recently Miguel Altunaga City of A Thousand Trades as well as being nominated for two National Dance Awards in the ‘Best Classical Male Performance Category’ for Ruth Brill's Arcadia (Pan) and Jessica Lang’s (Wink).

Seating remains strictly limited due to social distancing and government regulations. All Covid-19 regulations will be in place including social distancing and wearing of masks throughout.

GISELLE will be presented at Artscape Opera House from 18 March to 9 April 2022.

Performances dates are:


  • 18 March @ 19h30 (With International UK Guest Artist, Brandon Lawrence and Leanè Theunissen with the CTPO)

  • 19, 21, 23, 25 March @ 19h30 (With International Guest Artists, Vadim Muntagirov and Tatiana Melnik with the CTPO)

  • 22 and 31 March @ 19h30 (TO RECORDED MUSIC with Chanté Daniels and Gabriel Ravenscroft)

  • 24 and 30 March @ 19h30 (TO RECORDED MUSIC with Kirstel Paterson and Lêusson Muniz)

  • 26 March @ 15h00 (TO RECORDED MUSIC with Chanté Daniels and Gabriel Ravenscroft)

  • 26 March @ 19h30 (With International Guest Artist, Brandon Lawrence and Leanè Theunissen TO RECORDED MUSIC)


  • 1 and 7 April @ 19h30 (TO RECORDED MUSIC with Kirstel Paterson and Lêusson Muniz)

  • 2 April @ 15h00 (TO RECORDED MUSIC with International Guest Artist, Brandon Lawrence and Leanè Theunissen)

  • 2, 6 and 8 April @ 19h30 (TO RECORDED MUSIC with Chanté Daniels and Gabriel Ravenscroft)

  • 9 April @ 15h00 (TO RECORDED MUSIC with Kirstel Paterson and Lêusson Muniz)

  • 9 April @ 19h30 (With International Guest Artist, Brandon Lawrence and Leanè Theunissen with CTPO)

Bookings can be made at Artscape Dial-A-Seat 021 421 7695 or through Computicket.


  • Tickets cost from R350 to R750 for performances featuring International Guest Artist/s and accompanied by Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.

  • Tickets cost from R250 to R395 for performances to recorded music.

  • Tickets to matinee performances cost from R175 to R295.

Pensioners tickets can be purchased from Artscape Box Office only, at R20.00 discount per ticket. Block bookings (ten or more) - R10.00 discount per ticket through Artscape Box Office.

Please note that the casting schedule is subject to change in the event of necessity.

Cape Town City Ballet is grateful for the support of all sponsors including the City of Cape Town, Western Cape Government, Food Lovers Market, Erica Manning for the Cape Town City Ballet Endowment Trust, The Christian Ludolph Marais Trust and the Friends of Cape Town City Ballet.


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