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PRESS: Star line-up for Gershwin's I GOT RHYTHM as Cape Town City Ballet’s first production of their 90th year

Allison Foat

 

The countdown has begun for Cape Town City Ballet’s I Got Rhythm, the first production of the company's momentous 90th year, opening at Artscape on 17 May, 2024. 

The sparkling production is choreographed by Artistic Producer David Nixon CBE and set to Gershwin’s irresistible music. This fabulous work promises to dazzle with a stellar line-up of international and South African guest artists in a dynamic collaboration that sees Cape Town City Ballet (CTCB) stars performing alongside Jazzart, Joburg Ballet and Cape Town Opera soloists.  The Cape  Town Philharmonic Orchestra will be onstage, conducted by maestro Brandon Phillips. 

Guest dancers include David Ward (USA), Darragh Hourrides and Bruno Miranda (Joburg Ballet), Casey Swales (SA), Oleksii Ischchenko (SA/Ukraine) and CTCB dancers including Kirstél Paterson, Leané Theunissen, Jordan Roelfze, Bella Redman and Leusson Muniz. 


I Got Rhythm is an exuberant fusion of ballet, jazz and neo-classical dance. From the soul-stirring Rhapsody in Blue and Summertime to the infectious energy of Girl Crazy and An American in Paris, the production is reminiscent of an era steeped in glamour and romance, reflecting Nixon’s ability to seamlessly blend diverse dance styles into a harmonious whole. "I Got Rhythm is a fitting tribute to the 90th milestone of this historic company,” said Nixon, "a jubilant celebration not only of Gershwin's genius but also of the rich cultural tapestry of Cape Town."  


CTCB was established in 1934 as the University of Cape Town Ballet Company and evolved into CAPAB Ballet in 1964 before assuming its current name in 1997. The company also holds the distinguished title of being the oldest ballet company in the Southern Hemisphere.


For I Got Rhythm, the dancers have been meticulously coached by several outstanding individuals in the dance world. They include former Cape Town City Ballet ballerina Tracy Li who is now the Artistic Deputy of CTCB; USA- based Hisham Omardien, former CTCB principal and BalletMet ballet master, and Gerard Charles, the previous Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Dance, as well as the former Artistic Director BalletMet, and most recently the Director of Artistic Operations at Joffrey Ballet.  Li expressed her excitement as the opening night draws closer, saying, "The rehearsal journey has been an exciting one- the company is upbeat with renewed enthusiasm and it has been a joy working with all our collaborators from the various companies. It is a delight to be able to work with David Nixon and my other colleagues to bring this uplifting masterpiece to life."


George Gershwin's unparalleled contributions to both classical and jazz music have left an indelible mark on the dance, theatre  and film world. With Rhapsody in Blue serving as a cornerstone of his legacy alongside a plethora of other hits featured in I Got Rhythm, this inaugural season of CTCB's notable anniversary year will leave audiences uplifted and inspired. As the words of the song go, ‘who could ask for anything more?'


I Got Rhythm is at the Artscape Opera House from 17 to 26 May 2024 with matinees at 2:30pm and evening performances at 7:30pm. Tickets cost from R180 to R750 through Webtickets and Artscape Dial-A-Seat on 0214217695. Advance booking is highly recommended.  @capetowncityballet

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