top of page

PRESS: Visionary new dance company reimagines how dance can look in Africa

Christine Skinner


A visionary, new and all-South African ballet company has been launched, seeking to reimagine how ballet can look in Africa.

Cape Ballet Africa celebrates cultural values imbued through dance, instilling the discipline of classical ballet while blending in the exciting heritage of South African culture. The Company identity will strongly align with the global dance landscape while building a proudly African organisation.

Established by highly respected dance figure Debbie Turner, Cape Ballet Africa will, through performance excellence and ongoing professional development of artists, inspire new generations to appreciate an artform that demands much of the human spirit, gives much back to the human spirit and fosters a broad appreciation and following within the African diaspora.

Education and upskilling of young apprentice professional artists working with more experienced artists will also be a focus for the new company.

Cape Ballet Africa seeks to reimagine how ballet can look in Africa, using the interplay of identity and culture, the diversity in all elements of the artform; the people and the repertory. ” says Debbie Turner, Founder and Artistic Director of Cape Ballet Africa. “This creates a catalyst for a cultural legacy for future generations.”

We will produce performances that are bold and strongly rooted in the classical ballet technique, with exceptional quality front-and-centre as an inherent part of the artistic identity. Our work will be grounded in discipline and self-expression, individuality in teamwork, and with a distinctive elegance, refinement and audacious grace,” says Turner.

She adds that innovation and collaboration are already prominent focuses within the operation of the Company.

The creative team includes many luminaries from the ballet, dance and theatre world such as international classical ballet pedagogue Diane Van Schoor; international classical producer and choreographer, Maina Gielgud; renowned set designer Michael Mitchell and award-winning lighting designer Wilhelm Disbergen, to name just a few.

A core team of founding dancers have been working for a month now, and I am thrilled to be on this new dance journey with them, launching in Cape Town, our beautiful city in the Western Cape,” says Turner.

Some of the thrilling projects in the pipeline include an inaugural season at The Baxter in September 2024 featuring a triple bill of ballets by celebrated South African choreographers Kirsten Isenberg, Mthuthuzeli November and Michelle Reid, as well as international guest appearances celebrating the inaugural season with us.

Cape Ballet Africa is honoured to include Dr Connie September, Diane Van Schoor and Thoriso Magongwa as the company’s Patrons, to serve as sounding boards and guidance for what will be a constantly evolving endeavour.

We are also extremely proud to be associated with Food Lovers’ Market, with their commitment to innovation, and, synergistically, their values commit to ….have faith, lead with love, be the miracle,” says Turner.

Ballet, in its many guises, will be the focus of this new company presenting work that inspires artists to dance and dance lovers to share in the magic of viewing ballet and dance. It will provide an additional employment opportunity for current and upcoming artists, prioritising talent from South Africa and the African diaspora. We are also looking forward to welcoming many artists and guest artists from further afield,” concludes Turner.

Cape Ballet Africa is now accepting applications from interested artists. For further information, email:

Join the conversation and keep in touch with updates from Cape Ballet Africa:


bottom of page