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SCENE IT: Fresh, different and modern, that is THE VORTEX at Theatre on the Bay

Barbara Loots


Sitting in Theatre on the Bay last Thursday, 30 July 2015, for the opening night of The Vortex, I had Centre Stage flashbacks. You know, Centre Stage the movie that is much loved by everyone who has a dancing heart? In that movie the dancing bad boy Cooper Nielsen (played by former ballet heartthrob Ethan Steifel) choreographs what he calls a new type of ballet… something fresh, different and modern.

Fresh, different and modern is exactly what The Vortex dishes up with sultry dance moves and perfect ballet technique as choreographed by the uber talented Marc Goldberg. In this production, the Cape Town City Ballet uses only the means of dance to explore the themes of love, vanity, adultery and drugs through the eyes of upper class socialites as presented in Noël Coward’s debut play, The Vortex. First performed in 1924, this play is given new life à la manière de ballet. The casting is brilliant and the performers all deserve applause for their beautiful story-telling through the art of dance. However four of them stood out on the night. Laura Bosenberg (Florence, the aging mother of Nicky the talented young composer) and Sarah-Lee Chapman (Bunty, Nicky’s lover) left the audience speechless. Bosenberg is sheer ballet perfection. Every ballerina would wish for perfect feet like hers. Oh but then there is Chapman, totally different and perhaps not always as perfectly on point as Bosenberg, she exudes a Margot Fonteyn like presence that enchants to such a degree that you cannot take your eyes off of her. Then enters Ivan Boonzaaier who plays the dashing Tom, Bunty’s ex-fiancé and Florence’s younger lover. Any ballerina will feel safe in Boonzaaier’s arms with brilliant lifts that will take your breath away. Last but definitely not least, there is the role of Nicky as danced by Thomas Thorne. To draw another Centre Stage comparison, I see a bit of Ethan Stiefel in the dynamic Thorne, and it is not just the long legs and the beautifully pointed toes. There is something special in the way he moves, dances, mesmerises, the audience. So it is clearly save to say that I absolutely LOVED The Vortex. Staged under the artistic direction of Elizabeth Triegaardt at the fabulous Theatre on the Bay as an adaptation project initiated by Pieter Toerien, every person who loves dance and all things beautiful must not miss this one. Book your tickets without delay at Computicket to see Noël Coward’s The Vortex at Theatre of the Bay. Tickets are R100 – R200 and run ends 8 August 2015. Don’t miss out!

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