#CTFringe: Confronting the ugly truth in #BalletMustFall

September 30, 2016

In ballet something sinister lurks and the troupe of dancers in #BalletMustFall is the long awaited 'Anonymous' of the stage.

 

A ballerina walks up to the bar... and finds ridicule, emotional abuse, exploitation. At least that is the reality of Africanus Balleticus when found to be 'below standard' when compared to the 'superior' European Pompous Balleticus. In this divine piece of dance theatre the ugly side of the ballet world is placed under the spotlight in a most magnificent way.

 

It questions where the ballet standards of 'acceptable' come from, and why we as enabling audience tolerate the encouragement of a lettuce leaf and a celery stick a day type lifestyles imposed on young performers just so that the old Swan Lake nostalgia can continue to live on... or rather live off of the life energy it drains from the broken spirits of young dancers who's modern dance ideas never see the light of day because they don't conform. A modern day ballet society that still clings to traditional conformity, oh the irony.

 

Using movement along with the spoken word #BalletMustFall brilliantly critiques the influence of the key role players behind the ballet industry's fusion of music and movement, and exposes the "old tired melody of privilege and slavery". Because in essence that is what non classical 'standard' dancers become in an attempt to survive, mere slaves to the privileged ballet elite, making sure all the swans align 'perfectly'. Heaven forbid a ballerina is a curvy, strong, resilient dancer, Giselle she can then never be!

 

Written and choreographed by Jarred Musiker, #BalletMustFall is a very clever piece of theatre. No wait, actually it is more than that. It is a revolution, a movement! It is a movement that through movement highlights conflicts of realities and perception, exposing the dark side of the 'beautiful' ballet world, pointes and all.

 

Catch it as part of Cape Town Fringe at Alexander Bar (Alexander Upstairs) until 1 October. Book online at www.capetownfringe.co.za

 

 

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