A night at the ballet
Did you know?
In 1984, Phyllis Spira was made a prima ballerina absoluta by then President PW Botha, a title shared with only seven other dancers internationally.
In a country whose spirit reverberates with the roar of the lion, a night at the ballet is a good way to shift your step from the beat of the bush to the pulse of poetry in motion.
With major theatres, opera houses and other venues in all of its metropolitan centres - including its struggle capital, Soweto - South African ballet performances cover a rich history of exquisite productions.
Be it at the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein, the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre in Durban, the Opera House in Port Elizabeth, the Sand du Plessis Theatre in Bloemfontein, Artscape in Cape Town with its majestic frontispiece of Table Mountain, or at the humble but vibey Uncle Tom's in Soweto, a night at the ballet in South Africa will stay with you forever!
The sheer sophistication of the dancers alone is enough to indelibly commit South African ballet performances to memory.
The late prima ballerina Phyllis Spira danced every female role of Swan Lake and left a legacy rich in inspiration for current troupes.
Recognised for their sublime style, South African ballet productions regularly see the involvement of ballet luminaries such as Natalia Makarova and Maina Gielgud, former dance partner of Rudolph Nureyev.
Several other world famous ballet dancers and choreographers maintain close relations with South Africa's foremost ballet companies, Cape Town City Ballet, Pretoria's Mzansi Productions and the South African Ballet Theatre (SABT).
In 2006 the Johannesburg-based SABT made history when they became the first local company to be invited to perform in the Russian capital of ballet, St Petersburg - to standing ovations.
The same year, a production of Swan Lake by the St Petersburg Ballet at the State Theatre in Pretoria, drew packed houses.
And if you still think South Africa doesn't take its ballet seriously, witness the SABT's loft-style dance studios overlooking the theatre precinct in Johannesburg, said by Gielgud to be the "best in the world."
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0) 11 340 8000
South African Ballet Theatre
Tel: +27 (0)11-877 6898
Tel: +27 (0)11-877 6898
Mzansi Productions Dirk Badenhorst Cell: +27 83 324 0949 Cape Town City Ballet
Cell: +27 83 324 0949
Cape Town City Ballet
Tel: +27 (21) 650 2400 or +27 (21) 650 4672