“The Stars of American Ballet” Appear on the South African Stage

Adiarys Almeida and Joseph Gatti in Le Corsaire - Photo by Lauge Sorensen
Adiarys Almeida and Joseph Gatti in Le Corsaire – Photo by Lauge Sorensen

For the first time in over 30 years, a team of American ballet stars brought their unique brand of classical ballet brilliance to the South African stage with The Stars of American Balletpresented by ballet entrepreneur Dirk Badenhorst. Consul General Miller delivered welcoming remarks for opening night of the 5-performance run at the Teatro at Montecasino.  The production was directed by Joaquin de Luz, with stage designs by the famed Ernst de Jong, with his granddaughter, New York-based dancer Andrea Schermoly, as one of the twelve stars in the gala line-up.  Other dancers have performed with such distinguished companies as the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet and Mexico’s Ballet de Monterrey, not to mention South Africa’s own Kitty Phetla and Leroy Mokgatle. In addition to

Dirk Badenhorst introduces CG Miller to Mexican dancer Isaac Hernandez (Dutch National Ballet) backstage before the show.
Dirk Badenhorst introduces CG Miller to Mexican dancer Isaac Hernandez (Dutch National Ballet) backstage before the show.

highlights and showpieces from the major classics such as Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, Diana and Actaeon, the gala program also showcased works never before performed in South Africa.  Adding a spectacular stamp of American ballet distinction were the works of legendary choreographer George Balanchine, including his Broadway inspired classic, the Who Cares? Suite to music by equally legendary George Gershwin.  Commenting on the performance, presenter Dirk Badenhorst said: “No-one sets the stage alight quite like America’s great classical ballet stars, with the speed, sense of daring, and razzmatazz that is so unique to American ballet. For this reason I am delighted to be able to bring these great dancers to South Africa and to offer our audiences something we don’t often see here: classical ballet in the American style.”