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Audiences can expect the usual rags-to-riches happily ever after story in the ballet Cinderella, as well as a sense of magic from the dancers.
HAPPY endings are a signature of fairytales, and audiences of the latest production of can rest assured that they will get one, as well as a little something extra.


Rang-to-richesThe production incorporates a sense of magicThe well-loved ballet is being performed at the Arts Centre at the University of Johannesburg from 21 to 23 July. Presented by the Roodepoort Youth Ballet and Mzansi Productions, Cinderella will keep to its rags-to-riches roots while incorporating a sense of magic.

“The purpose of the youth ballet production is to allow young dancers in Gauteng the opportunity to perform in a full-length ballet with members of a professional company,” said Leon Bezuidenhout from Mzansi Productions.

“Leading roles will be danced by dancers from Mzansi Productions, visiting dancers from abroad, members of Mzansi Productions’ Experiential Programme, as well as young dancers who auditioned successfully and are ready for leading roles.”

The production is directed by Dirk Badenhorst, with Joel Morris in charge of choreography and artistic direction.

Badenhorst is a dancer himself. He started his professional ballet career with the Capab (Cape Performing Arts Board) Ballet Company, which has since become the Cape Town City Ballet Company. He also danced with the Performing Arts Company of Transvaal (Pact) Ballet Company.

Following this, he toured with two Spanish dance companies, the Danza Lorca Spanish Dance Company and the Jose and Helena Montoya Spanish Dance Company. Returning to South Africa in 2001, he was a founding member of the South African Ballet Theatre, which was formed after the State Theatre performing entities closed.

Morris received acclaim for his role as choreographer and artistic director in the Roodepoort Youth Ballet’s 2010 production of The Sleeping Beauty.

Badenhorst and Morris act as director, and choreographer and artistic director, respectively for the Roodepoort Youth Ballet and Mzansi Productions. The youth ballet company aims to create a community in which dancers can work together and learn from one another, as well as where children are given an opportunity to participate in a professional production.

Mzansi Productions, which was established in 2008, is a Joburg-based dance company that incorporates various performance styles, from classical to contemporary. Established South African choreographers, as well as newer talents, are given the chance to flex their creative muscles in the company’s productions.

Training initiatives also welcome in new talent through projects with dance and ballet schools, skills exchanges programmes with international dance companies, and Mzansi Experiential, which is an in-house training facility.

Performances of their latest show, Cinderella, will take place at the Arts Centre at 7.30pm on 21 and 22 July, and at 2.30pm on 23 July. Tickets are R120 per adult and R80 for children; they are available from Computicket.

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