Cape Town City Ballet reveals repertoire for 2024

Cape Town City Ballet’s new artistic producer, David Nixon at the event at the Norval Foundation.

Cape Town City Ballet, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, revealed their repertoire for 2024 and also introduced new artistic producer, David Nixon, at an event on Tuesday, February 13.

Mr Nixon told guests at the Norval Foundation in Tokai that ballet, dancing and art breaks barriers, because “you don’t need to speak the language of ballet and art to understand it”.

Jazzart’s artistic director Dane Hurst with executive manager at Cape Town City Ballet, Robyn Taylor.

Born in Ontario, Nixon began his ballet career at the National Ballet School of Canada and danced with the National Ballet of Canada after graduating.

In 1985, he joined the Deutsche Opera Ballet as principal where he won the Critics Award for Best Male Performance in 1987. In 1994, he became artist director of BalletMet in Ohio in the USA where he created a version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and an adaptation of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast.

During his six years with BalletMet he added 16 world premieres and 15 company premieres to the repertoire.

In 2001, he became artistic director of Northern Ballet Theatre in Leeds in the UK where he enjoyed a remarkable 22-year tenure, again creating multiple works including new versions of Madame Butterfly, Swan Lake, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Peter Pan, The Great Gatsby and Cinderella.

Victoria Cawood from Wynberg and Sheila Chisholm from Pinelands were guests at the event.

While at Northern Ballet Mr Nixon garnered international acclaim being honoured as Dance Europe director of the year on two occasions, among other accolades.

His contributions to the world of dance were also recognised with the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2010 and the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2022.

Murray van Heerden from Constantia, Artscape communications manager Simone Heradien from Woodstock and choreographer Veronica Paeper from Newlands

Mr Nixon shared the Cape Town City Ballet productions coming up and his vision for 2024.

He said a number of master trainers will be working with the company throughout the year, drawn from a pool of South African and international teachers.

He said he wanted to explore the idea of what a ballet company is in 2024. “It needs a new identity… ballet has gone on to have many different lives.”

Cape Town City Ballet will kick off the year in May with Nixon’s sassy I’ve Got Rhythm, where ballet meets jazz. Guest artists include principal dancer David Webb from the USA and soloists from Cape Town Opera.

From Friday August 23 to Saturday August 31 will be a triple bill showcasing brand-new works by Nixon as well as by Jazzart’s artistic director Dane Hurst and international freelance choreographer, Kenneth Tindall, created for the 90th anniversary.

Nixon’s Dangerous Liaisons will stage at Theatre on The Bay in October.

Rhyno Jansen from the City of Cape Town’s arts and culture department with artist Sean Bovim from the South African National Dance Trust.

The 90th anniversary gala will take place in November, while The Nutcracker, choreographed by Veronica Paeper, will conclude the year.

“Cape Town City Ballet has an extraordinary history and we have the (Artscape) theatre which is beautiful. It needs to be supported and we all need to be ambassadors for the ballet.

“We need to remember this company for what it is and what it could be.”

I’ve Got Rhythm runs at the Artscape from Friday May 17 to Sunday May 26 at Artscape. Tickets cost R200 through Webtickets.

For more information and updates on this year’s events, follow Cape Town City Ballet on Instagram.