Opening on Sunday 1 February, the Cape Town City Ballet’s much anticipated annual season at Maynardville Park will feature four performances of the enchanting ballet, La Sylphide. Running until 22 February, lovers of dance can once again look forward to experiencing the beautiful art of ballet in the breathtaking open-air setting of the park.
One of the first major romantic ballets ever to be choreographed, La Sylphide premiered in Copenhagen in November 1836 and is still regularly performed all over the world. It is set in the Scottish Highlands and makes for the perfect outdoor ballet to be performed on Maynardville’s magical stage under the stars.
It tells the tale of a young Scottish farmer named James who is set to get married to his fiancée, Effie. However, on the wedding day, a beautiful winged spirit (Sylph) appears in his dream, wakes him up with a kiss and he falls madly in love with her. An old witch, Madge, appears before him, predicting that he will betray his fiancée and that she will get married to his best friend, Gurn. James disagrees with the witch and sends her away.
All seems fine as the wedding begins, but as James prepares to put the ring on Effie`s finger, the jealous Sylph suddenly appears and snatches it away from him. He abandons the wedding and follows the Sylph into the woods. He again sees Madge, who offers him a magical scarf that she promises will bind the Sylph’s wings, thus enabling him to catch her and keep her for himself. However, when he wraps the fabric around the Sylph’s shoulders, her wings fall off and she dies, leaving James heartbroken and alone. The young farmer then watches his fiancée marry his best friend, Gurn.
With captivating music by Herman Lovenskjold and exquisite choreography by August Bournonville, La Sylphide will be performed on Sunday 1, 8, 15 and 22 February with all performances starting at 20h15. It is important to note that La Sylphide should not be confused with Les Sylphides which was performed by CTCB during last year’s sold-out Maynardville season.
In this season, the role of the Sylph will be danced by ballerinas Laura Bösenberg, Angela Hansford and Frieda Mennen with Jane Fidler, Rosamund Ford and Mariëtte Opperman taking the role of Effie. The young farmer, James, will be portrayed by Thomas Thorne, Daniel Szybkowski and Conrad Nusser, while Gurn will be danced by Ivan Boonzaaier, Milwhynne Williams and Germano Trovato. Madge, the witch, will be performed by Mervyn Williams and Johnny Bovang.
With the lovely surroundings of the park in mind, audiences are invited to pack a picnic basket and to come and enjoy it with friends before the performance starts.
Cape Town City Ballet presents La Sylphide at Maynardville Park, Wynberg from 1-22 February 2015. Tickets at R120, R130 and R140 are available at all Computicket outlets, Artscape Dial-a-Seat on 021 421 7695 or at the gates on the night of the performance.
La Sylphide will also enjoy a short run at the Masque Theatre in Muizenberg from 5-7 February.