Cuban duo joins cast for the return of ‘A Spartacus of Africa’ ballet

Cuban duo joins cast for the return of ‘A Spartacus of Africa’ ballet

‘A Spartacus of Africa’, featuring the original music of Khachaturian, will be presented for a limited season at the Oude Libertas Amphitheatre in Stellenbosch from November 22 to 26, at 8.15pm nightly.
Renowned choreographer Veronica Paeper has redesigned her original ballet that she created for CAPAB Ballet in 1984, in which she incorporates contemporary dance with classical ballet. This production was made possible by a grant of R949000 from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC).

Casey Swales and Elzanne Crause reprise their roles (as Amari and Payola) that they danced at the world premier season of ‘A Spartacus of Africa’ in 2015. Also dancing the lead roles (Amari and Fayola) will be Cuban ballet stars who are currently members of Joburg ballet, Juan Carlos Osma and Dayana Acuna.
Nadira will be danced by Kristin Wilson and Elzanne Crause. The role of Nagash, Amari’s nemesis, will be danced by Xola Willie and Milwhynne Williams.
It’s long been Paeper’s ambition to reproduce this ballet, regarded by some as her finest. The story mirrors the original ballet about slaves fighting for freedom, Spartacus’s deep love for his wife Phrygia, and Aegina’s guile helping her lover, Crassus, to quell the revolt.

Innovative set designs that capture the spirit of Africa were created by KMH Architects, whilst ingenious costumes by the late Dicky Longhurst, an award winning designer, allow the athleticism of the dancers to be vividly dramatized.
Spartacus, the Thracian gladiator who escaped in 73 BC to lead a major slave uprising against the Roman Empire, has inspired revolutionaries, politicians and writers throughout the ages.

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