Tango Nights Amp La Sylphide

Jan Leeming

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Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

TANGO NIGHTS & LA SYLPHIDE

Date: 14th February 2009

TANGO NIGHTS    &     LA SYLPHIDE

One of the many aspects of life in Capetown which I love is the access to a large range of entertainment at very affordable prices.

Last week we went to see 'Tango Nights' - a most enjoyable evening with fantastic Tango music. However, we were disappointed to have an announcement that there would be understudies.  The young lady in the lead was a good dancer but lacked the emotional fire needed for the Tango even when danced in a ballet form.  Unfortunately, her partner was just too chunky in build to carry off this most sexual of routines.  To my unpractised eye, his whole body was the wrong build for ballet - even jazz ballet.  The Corps de Ballet were predominantly very good - mostly tall and graceful performers but sadly, most of the men were just too short in stature to create an artistically good 'picture' on stage. Instead of gazing seductively into the eyes of their female partners, most of the chaps had their noses in the dancers' cleavage!   I didn't have a programme so names will have to remain a mystery.  

But overall, the choreography, sets and music made for an enjoyable, if short, evening's entertainment.  At the curtain call, a young good-looking and be-suited man came on stage and did a somersault or a back flip or some such.  I presume he was the choreographer and on that front, he'd done a superb job.

Then on Sunday we went to see La Sylphide at the Open-Air Theatre at Maynardville.  Again, it was announced that there would be understudies,.  The prima ballerina was delightful but the lead male dancer was unemotional and unconvincing though his footwork was excellent.  I know there are exceptions to every rule but, I think, there used to be acceptable  heights for both male and female dancers and, to my way of thinking, for good reason.  The young lead on Sunday was so tall he looked almost ungainly next to his tiny co-star.  The Corps de Ballet were excellent and moved as if they were one - you couldn't fault them.

It's a short ballet with a rather silly story but in the magical setting of a balmy, Moonlit night at Maynardville, one felt that all was right with the world.  It was the night of a full moon and as it crept up over the trees, it looked as though it were part of the set.   It can be rather chilly sitting outside but on this occasion, the weather was excellent and added to the enjoyment of yet another inexpensive and lovely evening.

Bye for now,  Jan

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