Swingtime Baxter Theatre Capetown

Jan Leeming

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SWINGTIME - Baxter Theatre - Capetown

Date: 17th October 2009

Even though this particular visit to Capetown is a very short one, my friend and I wanted a night out at the Theatre - and we could hardly have chosen better.  

I've always loved the song 'Mr Bojangles' and it was really that number which prompted me to book for  Sean Bovim's 'Swingtime' at the Baxter Theatre.

Doreen and I saw Bovim's 'Tango Nights' earlier this year and though we loved the choreography,  costumes and music, we found the male dancers a trifle disappointing.  Some of them were shorter than the girls and this didn't lend itself to the grace of the Tango.  The girls were gorgeous.

Swingtime was even more enjoyable. It takes the audience on a nostalgic journey of the Big Band Era. The story centres around Bojangles, the owner of the Swing Club where it all happened. Bojangles' journey takes the audience back in time where romance was the order of the day, and dancing was a way of life for the young and young-at-heart. The audience follows Bojangles on his trip down memory lane, where he remembers his past loves and conjures up wonderful memories of his time at The Swing Club. 

The Female Dancers were absolutely superb and moved like gossamer and in beautiful unison - they were far better than the Ballerinas that my son and I saw a few weeks ago when we attended a performance of Swan Lake in St. Petersburg, Russia.  Once again we felt the male dancers didn't quite have the same edge.  

I suppose you'd call the dance - Jazz Ballet - with the girls performing a great deal en pointe. There were two additional touches which contributed greatly to the performance - a singer called Francois Lliam and a Violinst - Francois Arzul.

It's probably an odd comment but the programme was a 'must have'  - produced like an old LP record and containing some beautiful period pictures.  I made a promise to myself a few years ago that I would stop buying programmes but here I am collecting them once again.  I wish there had been a CD to accompany the show but I suppose the music is still under copyright.

If the show were on for longer I'd definitely book to see it again.

I've looked up Sean Bovim on the Internet and he has an impressive track record and is still a comparatively young man. He's won many Awards and I'm not surprised - his choreography is stunning.

I don't know from where he gleans his talented dancers - maybe the Cape Town City Ballet!

Can only say, I look forward to his next 'oeuvre' with impatience.

Back to the UK in a few days' time and straight into rehearsals for 'Calendar Girls'.  My part is very tiny but I'm still nervous about it and don't know yet how the Director wants me to play Lady C.


What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.