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Behind the Scenes at the Joburg Ballet

Every now and then, the Joburg Ballet hosts open rehearsal days at its studio in Braamfontein. I went once before in 2013, soon after the Joburg Ballet was started, and although I knew nothing about ballet I was enthralled by both the dancing and the rehearsal space. Two years later, I still know nothing about ballet. But I think it’s about time I started learning. I went to another open day last weekend and was overwhelmed by how beautiful and fun it was. A group of dancers during their warm-up session on the top floor of the ballet studio. The dancing in itself is amazing, but it’s the dancing in combination with the amazing view of downtown Joburg that really does it for me. This has to be one of the prettiest places in the entire city during ballet rehearsals. Flying leap. Can you tell that I love these silhouettes? This is my favorite silhouette because the dancer seems to be mimicking the ballet mannequin hanging from the ceiling.  I’m fascinated by pointe ballet shoes and the loud “clack” sound they make when a dancer’s foot hits the floor. The company is rehearsing for its next big performance, Don Quixote, which opens on 28 August. […]

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Five Things I Didn’t Know About Ballet

On Monday, as part of the Joburg City Festival, I attended a rehearsal at the South African Mzansi Ballet in Braamfontein. I know nothing about ballet — in fact I’ve never attended a ballet performance before. I was excited to get a behind-the-scenes look and learn a few things. The ballet studio is a beautiful, airy space with great light. Taking photos there was a joyful experience. I was sad when the one-hour rehearsal came to an end.

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