In October 2018, Debbie Turner was appointed the Chief Executive Officer of Cape Town City Ballet. She founded the Cape Academy of Performing Arts in 1985 and went on to become the founding Artistic Director of the Cape Dance Company in 1995. Recently, she sat on the prestigious panel of judges for the inaugural 2018 season of M-Net’s Dancing With The Stars SA. She has won many awards for her choreography including the FNB Vita Award, and a Standard Bank Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival for Cape Dance Company’s Blue. In addition, the school received a Standard Bank Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival for Bittersweet in 2013, which resulted in the production of Between The Lines the following year on the Arena Programme and at the inaugural Cape Town Fringe Festival. Debbie is committed to restoring, revitalising and aligning South African dance with the 21st Century global trends of performance through sustainable, multi-pronged approach to performance excellence, diverse repertory relevant to current times, dance education, and professional development of dancers while preserving the traditions of classical ballet and academic dance in general.
Adele Blank is a choreographer, dance instructor and Director of Free Flight Dance Company, which she formed in 1987. She has trained, performed, choreographed and taught extensively in classical ballet and contemporary dance both locally and abroad. Since the beginning of the millennium, Adele’s artistic reach has extended far beyond the realm of dance. She has been responsible for numerous local and international TV adverts, movies, operas, fundraisers and a host of industrial theatre productions. Whilst coaching and teaching, she has created for many companies and is very involved in community and outreach programmes. Adele is a recipient of the Arts & Culture Trust Lifetime Achievement Award for Dance. We sat down to chat with her about devoting her life to dance and directing her latest project, Blue Violin, which will be performed at Artscape for a limited run. Continue reading
Christelle Dreyer is a dancer, graphic designer and performer. At a young age, she discovered her love and passion for dance. Christelle uses her unique body movements within dance styles varying from Contemporary dance to Ballroom and Latin dancing. As a Ballroom and Latin Dancer, she won numerous competitions. In 2007 she won first place in both Ballroom and Latin at the Holland World Championships. In working for Remix Dance Company, Christelle taught children as part of the Remix Integrated Dance Project with Nicola Elliott and Malcolm Black. In 2014, she performed as part of the UNI Global Union Women’s Conference. Partaking in the Axis Dance Company Intensive, Christelle found herself dancing and performing among dancers from across the world. Most recently she was seen acting in Marat/Sade directed by Jaco Bouwer at the Baxter Theatre. In 2017, she received the Cultural Affairs Award from the Western Cape Government for Contribution By Person With Disability To The Arts.
Mariëtte Opperman began dancing at the age of seven. She trained under Paula Olivier and later did an intensive vocational study with Martin Schönberg. She started her professional career in 2008 at the South African Ballet Theatre. She joined Cape Town City Ballet in 2010, where she is currently a senior soloist. Mariëtte also performed professionally in Stockholm, Sweden for a year. Her most memorable roles to date include the Black Swan in Swan Lake, Diane in Diane and Acteon, Kitri in Don Quixote, Sugar Plum in The Nutcracker, Firebird in Firebird, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and Giselle in Giselle. She is currently gearing up to take on the titular role in Veronica Paeper’s production of Cinderella for Cape Town City Ballet.
Choreographer and dancer Louisa Talbot became a soloist in the Cape Dance Company at the age of 13, specialising in contemporary and classical dance. She became a member of Jazzart Dance Theatre and went on to freelance for Free Flight Dance Company and Bovim Ballet. In 2004, Louisa started her musical theatre career with the musical Show Boat. She began choreographing musicals for The Fugard Theatre in 2013 and went on to be nominated for a Best Choreography Naledi Theatre Award for The Rocky Horror Show. Other theatre choreography credits include Cabaret, Funny Girl and West Side Story which is currently running at Artscape in its return Cape Town season. Continue reading
Prolific choreographer and ballet dancer, Veronica Paeper has created more than 40 ballets, among them sixteen full-length works. During her performing career Veronica rose to become a principal dancer with three South African companies; CAPAB Ballet, PACT Ballet and PACOFS Ballet. Her latest production, Carmen, is a restaging of her award-winning choreography and makes its way to Joburg Ballet for a limited engagement. Continue reading
Leanetse Seekoe is a performer and theatre-maker. Upon graduating from UCT’s Drama department in 2014, Leanetse was nominated for a Fleur du Cap award in the Most Promising Student category. Recently, Leanetse wrote 4 cups 1 tbsp while she pursued her Masters of Arts in English and Comparative Literature. In 2017, she performed her debut one woman play, 4 cups 1 tbsp at The Market Theatre Laboratory and The Plat4orm in Johannesburg, and Theatre Arts Admin Collective in Cape Town. Continue reading
Nicole Fortuin is the true definition of an artist. As an accomplished actress, dancer, photographer and director, Nicole has managed to take the film, theatre and television industry by storm since graduating from UCT only three years ago. Impressive credits aside, Nicole has made it a priority to use her platform as a young creative to bring awareness to the causes that she believes in. We sat down to talk about her success, staying grounded and navigating the world of social media.
When The Fugard Theatre announced their plans to bring King Kong back to the South African stage, the pressure was on for them to find a woman bold enough to step into the iconic role of Joyce. After a two year search which spanned the world, Nondumiso Tembe was finally cast in the highly coveted role. Born in South Africa and raised in New York City, Nondumiso Tembe is the real deal. An accomplished stage and screen actress as well as a singer-songwriter and dancer, she has managed to excel in every medium that she has stepped into while remaining incredibly grounded and focused on her career. For a full biography, please click here. Continue reading
Less than a year ago, Esther Nasser was named CEO of Joburg Ballet. As a choreographer, Nasser has created an extensive repertoire of new works to both commissioned and existing music and soundtracks, winning several awards for choreography. Nasser became involved in transformation in dance and theatre before South Africa achieved democracy in 1994 and remains actively involved in the process. She has established community and outreach projects, winning the Gauteng Achievement Community/Outreach Award in 1999. Nasser has also taught and lectured at leading SA universities and technikons, and has choreographed and directed extensively for television. Continue reading