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
LJ Neilson arrived in South Africa six years ago and has rapidly become one of South Africa’s most in demand musical theatre performers. She has starred in some of South Africa’s biggest hits including Dirty Dancing, Singin’ in the Rain, Funny Girl and Saturday Night Fever for which she was honoured with a 2017 Naledi Award nomination. Later this year she will take on the role of Eva Perón, twice a week, in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita which begins performance at Joburg’s Montecasino in October before transferring to Cape Town’s Artscape Opera House in December.
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
Joburg Ballet’s prima ballerina Burnise Silvius has announced that she will be retiring from the stage at the end of the upcoming season of La Traviata – The Ballet at Joburg Theatre. Professionally, Burnise has been dancing for over twenty years and has performed all over the world playing some of ballet’s most iconic and challenging roles. We sat down with Burnise to chat about her retirement and reflect back on her incredible career.
Laura Bösenberg and Kim Vieira are senior principal dancers with The Cape Town City Ballet. Between the two of them they have over 30 years of professional ballet experience. Currently Laura and Kim are starring in Peter Pan and Tinkerbell as ‘Tinkerbell’ and ‘Wendy’ respectively. They have both spent countless hours working on their craft and have tackled some of ballet’s most challenging roles, yet despite reaching the highest position in the company, they still rehearse almost every single day. Next year they will alternate the role of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet at Maynardville. We were please to sit down and get to know the women behind these iconic roles.
At first glance, most may know Taryn Sudding as musical theatre royalty but there is so much more to this talented performer who has truly earned that title. Currently starring in Annie, a show that has come full circle for her during her career, Taryn takes on the role of Grace Farrell. We caught up with Taryn in her dressing room before a performance of Annie at The Artscape Theatre.
I first encountered the work of Ipeleng Merafe during this year’s Cape Town Fringe Festival where she was performing in #BalletMustFall, a satirical look into the world of ballet. A self-proclaimed modern-day gypsy, Ipeleng constantly finds herself on the move all in pursuit of her passion for dance. From South Africa to Paris to New York and more, Ipeleng is a supernova in the dance world who shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Professor Elizabeth Triegaardt has made a career out of her love and passion for dance. A former ballerina, Ms. Triegaardt currently holds the position of Honorary Executive Director of the Cape Town City Ballet, a company she has remained with and stayed fiercely loyal to since graduating from UCT. Her full bio and more information about upcoming Cape Town City Ballet productions will be linked below. Continue reading
Actress Genna Galloway is currently performing in this season’s most anticipated musical, Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Gate69. Born into a family of performers, one could say that Genna had extremely big (tap) shoes to fill. With her determined attitude and the combined inherited talent of both of her parents, Genna has been able to work her way through the Musical Theater ranks from swing to leading lady and is now starring as Yitzhak, a man and former drag queen in the first South African production of Hedwig.
During the last four years Mila De Biaggi has taken the musical theatre scene by storm with her dazzling performances. From Penny in Dirty Dancing, to Victoria: the white cat in Cats, Singing in the Rain, Sunset Boulevard and now Mrs. Potipher in Pieter Toerien’s Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat currently playing at Theatre on The Bay in Cape Town. Mila has toured all over the world from South Korea, to The Philippines to New Zealand and more, performing with the above mentioned shows. Continue reading