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Thursday, May 7, 2009


Bovim Ballet stands up to its logo – “Beyond Ballet.” (Review by Sharon Emmerich)

The word passion comes to mind when I think of this production in summary. Tango Nights, put on by the Bovim Ballet, was one of the best I've ever seen - and credit must be given to Sean Bovim and his cast for delighting the audience night after night with their strong dance drama.

I experienced a feast of sight and sound - and so did all the many friends I took with me. I first saw Tango Nights in Cape Town in February and thought I was going to a tango show. I was thrilled to find it was Ballet en Pointe- with elements of Contemporary, Modern, Spanish, Argentinean Tango, and Acrobatics - reminiscent of Cirque du Soleil. All of the performers were strong - both physically and in character - and each one engaging in their own way.

The score comprises all well-known funky Tango numbers - loud enough to reverberate in one's chest - but not too loud so as to hurt the ears.

Both Opening scene and Finale drew acknowledgement applause from the audience - as well as good individual performances - and at the end, the highest sign of appreciation, a standing ovation, with many cat call and whistles. Each number was different from the previous - and one felt the anticipation of "now what?" as each scene commenced. Costumes designed by Malcolm Kluk were simple but beautiful. The lines of the dresses and suits exquisitely enhanced the lines of the dance. The backdrop was vibrant and effective - and the use of simple props, used very effectively, enhanced the setting.

Comedy was introduced by the eccentric piano player - whose clever but never "over the top" antics caused many a giggle.

I saw the show three times - the first to just watch and enjoy, the second and third times to really watch with a more technical eye and analyse performance and technique. This is a physically demanding show - but each performer made it look so easy. I particularly enjoyed the two table numbers - the performers really suiting and complimenting one another. It is unfair to not single out other scenes.

Minor gripes - timing could be tighter when the corps all dance together - and where were the flowers for the leading lady at the final performance?

The company has embarked on a tour of South Africa - and I urge people to book as soon as the show hits town. It deserves to be sold out at each performance. To sum up - I quote the Bovim Ballet's own logo - "Beyond Ballet." Very fitting indeed. – Sharon Emmerich