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Friday, May 1, 2015


Opening at the Joburg Theatre on June 4 and at Artscape’s Opera House in Cape Town on June 27, but sadly not coming to Durban, A Spartacus of Africa is gearing up to treat audiences to the world premiere of this magnificent large-scale ballet.

Veronica Paeper, South Africa’s acclaimed choreographer, has cast the lead roles with three international dancers. “I am delighted to announce that Brooklyn Mack, and two of South Africa’s dancers, Lara Turk and Andile Ndlovu will be returning to South Africa’s stages. The character of Spartacus, the captive King of Thrace, is a demanding role and requires strong dancers. I have cast Brooklyn Mack, Andile Ndlovu and Casey Swales in the role of Spartacus, whilst Lara Turk is Phrygia (Spartacus’s wife)”.

The role of Phrygia will also be performed by Elzanne Crause, Michaela Griffin and Simone Botha and Aegina (the concubine to Crassus) by Kristin Wilson and Elzanne Crause.

The role of Crassus will be performed by Casey Swales and Willem Houck (previously from the Hong Kong Ballet).

South African dancer Lara Turk was born in Durban and joined The Royal Ballet as First Artist in 2007 and has been there ever since. She studied with the English National Ballet School between 2000 and 2003 and graduated into the Playhouse Dance Company, where her repertory included Swanilda (Coppélia). She later moved to Cape Town City Ballet, dancing roles including Veronica Paeper's Carmen, Snow Queen (The Nutcracker) and fourth song (Four Last Songs). She was named Best Newcomer and Outstanding Female Performer by Cape Town Balletomane Society. Her numerous international roles have made her the most respected and well-known female dancer of her time.

Casey Swales, also born in Durban, has had a career both as a dancer and choreographer. He was a finalist in Dans Dans Dans, the reality dance show on KykNet, and one of the founder members of Mzansi productions in 2008. He’s performed lead roles in Bovim Ballet’s Romeo’s Kiss as well as performed in numerous other seasons nationally including Under Construction, Syzygy and Freedom, The Nutcracker and Bolero at the Playhouse Theatre in Durban.

SANDT’s successful fundraising applications to the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, the National Arts Council, The Arts and Culture Trust and a variety of private funders and trusts have all made this outstanding production possible.

The Joburg Theatre season  runs from June 4 to 14 and the Cape Town season runs June 27 to July 12. Booking is at Computicket