It is all systems go at the University of Johannesburg Arts Centre in Auckland Park to welcome – once again – with open arms the Johannesburg Youth Ballet (JYB).
JYB’s premiere interpretation of Hansel and Gretel at the same venue last year wowed packed crowds and left audiences begging for more.
Now, following hot on the heels of capacity performances on the Main Program of the National Arts Festival, they are back there, and promise to do even more to please their fans, during their eight performances.
Once they are done with Johannesburg, they will fly to Durban for another hot episode of shows.
Watching Lwazi Msimase and Jamie Mills performing their Hansel and Gretel act on stage, one could only say that JYB is more than a ballet.
It is a bedrock of inspiration for the South African youth, black and white, a youth that not only long to heal the wounds of the past and shake off the demons of division and reconcile with itself, but also to be given a chance to thrive in today’s politically incorrect-charged environment.
As they prepare to feed the South African audiences yet another sauce of Hansel and Gretel, the young dancers are already showing dedication and commitment, under the guidance of artistic director Kate Martin and choreographer Mark Hawkins.
“I feel so inspired to give all I can back to this production, to teach what I have learnt and to dance until I can’t dance anymore,” Roswyn Finlay, who plays the witch, said in an interview.
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Photo: Lwazi Msimase and Jamie Mills as Hansel and Gretel. Credit: Mark Wolhuter