In 2013 Bovim Ballet presented the stunning rock-ballet Private Presley in Cape Town and Joburg, to critical acclaim. Some of our club members attended the show repeatedly, especially because Bovim made use of Elvis' own recordings as musical backdrop. What more can you ask for, than to hear Elvis' extraordinary voice during a superior show? Except for Elvis appearing himself, this is as good as it gets!
From a technical point of view, this ballet is ground breaking in that the cast had to incorporate an entirely new technique to sustain the girl dancers through some difficult 1950s and 60s technical dance styles. In my experience, if any choreographer of an Elvis performance is/becomes an Elvis fan, it shows. Here is what Sean Bovim says - in part - of his journey in creating this show, as stated in the 2013 program booklet:
Embracing all that Elvis achieved as well as his reluctance to fame, I was able to delve into his private life and discover a dance vocabulary to portray the era that he lived in and the many iconic moments that made the singer one of rock 'n' roll's greatest legends.
Although the star's life was cut short, he jammed more into his 42 years than most, having recorded more than 700 songs and starred in over 30 movies. As a result I have had to be selective as to what I am able to portray.
This daunting yet rewarding job has led me to reflect on the more intimate, but also fun-loving side of Elvis, revealing memorable nuggets of his life. 'Private Presley' looks through a window into the life of the star from the mid 1950s through the early 1970s. Through my research on Elvis' life as well as becoming far more familiar with his songs, I just Can't Help Falling In Love with the King of Rock 'n' Roll.
Now this sensational production is back! We've gotten word from the Bovim Ballet manager, François Arzul, that they are taking the show to Johannesburg for a 3-week season at Joburg Theatre. And it is being followed by another 3-week season at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town from 9-28 November 2015.
In my opinion, with a two-act set, a cast of more than 20 top-notch dancers plus more than 40 of Elvis' most memorable songs (including a few rare gems), this modern ballet will (again) knock the socks off of audiences.
As Francois concludes, hope to see you all at the show!
Photos: The Bovim Ballet