Saturday 3 October 2015

Private Presley Returns

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, Fran├žois 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! 

Sunday 27 September 2015

Best. Elvis. Tribute. Ever.

The Steyn Family Band, Cape Town, with Nicholis Louw in the Elvis On My Mind show

A BIG thank you to The Steyn Family Band, for bringing the Nicholis Louw - Elvis On My Mind Show to Cape Town. Boy, did the Quarry rock!

This morning, spontaneous feedback from EPFCA members found their way to our local Whatsapp group:

Was I pleasantly surprised by the Elvis Tribute yesterday evening! Thank you for encouraging us to attend the show. Nicholis is actually a really good singer.

It was awesome. The band is incredible. I yearn for more tributes to Elvis' music where nary a jumpsuit is in sight. We have to support such rarities in bigger numbers.

I loved the show and now have a different perspective on Nicholis.

Recently the following tongue-in-cheek saying did the rounds on the social media: "I don't judge people based on race, religion, gender or sexuality. I judge people on whether or not they're an ELVIS fan!" In the same vein I want to add that I like and admire any performer in their own right in our country who is a fan of Elvis and his music, because anyone who "gets it", must be a great human being.  

On Saturday night, Nicholis' love and respect for his musical hero came to the forefront in what he said about Elvis, as well as how he said it, coupled with the unique presentation of the music. Elvis was the punk rocker of his time and Nicholis and The Steyn Family Band proved it!

Photo: The Steyn Family Band