Interviews

 Interviews with South African and International professional dancers after shows, at our studios and via email.

Weideman11. Name and Surname
Andries Weidemann, 36

2. You have a typically South African name, yet if you mention the name, Andries Weidemann, most people remember that you were a South African dancer, but have no idea what happened to you. Where do you currently live and work?
I moved to Australia at the beginning of 2009 after retiring as principal dancer at SABT and am currently lecturing at the West Australian Academy for the Performing Arts (WAAPA) in Perth. My last performances were at the end of 2008 with Burnise Silvius in La Traviata. Although I was fairly certain that they would be my last shows, not many people knew. During the last weekend of that season, Michael Revie danced what was going to be, at that stage, his last performance with the company on the Friday evening. Christian Tatchev was performing for the last time with the company on the Saturday afternoon. And I was to have my last show on the Sunday afternoon. As the company was going through a tough time, I felt that it would be misinterpreted by many people if the three principal male dancers all leave during the same weekend. So I kept the news of my retirement quiet. I also didn't want a big fuss made at the end of the performance - I knew it would be too distracting during the show to know that there would be speeches and tributes afterwards. Of course, Burnise knew it would be the last time we were to dance together, so for both of us it was a fairly emotional performance. We gave a great show though and I could not have wished for a better end to my career. When I left in February of the next year, very few people knew that I had retired and was leaving South Africa.

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DarrenGreeff31. Name, Surname, Age, Current Location.
Darren Greeff, 21, Cape Town

2. What did you learn from the other dancers & choreographers during your time in Season 1 of SYTYCD?
It was my first event I did after graduating college, so I was a sponge just taking in all sorts of knowledge. From the choreographers, they encouraged me everyday to learn that I could do anything I put my mind to. The different styles I performed, were styles of dance I thought I would never do in my life and never be able to do. Pantsula, Gumboot etc, are things that just never crossed my mind. I always used to watch other forms of dance and appreciate it, but never thought I would be able to do it. From the dancers, I learnt alot about the industry. As I said, I had just graduated from college and they had all had a lot of experience, so they gave me alot of advice on what to do and where to go to once i had completed the competition.

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ShanaD21. Name, Surname, Age
Shana Leigh Dewey 18 years old.

2. When and where did you start dancing and how did it happen that you attended your first ballet lesson and how old were you?
I started ballet at the age of four. I started learning ballet with Vanessa Eborall at her studio in Robertsham and when I was older started training with Dorothy De Witt (Vanessa’s partner)

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Carstens11. Name, Surname, Age
ANYA CARSTENS AGED 35

2. Where are you originally from and what is your Current location / Dance company?
Johannesburg – I am a Principal dancer with The South Africa Ballet Theatre

3. When and where did you start dancing?
Aged four with Sandra Carstens

4. How did it happen that you started dance classes?
My Mom is a ballet teacher so I guess you could say ballet is in the family.

5. What good memories do you have as a child regarding your dance classes?
I always enjoyed the ballet festivals and eisteddfods.

6. In how many dance forms did you receive formal training and what are they?
Ballet, Spanish dance contemporary dance and classical Greek dance

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E-MAIL INTERVIEW WITH KIMBRIAN BERGH, during his visit to South Africa for the 10th anniversary of The South African Ballet Theatre and to dance in their production of Romeo & Juliet.

Kymbrian1. I can assure you that the South African audiences were delighted to see you on stage again. How does it feel to be part of The South African Ballet Theatre company again after a few years absence.
I am really grateful for this opportunity, so I am excited about the prospect to work with the co after 4 years away. I feel I still have some things to prove, so I am a bit nervous.

2. Upon your return as guest artist, you must have noticed many changes in the SABT company and in South Africa. Can you name two or three changes which really made an impression on you - good or bad.
I will stick to the SABT topic here. Firstly I am really proud of Iain for hanging in there for so long, he has a constant struggle with getting funds to keep paying salaries. On that note the public still seems to think that the worst is over, it isn’t there will be more times such as those just gone by where dancers were on the brink of the co closing (especially after the recent news regarding TUT). The lack of male dancers is also very evident, I suppose I should be grateful this time though.

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