Fall in love with Elvis

Photo: Pat Bromilow-Downing. DANCING UP A STORM: Elvis, played by Henk Opperman, rocks the house with his fashionable back-up dancers in Private Presley, playing at the Joburg Theatre.

Bovim Ballet, which is travelling to Jozi for the first time, has collaborated with the CoLab Network in order to re-stage their popular Private Presley show. The show may be in its third season since its creation, but this is the first time the public will be able to catch it outside of Cape Town.

Sean Bovim, director and choreographer of the show explained, “Private Presley evolved out of my love for Elvis and his music… his songs and timeless classics form the backbone of this rock ‘n roll ballet. Although his life was cut short, it was so full. And we get to have a glimpse of Elvis as a global pop and movie star as well as his stint in the US army.”

The show will wow audiences with a high-energy performance that includes more than 30 of the King’s original recordings such as Blue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog and Love Me Tender. The story follows Presley’s incredible rise to fame as one of rock ‘n roll’s greatest legends in a series of foot-tapping songs, magical dance moves and eye-catching costumes.

Bovim Ballet has always worked with South Africa’s top fashion designers, and this show is no different. Those going to see Private Presley will drool over the fantastic men’s costumes designed by Craig Port and KLûK CGDT who also created the women’s costumes. They were named African Fashion Designers of the Year for 2011 and 2012. Ian West, who created the magical gowns for the Miss SA contestants, designed the specialty costumes in the show.

Henk Opperman, who takes on the role of the King said, “It is an incredible honour to have been given the opportunity again to try and do justice to such an icon in this unique portrayal of Elvis’s life. There is nothing more invigorating than stepping onto a stage, living that experience for two hours and knowing that, at the end of it all, you could touch, perhaps, one or more people with what you do.”

The exquisite Nicola van der Merwe takes on the role of Priscilla Presley and had nothing but good things to say about her leading man. “Henk is so easy to work with. He has such a massive capacity for passion and love and openness. In my opinion, he shares these traits with the great man himself. He allows me to feel what Priscilla must have felt in their meeting and love-filled relationship.”

Private Presley: A Salute to the King will be on at the Mandela Stage at the Joburg Theatre until 25 October. Tickets range from R150 to R350.

Details: www.joburgtheatre.com; www.bovimballet.com

Victoria Taylor

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