Cape Town City Ballet (Photo: Gallo)
Cape Town – Reports from other online platforms have emerged stating that The Cape Town City Ballet has been asked to leave UCT’s campus by protestors because it is "too white".
While Cape Town City Ballet have yet to return our request for comment, The University of Cape Town’s Pat Lucas, issued us with the following statement which completely refutes the aforementioned claims:
“The University of Cape Town’s lease agreement with Cape Town City Ballet (CTCB) for studio space expires on 31 December 2016 and CTCB remains a tenant. The lease has been under discussion for the last two years, as UCT was already taking in larger numbers in our dance courses – which include classical ballet, as well as choreographic studies and dance teaching methods. The space constraints for UCT dance courses had already reached a tipping point as early as 2014. At the beginning of 2016, UCT took the proactive step of approaching the Cape Town municipality about the possible use of an alternate venue for CTCB. This option is awaiting municipal approval.
"The School of Dance did have to be closed one day due to disruptions by protesters who were walking from one UCT building to the next. They were not targeting CTCB but were seeking to shut down all operations on campus, as part of a nationwide protest. However, as explained above, discussions around the lease agreement, and UCT’s steps to proactively arrive at a possible solution, began long before the most recent spate of protests on campus.
"There is no factual basis for any allegation that the University of Cape Town will no longer support ballet as an art form. Ballet, like opera, continues to attract a growing number of talented students to UCT, where they receive teaching of the highest standard. UCT’s School of Dance enjoys a mutually supportive relationship with CTCB. We consider our institutions as complementary, as we are both engaged with exploring the pedagogic and cultural value of Classical ballet in the working context of a South African performing arts landscape. CTCB has nourished the UCT School of Dance by offering opportunities for students to perform, and for our graduates to be engaged as dancers and choreographers. The proximity of CTCB has also provided us with direct experiences of successes, failures and missed opportunities which in turn stirs an ever-evolving curriculum for UCT’s School of Dance. We look forward to seeing this relationship continue.”