A principal ballerina from Bloubergstrand will be performing in a Christmas production by Cape Town City Ballet.
Mariette Opperman, 30, was born and raised on a farm just outside Klerksdorp in the North West. When she was 7, her family moved to Pretoria and at school she fell in love with dancing.
“I started ballet at school, and my mother saw that it was something I loved and she enrolled me to take lessons. It wasn’t until I got to Hoërskool Waterkloof, where it really took off. As one of only two schools in the country that offer ballet as a subject, I knew that was a great fit for me.”
Mariette finished her matric in 2007 and joined Joburg Ballet right after that.
She stayed with the Johannesburg company for three years and joined Cape Town Ballet in 2010.
“Initially, I was only meant to come here for a few months. But living in Cape Town for a short while, I fell in love with the place. The people are so friendly. It’s not as busy as the hustle and bustle of Joburg and the scenery is amazing here.
“I was meant to stay here for only a season but I ended up staying for the past nine years.”
In 2016, Mariette got the chance to study for a year at the Royal Ballet School in Sweden.
“I’ve been involved in major productions like Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. Working with a few international acts and choreographers along the way has really has been really important to my growth, and I hope to be involved in a lot more local and international productions.”
Mariette says she feels as if she is living her dream and she encourages young people to get involved and stick with ballet and the arts as they teach discipline.
“I have noticed that a lot of kids who get involved in ballet at a young age, by the time they are 11, they want to quit because they get bored or want to rush to wearing tutus and doing dance moves that take strain on a young body. I want them to know that it’s important to stay patient and know that it will be worth it if they stick it out.”
Mariette will be performing in the Cape Town City Ballet’s production of A Christmas Carol – The Story of Scrooge from Saturday December 14 to 24 at the Artscape theatre.
Tickets cost R150 to R295. Book through Computicket.