Joburg Ballet’s Shannon Glover prepares for her next role.

Joburg Ballet is delighted to announce that principal dancer Shannon Glover is taking a short leave of absence from the company to take on her next challenging role – that of a mother.

Shannon, who has been dancing with Joburg Ballet since 2004, is expecting the birth of her first child – a daughter Ava, in November.

“We wish Shannon and her husband Philip a wonderful new journey with the precious gift of baby Ava”, said Joburg Ballet’s CEO Esther Nasser on behalf of the company, “and we’re looking forward to welcoming her back into the studio and on stage after her maternity leave. During her pregnancy we enjoyed seeing her choreograph, rehearsing the principals for The Nutcracker, and participating in the daily company class, but we’ve really missed seeing her perform on stage.”

And Artistic Director Iain MacDonald said:

“We’re wishing you and Phillip lots of love as you start a new life as mom and dad of baby Ava. Enjoy your ‘baby break’ and we look forward to seeing you back in the studio after your maternity leave.”

Shannon started dancing at the tender age of four, and at 18 she joined the Graduate Programme of the South African Ballet Theatre (now Joburg Ballet) and was subsequently taken into the company. Her exquisite artistry and technical prowess lead to her promotion to Principal Dancer, announced at her début performance as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty in 2011. She has since made her mark in leading roles in The Sleeping Beauty, La Traviata, Cinderella Coppélia, Carmen, Le Corsaire, The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, La Bayadère, The Nutcracker Re-Imagined, Swan Lake, Giselle, and Romeo and Juliet (her personal favourite). She also danced in many shorter and one-act ballets by South African and visiting choreographers which displayed her versatility in both the classical and contemporary dance genres, and she has choreographed a number of works for the company. In 2017 she danced the title roles in Iain MacDonald’s Snow White, in 2018 Veronica Paeper’s Carmen, in 2019, the Queen in Snow White at Montecasino and also – having been nominated by Joburg Ballet to serve as a Fellow at the Artistic Partnership Initiative – she attended a Choreographic Residency at the Centre for Ballet and the Arts at New York University. On her return she choreographed a new work for the company, “I Think, Therefore I Am” which had its world premiere at Joburg Ballet’s 2019 season of UNBOUND at Joburg Theatre.

Throughout her pregnancy Shannon continued teaching, rehearsing the company and doing daily class (all the while dancing an inner pas de deux with her unborn baby). She also choreographed a work for Evolve which, due to Covid was postponed and will now be seen at Joburg Theatre in March 2022.

On her return in the new year Shannon will be rehearsing the dancers for this work – an introspective piece in which she explores the concept of death as the great equaliser – entitled The Afterlife: Souls.

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