J.L. Petersen

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Mr. J.L. Petersen (17**-18**) was a pioneering ballet master in the Cape Town between 1802 and 1820. At times simply referred to as Mr. Petersen or Mr. Peterson.

Besides choreographing the dances for some productions, including productions by C.E. Boniface, he also put on original ballets, presented by his pupils, which formed an integral part of the theatre in the Cape for quite a few years. The first, entitled The Cunning Wife, or The Lover in the Sack, formed part a programme presented in celebration of the King's birthday on 28 June, 1802.

On 22 June 1815 he choreographed Boniface's ballet Sappho, for production by Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense, with music composed by Mr Lemming. Repeated on 4 July and 29 July 1815.

On 28 October 1815 he created a "military dance" for the production of De Struikroovers van Kalabrien, of De Onveilige Wildernis by Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

On Monday 6 October 1823 he offers a Ballet Pastoral, which he both wrote and choreographed, the culmination of an evening by Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense, which also included De Dolzinnige, of De Gewaande Dolleman (L'Enragé) by C.E. Boniface, translated into Dutch by J. Suasso de Lima) and Celina, of Het Kind des Geheims (Pixérecourt).

In addition to his choreography, his address at No 1 Burg Street Cape Town is given the place where subscriptions may be had for performances by the company Men Doet Wat Men Kan on 11 and 25 September, 1819.


Bosman, 1928: pp. 68, 138-9, 175 and 278.

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