“…I believe that art is the soul of the nation…”


Not everybody when confronted by their destiny accepts it absolutely. Dance is a difficult career; it is a world fraught with egos and politics, as a discipline it is selfish, it is antisocial, demanding and needy of devotion to strenuous training and to diet. Esther began her career at the age of four attending dance classes and over the next sixty years frequently ran from it and as frequently she was called back.  It was a tough master to which she always submitted.

Her career has been a whirlwind of memorable moments and achievements – she weathered the ups and downs, the politics, the triumphs and the disappointments because ultimately dance is an exciting career, rewards by seeing excellence excel, seeing young stars develop and signets become swans.

When the performing arts councils were still hell bent on white exclusivity, Esther was already taking ballet and contemporary dance into the townships, establishing community and outreach projects, for which she was awarded. Even before SA achieved democracy Esther, as head of the State Theatre Dance Company, became involved in transformation in dance and she remains committed and actively involved in the process today.

As a choreographer, she has created an extensive repertoire of new works, winning several awards and, as the newly appointed CEO of Joburg Ballet, Esther wants to work towards a future in which Joburg Ballet is a destination point for everyone living in Johannesburg – a ‘must see’ arts organisation.

Her career shows no sign of slowing down; new chapters are opening that give promise to continuous growth and space for new young dancers to thrive.