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Ms Janet Buckland
In Loving Memory of Denise Jefferson
Dirk Badenhorst
Harold Van Buuren
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Christian Tatchev
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Written by: SABT

Christian Tatchev was born in Shumen, Bulgaria, and studied ballet from age nine at the National Ballet School in Sofia where his teachers included Ilyan Drangajov and Maria Stefanova.

In 1995, he won the second prize in the Bulgarian National Ballet Competition before joining the National Opera and Ballet Company of Sofia. A year later he joined PACT Ballet (later The State Theatre Ballet) where he remained until the closure of the company in 2000. He then joined Cape Town City Ballet for two years and in June 2002 was appointed a Principal dancer with The South African Ballet Theatre.

His repertoire includes many of the leading roles in the major classical ballets as well as roles in works by Balanchine, Ashton, Taylor, Caniparoli, Hynd, Comelin and Paeper.

His roles for the SABT include The Prince in Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker; Romeo and Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet; Siegfried in Swan Lake; The Shah in Papillon and Albrecht in Giselle.

In 2003, Mr Tatchev was invited by The National School of the Arts to produce Giselle Act 2 and in 2004, he produced Act 2 of Don Quixote for the Val Whyte Bursary award performances.

Since 2002, Mr Tatchev has taught extensively for the SABT Academy and Company and was appointed SABT Company Coach in 2006. In July 2007, he produced his first ballet for the SABT, a condensed version of the well loved novel by Cervantes: Don Quixote. The production opened to unanimously positive reviews and is a welcome addition to the SABT repertoire. Mr Tatchev continues to perform Principal roles in each season and in 2007 performed the role of Poet in Les Sylphides alongside his wife Zenia.

Mr Tatchev recently returned from the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown where an extended version of his ballet Don Quixote was invited to the Main programme.


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