One of only a handful of black ballerinas in the world, Kitty Phetla, has broken all barriers in becoming a respected dancer, choreographer, model and radio host in South Africa and was recently named the 2019 Standard Bank Young Artist for dance.
In a new visual collaboration with Three Ships Whisky – the first of a series featuring inspirational South Africans – she makes the James Sedgwick Distillery her stage and moves elegantly between the copper potstills and barrels in a film that encapsulates her grace in a space symbolic of excellence.
Drawing a parallel between the art of fine spirits and the craft involved in honing the skill of dance, Kitty was invited to the distillery to take her artform and life story to the home of South African Whisky and bring the Three Ships Whisky brand message of “Made Exceptional. Made Here” to life.
Growing up in Alexandra in Johannesburg, through hard work and discipline she has created a stellar career – the first black ballerina to dance “The Dying Swan” in Russia in 2012. “Ballet so westernized at the time of my introduction to it, yet it’s an art form that has now transcended cultures and is tangible for black communities. South Africans love to move and there is a constant rhythm and beat within us. As a choreographer I enjoy combining an African spirit of movement with Western classical ballet, embracing their individual rhythm and soul, and blending it all into one creative space. That is pure magic. Almost, I would imagine, as when a whisky is made – equal parts of an excellent base, vision, passion and ultimately magic, in crafting something exceptional.”
Meryll Stocks Roos, Three Ships Whisky Marketing Manager, says the series will communicate the essence of the brand’s globally awarded success of coming from a country where in the traditional sense it was never deemed possible to make whisky.