Kylie Minogue’s Aphrodite in Cape Town

Posted: July 14, 2011 in Theatre & Event Reviews and Interviews

 First published in Cape Times.

Cape Town’s Grand West Arena will be transported back to Ancient Greece when Kylie Minogue’s Aphrodite show rolls into town.

According to Minogue’s stylist, show director, and best friend, William Baker, this promises to be a spectacular affair.  A host of props including a 4-meter tall golden Pegasus, a golden chariot, five video screens, a sweeping staircase set, fountains, and a human harp which has been specially designed for Aphrodite.  It has been described as a ‘mixture of Greek Mythology, with a good measure of Cirque du Soleil, and a few dashes of modern ballet’.  The production charters two 747s; one for the equipment; and the rest for Minogue and her team. There is a cast of 23 people on stage and 6 high-flying aerialists appear throughout.  500 people designed and built the set

“I met Minogue about 15-years ago,” says Baker who was a shop assistant at Vivienne Westwood’s flagship boutique at the time. “She came into the shop and we just hit it off. Something clicked.” He bombarded her with creative ideas and he has been her stylist and creative director ever since. 

Baker is responsible for those famous Gold hotpants and the notorious white catsuit from the video for ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’. “Oh I just found them in a drawer somewhere,” he remembers.” They were great on camera but look all funny now. A lot of the gold has rubbed off.”  Baker says that it is not easy for a woman over 30 to be in showbiz. “I feel that she is very conscious of her age; more so perhaps than other stars.”

Baker, who was born inManchester,England, in 1973 has been working very closely with by Dolce & Gabbana who designed most of her outfits for Aphrodite. “Dolce & Gabbana designed eight tailor made costumes for Minogue,” Says Baker. “Some of the dresses are worth more than $150 000.” Her designs feature, among other elements, 1 million diamante crystals and 1000 feathers. Minogue and her dancers will wear more than 200 different costumes.

Baker who has been there for Minogue throughout her diagnosis of cancer, and her heartbreaks, calls their relationship unique.  He co-authored her book La La La with her and worked as producer and director on Minogue’s 2007 documentary White Diamond.

No longer the timid teenager from the Aussie soap opera, Neighbours, Minogue has take her Aphrodite LIVE World Tour  for 76 shows in 30 countries and 55 cities in 5 months.  Her South African performances bring down the curtain on Aphrodite.

The Aphrodite album was released in July 2010 and it became Minogue’s fifth #1 album in theUK. The album made Minogue the first solo artist in the history of theUKcharts to have a #1 album in four different decades.  Around the globe Aphrodite debuted in the top 10 in thirteen different countries.

 Aphrodite will be at the Grand Arena inCape Townon the 13th and 14th July.

by Astrid Stark,

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