Here is some follow up on the competition award winners...
THE SOUTH AFRICAN INTERNATIONAL BALLET COMPETITION ANNOUNCES THE WINNERS
The inaugural South African International Ballet Competition (SAIBC) came to a splendid close at a glittering Gala affair on Saturday 19th January when all the medallists in the various divisions were announced onstage at the Artscape Opera House. The event, that ran over a period of one week with intense elimination rounds taking place daily and culminating in the Finals and Gala, was attended by representatives from the City of Cape Town, the Mayor’s Office, the US Consulate, Cape Town Routes Unlimited, VIP guests and sponsors.
According to audiences, the competition which received a boost at its outset with Mrs. Mbeki hosting a Gala dinner in honour of the SAIBC, was touted as one of the most exciting events to date on the country’s dance calendar – an veritable Olympic games of ballet and contemporary dance.
Casting their critical eyes over the daily elimination rounds was an illustrious panel of high profile judges representative of South Africa and the world, namely Cape Town- based Denise Schultze, former Assistant Artistic Director of Ballet West in Salt Lake City, Co -Director of PACT Ballet, and a guest teacher and producer of Classical Ballets with ballet companies and schools in RSA and around the world, and Phyllis Spira, former Prima Ballerina Assoluta with CAPAB Ballet and now the Assistant Artistic Director of the Dance for All Youth Company based in Athlone. Two of the panel are South Africans living abroad: Laveen Naidu, formerly a dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) and now the Executive Director of that company, and former dancer Charla Genn, previously the Artistic Director of Manhattan Ballet in New York, and an international guest teacher with companies such as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Les Ballets de Trockaderos. The international contingent of judges further comprises of Virginia Johnson, a former ballerina with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Editor of Pointe Magazine; Septime Webre, the Artistic Director of Washington Ballet; Simon Dow, formerly the Artistic Director of the Milwaukee Ballet and the West Australian Ballet, now a choreographer, master teacher and coach; Hae Shik Kim, the President of the World Dance Alliance in Korea and Artistic Director of the Seoul International Dance Competition and Mario Galizzi, a former principal dancer and choreographer from Argentina who has also directed several dance companies and who is currently a guest teacher in his home country.
At the Finals on Friday 18th January, the Judges and their Co-Chairs Virginia Johnson and Simon Dow decided that instead of announcing the winners in the junior and senior classical and contemporary categories, they would prefer to see five classical finalists and three contemporary finalists in each section dance it out at the Gala for the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. This caused tremendous excitement and anticipation amongst the audience, the competitors, their coaches and teachers and brought the competition to a dynamic climax. The winners are as follows:
Junior Contemporary division: Camille Bracher, aged 16 representing South Africa, winning R30,000
Senior Contemporary division: split between South Africans Thoriso Magongwa aged 24 and Andile Ndlovu aged 19, each winning R15,000.
Junior classical division winning the Gold medal: Sung Woo Han aged 15, representing South Korea;
Junior classical division winning the Silver medal: Ki Ryeong Kim aged 15, representing South Korea;
Junior classical division winning the Bronze medal: Sanae Sugiura aged 15, representing Japan.
Senior classical division winning the Gold medal: Hyo Jung Jun aged 28, representing South Korea;
Senior classical division winning the Silver medal: Elza Leimane aged 23, representing Latvia
Senior classical division winning the Bronze medal: Raimond Martinov aged 25, representing Latvia
The Jury recommendation: Botlhale (Boysie) Dikobe aged 17, representing South Africa
Dirk Badenhorst, the CEO and Founder of the SAIBC, commented, ‘it has been an overwhelmingly successful week where we have seen the unique art form of ballet come alive in a new light, with dancers, directors and teachers from all over SA and abroad interacting on many levels. I am also especially proud of the vast pool of local talent that shone throughout the event’. Badenhorst concluded that the next competition will be held in 2010, after the Soccer World Cup, and once again in the Mother City.
The Board of the SAIBC consists of Andrew Gilder, an environmental lawyer and former dancer; Ann Wixley, a media and communications strategist and a former ballet dancer, Boniswa Peziswa, the Executive Director of an advertising agency; Suzie Frankel, a ballet teacher from Johannesburg; Allison Foat a specialist in theatre PR and a former ballet dancer and Rita van den Heever, the Head of the University of Johannesburg's Arts Centre and Academy.
The competition has received sponsorship from the City of Cape Town, British Airways, The Michel Tesson Performing Arts Trust, Pick ‘n Pay, Nestle, the Chiappini Trust, Schwartz Jewellers, Meerlust, Network BBDO, The Cullinan Hotel, Southern Sun, Cape Town Routes Unlimited, LSC International (dancerwear) and Tokara.