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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:24 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 6883
Location: El Granada, CA, USA

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 - a 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

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 ZAR30,000;

Senior Contemporary division: split between South Africans Thoriso Magongwa aged 24
and Andile Ndlovu aged 19, each winning ZAR15,000;

Junior classical division winning the Gold medal: Sung Woo Han aged 15, representing
South Korea winning ZAR80,000;

Junior classical division winning the Silver medal: Ki Ryeong Kim aged 15,
representing South Korea winning ZAR55,000;

Junior classical division winning the Bronze medal: Sanae Sugiura aged 15,
representing Japan winning ZAR35,000;

Senior classical division winning the Gold medal: Hyo Jung Jun aged 28, representing
South Korea winning ZAR100,000;

Senior classical division winning the Silver medal: Elza Leimane aged 23,
representing Latvia winning ZAR 65,000;
Senior classical division winning the Bronze medal: Raimond Martinov aged 25,
representing Latvia winning ZAR45,000;

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.


Allison Foat- DIVA PR
Specialist Entertainment PR
Cape Town, South Africa 7384 (T) 6312 (M)

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