International guest artists to light up 5th SA International Ballet Competition

International guest artists to light up 5th SA International Ballet Competition

Two international ballet stars, Cuban born Adiarys Almeida and Jonhal Fernandez from Mexico will join several top international and South African guest artists at the Gala performance of the 5th SA International Ballet Competition (SAIBC) on Sunday, February 28, at 3pm, at the Artscape Opera House in Cape Town. The latter event once again promises to be a thrilling culmination of this year’s competition, showcasing the outstanding top talent of the SAIBC onstage with dancers from all around the World.

Almeida and Fernandez will dance well known pas de deux from two of most popular classical ballets, ‘Swan Lake’ and ‘Don Quixote’. Almeida has danced the title roles in ‘Giselle’, Carmen’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’ amongst many others and she has performed as guest artist with Ballet Concerto de Puerto Rico, Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami, Miami International Ballet Festival, Baltic Ballet Festival, NBA Ballet in Japan, and other galas around the world.

Jonhal Fernandez studied at the National Ballet School of Cuba. He was chosen to compete in national and international ballet competitions, winning gold and silver medals in several. In 2010 he became a dancer with the National Ballet of Cuba. As a guest artist he has performed with companies in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, South Africa and Italy. His repertoire includes principal roles in ‘Swan Lake’, ‘Don Quixote’, ‘Giselle’, ‘Cinderella’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘The Sleeping Beauty’, ‘The Nutcracker’ and ‘Draculaas’, as well as the ‘Le Corsair’ Pas de Deux, ‘Diana and Acteon’ Pas de Deux, ‘Don Quixote’ Pas de Deux and several neoclassical and contemporary pieces.

In 2012 He joined the Ballet de Monterrey in Mexico, and in 2013 was invited to dance ‘The Nutcracker’ with the Joburg Ballet and in 2014 appeared in the ‘Stars of the American Ballet’ galas in South Africa together with other distinguished dancers. In 2015 he joined the National Ballet of Ecuador as a principal dancer and in 2016 rejoined the Ballet de Monterrey.

Flying the SA flag will be Joburg Ballet’s Angela Malan and Stellenbosch born Admill Kuyler, who has been based in Germany since 2007 as a lead dancer with Staatsballett Karlsruhe.
The pair will dance a lyrical pas de deux by German choreographer Uwe Scholz in what will be the first SA showing of a work by Scholz. The Korean Youth Ballet Stars, no strangers to South African audiences after their first visit here in 2014, will shine with excerpts from much loved classics such as ‘Paquita’ and ‘La Sylphide’.

Other guest artists will be Art of Motion, Cape Academy of Performing Arts, Thami Ndjoko, and an Irish dance ensemble.
The City of Cape Town is the major sponsor of the fifth South African International Ballet Competition (SAIBC), which takes place from Tuesday to Sunday, February 23 to 28, at the Artscape Opera House in Cape Town. Africa’s only international ballet competition, the SAIBC was launched in 2008 with subsequent competitions in 2010, 2012 and 2014 attracting dancers from SA and around the world to compete for gold, silver and bronze medals as well as substantial monetary prizes.

The categories in which dancers compete, in both ballet and contemporary dance, are Scholars, (12 to 15 years), Junior (16 to 20 years) and Seniors (21 to 28 years). The total prize money amounts to R400000 and thus far the competition has attracted dancers locally and from South Korea, Latvia, the USA, Mexico, Cuba and Europe, and at 71 entries, is the largest group of competitors yet. A distinguished panel of seven judges from SA and around the World has been assembled and includes Julio Bocca, Mi-Song Cho, Caroline Iura, Valentina Kozlova, Brigitte Lefèvre, Oliver Matz and Elizabeth Triegaardt.

* Tickets for the Gala on Sunday, February 28, at 3pm cost from R90 to R300 per person and are now available at Computicket or 0861 915 8000 or Artscape Dial-A-Seat on 021-421 7695.
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