The sixth South African International Ballet Competition (SAIBC) celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2018. The biennial event, funded by the National Lotteries Commission, will once again be held at the Artscape Theatre, from Tuesday, February 27, to March 4.
The SAIBC, founded by Dirk Badenhorst, was first held in the Mother City in 2008 and has grown into one of Cape Town’s most anticipated dance events. The SAIBC is the only international ballet competition on the African continent, on a par with the rest of the world and the five day event attracts talented dancers vying for gold, silver and bronze medals and substantial monetary prizes. The contestant categories include Scholars aged 12 to 15, Juniors aged 16 to 20 and Seniors, aged 21 to 28. At the discretion of the SAIBC, younger competitors may be given permission to participate in all three categories. Competitors this year stand at eighty, marking the largest number since inception, hail from France, Ivory Coast, Japan, Latvia, Poland, UK, Germany, South Korea, China, Portugal, Panama and South Africa.
The panel of judges include the likes of Gregor Seyffert from the Berlin State Ballet School in Germany, LiLi Xin from the Shanghai Ballet in China; Juh Yui Jo from the National University of the Arts in South Korea; Zijiao Qu from Liaoning Ballet in China; ballerina and former SAIBC gold medalist Elza Leimane from Latvia; and Theo Ndindwa from iKapa Dance Theatre, the company that he launched at the inaugural SAIBC in 2008. Gracing the panel for the second time will be South Africans Eduard Greyling from Cape Town and Charla Genn from New York, who is on faculty at the Juilliard School in Manhattan.
Dirk Badenhorst has served as founding member and the first CEO of the South African Ballet Theatre, subsequently as founder and director of the Johannesburg-based ballet and dance company, Mzansi Productions and, following the merger of the South African Ballet Theatre and Mzansi Productions, as CEO of Joburg Ballet. Since establishing the SAIBC a decade ago, Badenhorst has continued to strengthen his ties with the ballet world at an international level, with exchange projects with various countries, most notably Cuba, China and South Korea, as the Africa representative for the Royal Academy of Dance, and as a judge at various international ballet competitions.
Johaar Mosaval, one of South Africa’s greatest dancers who lives in Cape Town, who celebrated his 90th birthday in January, will be honoured onstage at this year’s SAIBC.
The preliminary rounds will take place from Tuesday, February 27, to Thursday, March 1, at 6pm. The Semi-Finals and Finals, with the top dancers selected from the previous round, will take place on March 2 at 7pm and March 3 at 7pm, respectively. The Gala on March 4 at 3pm will be “a true celebration”, featuring the 2018 winners, Bengingazi, a new work showcasing a dynamic fusion of ballet, pantsula and neo classical styles, and international guests and previous winners alongside top South African dance companies and soloists.
* For the elimination rounds, Semi-Finals, Finals and Gala, , tickets cost from R110 to R350 per person through Computicket.