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Dance International
Written by: DDM
18/10/2011

Genée Ballet Competition 2011 - Participating Countries

On 30th September 2011, the prestigious Genée International Ballet Competition began at the Artscape Theatre complex in Cape Town. Presented by the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and supported by the UCT School of Dance and Cape Town City Ballet, the Genée took place in both the Theatre and Opera House venues from 30 September to 9 October 2011.

Dancers between the ages of 15 and 19 years jetted in from all over the world to compete in the Genée, one of the most highly regarded international ballet competitions for non-professionals. There were 37 entrants (31 female and 6 male) participating this year (2011) from South Africa, the USA, Canada, Wales, Scotland, Israel, Malaysia, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Cyprus and Spain. Several South Africans competed, namely Capetonians Cleo Ames and Cindy Okkers; Caitlin Smith who is from East London; Mlindi Kulashe and Ashley Scott both of whom hail from the Mother City and who are currently studying at the English National Ballet School, and Gabrielle Fairhead who is based in Switzerland.

For this competition, candidates had to be trained in the RAD method. All entrants had the chance to work with and learn from distinguished dance professionals and choreographers over the 5 intensive days of the competition. Those selected as Finalists competed for a coveted gold, silver or bronze medal in the Final, as well as significant prize money - R50,000, R30,000 and R20,000 respectively.

The commissioned local choreographer this year was Kirsten Isenberg, a former Cape Town City Ballet artist who is best described as a proudly South African choreographer, passionate about neo-classical dance. Specially commissioned for this year’s competition, Ms. Isenberg worked with candidates over the 10 day period creating two new solos, one for males entitled Still Moving and one for females entitled Far Closer. Former CAPAB Ballet Principal dancer, Eduard Greyling, notated the variations, using the Benesh Movement Notation method to ensure they are saved for artistic and educational purposes.

The Genée coaches for this year’s competition were Christopher Hampson and Lynn Wallis.

David Nixon (Artistic Director for Northern Ballet), Iain MacDonald (Artistic Director of the South African Ballet Theatre) and Elizabeth Triegaardt (Cape Town City Ballet) judged the upcoming Genée International Ballet Competition at Artscape in Cape Town.

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