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Friday, August 19, 2011


(Miss Hannah Ward from the Winsome Fuller Studio)

Cape Town is to play host for the first time to the Royal Academy of Dance flagship event, the Genée International Ballet Competition.

The Genée International Ballet Competition is one of the world's most prestigious classical ballet competitions. Organised and promoted by the Royal Academy of Dance, the competition is held annually, and is named in memory of Dame Adeline Genée, one of the founders of the Academy. The competition was first held in London, England in 1931 and, since 2002, it has been held in other major cities around the world.

The competition is open to candidates who have studied the Academy's syllabus, have completed the Advanced 2 examination with Distinction, or have achieved the Solo Seal Award. It will bring 50-60 of the most talented young ballet dancers from around the world to Cape Town to work on classical and contemporary solos under the tutelage of internationally renowned ballet teachers and choreographers. Following two days of gruelling Semi-finals, the competitors will perform in the Final in front of a distinguished panel of international judges who will decide which of the candidates will be awarded the coveted gold, silver or bronze medals.

Since its inception nearly 70 years ago, the competition has annually attracted some of the world’s most gifted and promising pre-professional ballet dancers aged 15-19.

After five days of intensive coaching, the dancers perform in the competition’s Semi-finals on October 6 and 7 in the Artscape Theatre, when the international judging panel, chaired by the ballet legend and RAD President, Dame Antoinette Sibley DBE, will select outstanding finalists to go forward to the Final on October 9 in the Artscape Opera.

The Genée spirit is one of excitement, creative collaboration, competition, and the pursuit of excellence. The week-long intensive coaching provides the young dancers with a unique opportunity to experience a glimpse of the life of a professional dancer. It requires total dedication and commitment every day and places extraordinary demands on the body. In return, the Genée also provides moments of sheer exhilaration for the young competitors-and to the audiences.

Among the events leading up to the 2011 Genée International Ballet Competition is the Genée Dance Challenge competition. This national competition will take place at the Artscape Theatre on October 8 and will be judged by the Academy’s Artistic Director, Lynn Wallis (UK), and the renowned teacher and choreographer, Christopher Hampson (UK).

Hosted by The Royal Academy of Dance Regional Panel of KwaZulu-Natal, the Genée Dance Challenge Regional Competition for KZN will take place at 14h00 on August 21 in the Loft Theatre, Playhouse.

The performance is open to the general public. Tickets R30 (R15 pensioners and scholars under the age of 12) booked through Computicket. All proceeds of this competition will go to the ChallenGenée fundraising campaign in support of the 2011 Genée International Ballet Competition. More information from the RAD Office on 083 952 5714.