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Wednesday, October 5, 2011


The Genée Dance Challenge is an event that is associated with the prestigious Genée International Ballet Competition. Initiated in 2010, it is one of two wrap-around community events associated with the prestigious Genée International Ballet Competition, being held at Artscape Theatre and Opera House in Cape Town.

The Challenge is open to local students up to the age of 17 years who are studying with a RAD registered teacher. Participation in the competition gives dancers the opportunity to work with the RAD’s Chair of the Board of Examiners, Ms. Paula Hunt from New Zealand, and allows them a chance to explore their creativity and to perform on a major theatre stage in front of an audience.

Since August this year, the Genée Dance Challenge heats have been held all over South Africa in Cape Town, Durban, East London, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria. Winners have been chosen and they will represent their region and ballet school at the national competition at Artscape on October 8.

The Challenge is presented on four levels and candidates will be judged on the performance of a ballet solo, choreographed by their RAD teacher and each level will be judged separately by the Academy’s Artistic Director, Lynn Wallis and renowned teacher and choreographer, Christopher Hampson. There will be one winner per level (four winners in total) and each will receive a trophy. Each entrant in the Challenge will receive Genée memorabilia and two complimentary tickets to watch the Genée Final on October 9 at 18h30.

Included in the regional winners are Durban dancers: Chelsea Gerritsen (teacher: Jacqui Weddell) and Tayla Ross (teacher: Susan Cook). Teacher Winsome Fuller has four students: Jessica Read, Sarah Shipley, Simone Beneke and Hannah Ward

Tickets for the Genée Dance Challenge at Artscape on October 8 at 17h00 cost R120. Guest artists will be Cape Town City Ballet’s Senior Principal Megan Swart and Daniel Szybkowski who will dance a pas de deux from Kenneth McMillan’s Solitaire, the ballet that the RAD’s Lynn Wallis has re-staged for the company. Laura Bosenberg and Ivan Boonzaaier, with Rosamund Ford, Kirstel Jensen and Mariette Opperman, will perform Perpetuum Mobile from Graduation Ball.

Tickets from R200 to R350 for the Final on October 9 when the Cape Town City Ballet will perform a new work Celebration. Information about group discounts and packages is via 021 421 7695 and all booking is through Computicket or Artscape Dial-A-Seat.