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PRESS: 10th SAIBC Competition wraps at Artscape

Allison Foat


After three exciting days of classical ballet and contemporary dance, the 10th South African International Ballet Competition (SAIBC) at the Artscape Opera House came to a thrilling close with a gala performance featuring the 2023 award winners and South African and international guest artists such as Angela Revie and SAIBC Juror Javier Monier Jr. from Mzansi Ballet and previous SAIBC winner Kiko Gomes from Cape Town City Ballet.

The big finale number was danced by all the 2023 entrants to a song sung in person by Selim Kagee.  VIP’s in the audience included Minister Anroux Marais of the Western Cape Government Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, and Roberto Quintas representing The City of Cape Town. 

The Jury, chaired by Ted Brandsen, awarded only two gold medals,  both going to Junior entrant Yeonseon Cho (16) from South Korea. Mr Brandsen was joined by panel members Madame Feng Ying, Director and Artistic Director of the National Ballet of China, Beijing; Ms Hyo Jung Jun, Director Incheon City Ballet, South Korea  (gold medalist at the inaugural SAIBC 2008); Carol Kinsey, former principal  ballerina with CAPAB Ballet and Cape Town City Ballet; Christoph Boehm from the Berlin State Ballet School; Javier Monier Jr from Cuba who is currently a member of Mzansi Ballet in Johannesburg, and Ms Ana Laguna from Sweden.

This year saw 65 dancers competing in three age groups namely 9 to 12 (Scholar), 13 to 16 (Junior), and 17 to 22 (Senior) in both classical and contemporary solos and the recently introduced duets, trios, group and choreographic categories. With five dancers representing South Korea, the majority of the competitors were South African, hailing from the Western Cape, Kwazulu Natal and Gauteng. Five dancers entered via video from overseas and South Africa. 

Juror Christoph Boehm from the Berlin State Ballet School offered four talented South African dancers a two-week scholarship to participate in a ballet intensive at his school and they are Zeinab Kone (15), Omogolo Gaorekwe (15), Rahl Burke (16) and Carmi Landsberg (15). Certificates of Merit were awarded to several entrants and the full list of medalists and merit award recipients is as follows:


No medals awarded.

Certificate of Merit awarded to Jang Ha Eun (19) South Korea


No medals awarded.

Certificate of Merit awarded to Miguel Franco-Green (17) Johannesburg, RSA


No gold medal awarded.

Silver: Jang Ha Eun (19) South Korea

Bronze: Emily Fortuin (17) & Sasha Barnes (17)  Cape Town, RSA


No gold or silver medals awarded.

Bronze: Miguel Franco-Green (17) Johannesburg, RSA 


Gold: Yeonseo Cho (16) South Korea

Silver: Chiara Szabo (14) Johannesburg, RSA

Bronze: Ji-In Jeon (16) South Korea


No gold medal awarded.

Silver:  Omogolo Gaorekwe (15) Johannesburg, RSA

Bronze: Rahl Burke (16) Johannesburg, RSA


Only one medal awarded.

Gold: Yeonseo Cho (16) South Korea


No medal awarded. 

Certificate of Merit went to Michael Constantinides (15) RSA


No gold medal awarded. 

Silver: Noelia Schulz (11) Johannesburg, RSA

Bronze: Sophie White (11) Durban, RSA

*Special Mention: Tegshjargal Khaskhuu (11) Mongolia - video entry


No medal awarded. Certificate of Merit went to Olivia Wynne (12).


No medals awarded.

Certificates of Merit went to South Africans Emily Fortuin (17) and Faakhier Bestman (19) from Cape Town; Alexia Munn (16) and Michael Constantinides (15) from Johannesburg, and Cadee van Aswegen (14) and Sienna Moffatt (12) from Durban. 

The SAIBC, founded by Dirk Badenhorst in 2008 as a biennial competition, has been presented annually since 2021 when the pandemic created the opportunity for the event to go digital. Today the SAIBC is recognised as the foremost classical ballet competition on the African continent that attracts dancers from South Africa and across the globe. The next South African International Ballet Competition will be held in Cape Town in 2024.

The SAIBC acknowledges the invaluable support of the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Government Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, the Mary Oppenheimer and Daughter Foundation, the Joan St. Leger Lindbergh Charitable Trust, Primedia Broadcasting and other key Donors.


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