Press release: SA International Ballet Competition for Cape Town in February at Artscape

January 31, 2014

Excitement in dance circles is mounting as the fourth South African International Ballet Competition (SAIBC), with generous support from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF), draws closer. The event takes place at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town, from 18 to 23 February. Formerly known as the Cape Town International Ballet Competition, it is the only event of its kind on the African continent and attracts top dancers from SA and the World. 


Dirk Badenhorst is the founder and CEO of the competition that has taken place in C

ape Town every second year since 2008. In line with earlier competitions, Mr. Badenhorst has assembled a distinguished panel of 8 judges from around the world for the SAIBC 2014. The line-up includes Julio Bocca, Argentinean superstar, former principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and an international guest artist applauded as being among the world’s leading ballet stars in the last two decades of the 20th century. Today Mr. Bocca is the Artistic Director of the Ballet Nacional SODRE in Uruguay; Dawn Weller, former ballerina of PACT Ballet, Artistic Director of PACT Ballet/The State Theatre Ballet from 1983 to 2000, and now Director of Australia’s Graduate College of Dance; Hae Shik Kim, Founding Dean of the Korean National University of Arts School of Dance, former ballerina and Artistic Director of the Korean National Ballet, now Artistic Director of the Seoul International Dance Competition; Xin Lili, former ballerina, now choreographer and artistic director of the Shanghai Ballet; Ramona de Saá, former dancer, now Director of the National Ballet School of Cuba and Associate Professor of Cuba’s Higher Institute of Art and Methodology of the National Centre for Schools of Art; Oliver Matz, former principal dancer of the Ballet of the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin and acclaimed international guest artist, now the Director of Dance Studies and faculty member for classical male dance of the Zurich Dance Academy in Switzerland; Melanie Person, co-Director of the Ailey School in New York and Ernst Meisner, Artistic Director of the junior company of the esteemed Dutch National Ballet in The Nertherlands.


Since the inaugural SAIBC four years ago, the competition has been hailed by dance enthusiasts around the country as one of the most exciting happenings on the South African dance calendar. It is a tremendous success on a number of levels, attracting the creme de la creme of ballet talent who compete for gold, silver and bronze medals and substantial monetary prizes.  In past years, the event has been likened to a World Cup of Ballet and the Ballet Olympics as dancers display breathtaking athletic abilities and technical prowess and go head to head for the coveted top spots on the 'podium' and R340,000 in prize money.


A third age division, Scholar, has opened the competition to dancers aged 12 to 15 years. The other categories are Junior (16 to 20 years) and Senior (21 to 28 years). This year the 48 participants are from Switzerland, Cuba, South Korea, Japan, Brazil, China and includes the biggest number of South African entrants to date.


In view of the City of Cape Town’s decision to terminate its funding of the competition, Mr. Badenhorst has confirmed that the competition has reverted to its original 2008 name - the South African International Ballet Competition. 


The Elimination Rounds take place Tuesday 18 to Thursday 20 February at 6pm; the Finals is on Friday 21 February at 7:30pm and the Awards evening where the top 5 dancers in each category will compete for gold, silver and bronze medal placement and monetary prizes, takes place on Saturday 22 February at 7:30pm.


The Gala performances on Sunday 23 February at 3pm and 7:30pm, billed as The Young Korean Ballet Stars of the World are presented by Dirk Badenhorst and will showcase the competition winners, the Young Korean Ballet Stars from South Korea and top dancers from the National Ballet School of Cuba. The Gala will be repeated once only in Johannesburg, at Gold Reef City, on 25 February at 8pm.


The daily competition schedule can be found on Tickets cost R60 for the Elimination Rounds and from R150 to to R350 for the Finals, Awards and Gala evenings, via, Artscape Dial-A-Seat on 0214217695 and 0861 915 8000. Tickets for the Gala performance are from R120 to R360 via Computicket. Advance booking is recommended.


For media enquires about the South African International Ballet Competition (SAIBC) in Cape Town, please contact Allison Foat at DIVA PR on or 0214627384.


For media queries about tTe Young Ballet Stars of the World performance in Johannesburg please call Lindsay McDonald at Joburg Ballet on 011 or email


Press release provided by Allison Foat, Diva PR.

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