Xola Willie alongside a group of South African competitors in celebration of World Ballet Day, which is the same day that the 8th South African International Ballet Competition (SAIBC) kicks off at Artscape as a hybrid event. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
Xola Willie alongside a group of South African competitors in celebration of World Ballet Day, which is the same day that the 8th South African International Ballet Competition (SAIBC) kicks off at Artscape as a hybrid event. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

World Ballet Day: Celebrating all things ballet, today, and for a whole week

By Nomalanga Tshuma Time of article published Oct 19, 2021

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Cape Town - On World Ballet Day today, the South African International Ballet Competition (SAIBC), is set to officially kick off its 8th edition week-long festival at Artscape live in Cape Town.

The organisation, supported by the City, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, the Joan St Leger Lindbergh Charitable Trust, and in association with Artscape, will be hosting its first hybrid event, facilitating digital and physical entries since its inception in 2008.

SAIBC Spokesperson Allison Foat said: “World Ballet Day is a collaboration between 50 professional ballet companies around the world that gives an insider’s view of what goes on behind the scenes at work.

“SAIBC is a platform for young, talented dancers to be spotted by the illustrious panel, some of whom head up prestigious ballet companies and training academies.

“This year, we have not only recorded the highest number of entrants ever, but our jury will represent every continent. About 180 dancers will be taking advantage of the chance to be seen by our outstanding panel, which comprises some of the best ballet companies, academies and training institutions in the world.

“The majority of the dancers have submitted video entries, however, 70 entrants will be competing on stage at the Artscape Opera House.

“We are so excited for this week-long ballet festival, and even more so for the dancers who stand a chance to win top prizes, including access to summer intensive programmes, internships and scholarships to the finest facilities,” said Foat.

Xola Willie leaps alongside a group of South African competitors in celebration of World Ballet Day which is the same day that the 8th South African International Ballet Competition (SAIBC) kicks off at Artscape as a hybrid event. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)
A group of competitors participating in the 8th South African International Ballet Competition (SAIBC) that kicks off today (19 Oct) as a hybrid event, on the same day as World Ballet Day. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)
Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)
Isabel Roode, Mia Burger, Lumé Fourie and Genell Roode will participating in the 8th South African International Ballet Competition (SAIBC) that kicks off today, 19 October as a hybrid event, on the same day as World Ballet Day. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)

For the festival, SAIBC has also unveiled a new novice category for entrants aged 6 to 8 years old, from Africa only.

SAIBC Founder and chief executive Dirk Badenhorst said that the organisation was looking to identify young talent and help connect these dancers from various African countries with excellent ballet schools and assist them with introductions into the international arena.

“SAIBC has always been about using ballet as a platform for diplomacy and as a means to connect dancers, teachers and coaches as much as possible,” said Badenhorst.

The other categories are Scholars age 9 to 11, Juniors age 12 to 15 and Seniors age 16 to 19.

Mayor Dan Plato said: “We are proud to host and support the South African Ballet International Ballet Competition.

“Partnering with the SAIBC is also one of the many avenues in which the City provides support to the performing arts, and we are looking forward to hosting these talented performers in our beautiful city.”

The SAIBC starts this evening October 19 at 5pm and closes with a stunning Gala at 7pm on Saturday, October 23.

The SAIBC has attracted 180 dancers this year - 70 dancers from South Africa who be onstage at Artscape and 110 from 28 other countries who are competing via pre-recorded video. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)
Since inception in 2008 the SAIBC has seen numerous medalists and special prize winners being offered placement in these institutions and the competition is proud to show solidarity with all ballet dancers around the globe who share a passion for this incredible and enduring art form. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)
The highly regarded SAIBC is a platform for young, talented dancers to be ’spotted' by the illustrious panel, some of whom head up prestigious ballet companies and training academies. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)

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Cape Argus

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