South African International Ballet Competition

The Artscape Opera House in the beautiful city of Cape Town is to be the venue for the inaugural South African International Ballet Competition scheduled to take place from 14 to 19 January 2008. The competition has been initiated by the former CEO of South African Ballet Theater, Mr. Dirk Badenhorst, with the aim of providing international exposure for local and foreign dancers, as well as allowing directors of South African and foreign dance companies to seek out new talent.

It is expected that the South African International Ballet Competition will boost tourism and generate additional income in Cape Town, as well as promoting the status of the city as the cultural gateway to Africa. It is anticipated that the competition will place Cape Town and South Africa on the arts and culture map, with the emphasis on the fine art of contemporary and classical ballet and dance. A goal of this initiative is to serve as a platform that will draw amateur and professional dance companies together to learn from each other in a competitive environment to the benefit of all.

The organizers of the South African International Ballet Competition will be arranging workshops where young dancers from historically disadvantaged communities will have the opportunity to interact with visiting and local ballet and dance professionals as well as contestants. The growing number of dance projects that are currently springing up in and around Cape Town will be targeted to participate in this initiative.

The categories for the competition are divided into a Junior/Amateur Division for 15 to 18 year olds and a Senior/Professional Division for 19 to 28 year olds. The two categories will be judged according to different criteria with each working on a point system per round. Cash prizes will be awarded in all divisions. The panel of judges will include highly influential dance personalities from South Africa as well as overseas, who are sure to do justice to this exciting event. As the closing date for entries draws near, entries have been received from a number of countries including Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, Japan and China.

Dancers, judges and spectators are no doubt looking forward to the South African International Ballet Competition. At the same time they can take the opportunity to explore the many things that the amazing city of Cape Town has to offer.