The final round of the 3rd Cape Town International Ballet Competition (CTIBC) was held at the Artscape Opera House on Saturday 3 March, 2012. The glittering gala event was attended by the Executive Deputy Mayor, Alderman Ian Neilson, as well as dignitaries from the City of Cape Town, Foreign Embassy representatives, and dance lovers from throughout the country and abroad.
Two competitors, Jin- Ho Won from South Korea (20) and Junxiong Zhao (20) from China, finished with double Gold medals, winning in both the Classical and Contemporary senior sections. South Africans Kathleen Videira from Johannesburg, the youngest competitor in the Finals at age 14, won Bronze in the Junior classical section and Mthuthuzeli ‘Tutu’ November from the Western Cape, won the Gold medal in the Junior contemporary division.
The competition began on 28th February with three days of intense elimination rounds, culminating in Saturday night’s grand affair when entrants from Cuba, the Republic of South Korea, Brazil, Armenia, Argentina, Australia and South Africa faced off for medals and R300,000 in prize money. The capacity audience was abuzz with anticipation as the exceptionally talented competitors, aged between 15 and 26 years of age, performed superbly in classical and contemporary solos and pas de deux from well-known ballets such as Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake, showcasing incredible versatility, artistry, musicality and a breathtaking technical standard.
Alderman Neilson delivered a brief speech before presenting the medals to the winners. The distinguished jury for 2012 was made up of Kevin O’Hare, director-designate of The Royal Ballet who takes up his appointment as director of the legendary British ballet company later this year; Dr Ramona da Sáa, Director and Professor, National Ballet School of Cuba; Leticia Müller, former ballerina of Birmingham Royal Ballet, UK and PACT Ballet, SA; and Lynn Wallis, Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Dance, London. Returning judges are Septime Webre, Artistic Director of The Washington Ballet, Washington DC; Hae Shik Kim, Professor Emeritus, Korea National University of Arts, Chairman of the Korea Ballet Festival and Chairman of the Korea World Dance Day and SA-born Charla Genn, Faculty Member, Julliard School, New York and Denise Schultze from South Africa, a former ballerina and now a master teacher and coach who is also on the faculty of Boston Ballet’s summer programme. Ms Wallis was the Jury Chair.
Male and female participants were judged separately in both the classical and contemporary divisions and the winners are as follows:
Seniors – Girls
Gold and R25 000 : Jin- Ho Won,20, South Korea
Silver and R15 000: Hyun-Hee Sim, 20, South Korea
Bronze and R10 000: Aurora Dickie, 23, Brazil
Senior Contemporary - Girls
Gold and R15 000 : Jin- Ho Won, 20, South Korea (double gold medalist)
Seniors – Boys
Gold and R25 000 : Junxiong Zhao, 20, China
Silver and R15 000: Aaron Smyth, 20, Australia
Bronze and R10 000 : Emmanuel Vasquez, 20, Argentina
Gold and R15 000: Junxiong Zhao, 20, China (double gold medalist)
Juniors – Girls
Gold and R20 000 : Ye- Lim Choi, 16, South Korea
Silver and R12 500 : Cynthia Gonzalez Rodriguez, 16, Cuba
Bronze and R7 500 : Kathleen Videira, 14, South Africa (the youngest entrant)
Gold and R10 000 : Cynthia Gonzalez Rodriguez, 16, Cuba
Juniors – Boys
Gold and R20 000 : Dong- Woo Kim, 18, South Korea
Silver and R12 500: Ramiro Antonio Gomez Samon,18, Cuba
Bronze and R7 500 : Randol Betancourt Figueredo, 18, Cuba
Gold and R10 000 : Mthuthuzeli November, 18, South Africa
The CTIBC's CEO Dirk Badenhorst announced this evening that the youngest entrant in the 2012 CTIBC, Alexia Bazzo, age 12, would be travelling to New York to compete in the Youth America Grand Prix in April this year.
To bring the evening to a spectacular close, all 45 entrants that had participated in the competition from the first day, delivered an exuberant group performance choreographed by Lindy Raizenberg and set to the music of the Pata Pata, a fitting finale for South Africa’s very own ‘ballet olympics’ . Guest companies and artists included Mzansi Productions’ ballerina Angela Malan and Iain MacDonald, the artistic Director and Principal Dancer with South African Ballet Theatre, the Cape Dance Company, Jazzart Dance Theatre, and the non professional group Young InSPIRAtions from Dance for All.
The Cape Town International Ballet Competition is headed up by Dirk Badenhorst and takes place every two years. It is acknowledged as one of the most high profile events on the country’s cultural calendar and the next event in 2012 is highly anticipated. The competition is supported by the City of Cape Town and the Chiappini Trust.