The forthcoming South African International Ballet Competition (SAIBC) will once again welcome capacity audiences and international judges and competitors to the Artscape Opera House from 25 to 30 July 2022.
Two years of challenging COVID-19 restrictions saw the competition run solely online in 2020 and as a hybrid event in 2021, when only South African dancers competed at Artscape before a live audience. Now, with the easing of mask mandates, lockdown restrictions and travel protocols, several entrants will be flying in from countries such as Cuba, Eswatini and Russia. In addition to South Africa, participating nations include Mongolia, China, Australia, USA, Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand, Latvia, Malaysia, Philippines and Nigeria. The full panel of judges will be present in the Artscape auditorium to adjudicate the proceedings.
The SAIBC, launched in 2008 by Founder and CEO Dirk Badenhorst, is lauded as the most prestigious international ballet competition in Africa. Badenhorst recently announced the distinguished panel of judges for 2022. They are Christoph Böhm (Germany), guest ballet master and teacher at the Berlin State Ballet; Professor Geung Soo Kim (South Korea), former Artistic Director of the Korean National Ballet and president of the world Dance Alliance; Debbie Turner, CEO of Cape Town City Ballet; Roberta Martins (Switzerland), former ballerina and a ballet teacher at the Zürich Dance Academy; Ioshinobu Navarro Sanler (Spain/Cuba), teacher in the Cuban Dance Methodology and expert at Alicia Alonso Institute from the Alicia Alonso Foundation; Artemiy Pyzhov (Russia), First Soloist with the Ballet of Slovak National Theatre and a ballet teacher in Slovakia who trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School; and Ruan Galdino (Brazill / SA), Senior Soloist of Joburg Ballet & founder of the digital platform @blacksinballet. The SAIBC has also partnered with @blacksinballet to sponsor a black dancer from anywhere in the world to compete in this year’s competition.
Dancers whose applications are successful can choose to compete via video submission or in person. Prizes include summer intensives, internships and scholarships at the finest dance facilities around the world and in South Africa.
Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, said, ‘It is a testament to Cape Town’s place on the world stage as a home for the creative, and especially the performative arts, that the South African International Ballet Competition is being hosted in our beautiful city. As a frequent theatregoer myself, I am delighted to see the art of Ballet being elevated in Cape Town. This is particularly important for the younger generation to ensure the continued sustainability of Ballet, both as a pastime and as a profession. Good luck to all contestants, and to those participating in person, please enjoy our city.’
The competition week is broken down into nightly elimination rounds, from Tuesday 26 July to Friday 29 July at 17:00 and on Saturday 30 July at 12:00. Registration day for approved candidates is Monday 25 July 2022 at Artscape. The awards and closing Gala event is on Saturday 30 July at 19:00 and will feature the winners and guest artists, to be announced. Entrants unable to participate at the theatre will compete via video, classifying the 9th SAIBC a hybrid event.