Finalists pictured above.
The winners of the South African Genée Dance Challenge, an event associated with the Genée International Ballet Competition, are announced.
The Genée Dance Challenge, initiated in London in 2010, took place yesterday afternoon at the Artscape Theatre in front of a capacity audience. It is one of two wrap-around community events (the second being Sizodanisa, Let’s Dance!) associated with the prestigious Genée International Ballet Competition that enters its last day today at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town.
The Challenge is open to local students up to the age of 17 years who are studying with a Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) registered teacher. Participation in the competition gives dancers the opportunity to work with the RAD’s Chair of the Board of Examiners, Ms. Paula Hunt from New Zealand and allows dancers a chance to explore their creativity and perform on a major theatre stage in front of an audience. Since August this year, the Genée Dance Challenge heats have been held all over South Africa in Cape Town, Durban, East London, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria. Winners were chosen in each city and represented their region and ballet schools at the national competition yesterday, Saturday 8 October.
The Challenge is presented on four levels - Level 1 for candidates studying RAD Grade 4 or 5 who have passed RAD Grade 3 who must be 13 years or under by 31st December 2011; Level 2 for candidates studying RAD Intermediate Foundation or Intermediate who must be 15 years or under by 31st December 2011; Level 3 for candidates studying RAD Advanced Foundation or Advanced 1 who must be 17 years or under by 31st December 2011 and Level 4 for candidates studying RAD Advanced 2 (examination not yet taken) and who must be 17 years or under by 31st December 2011.
Candidates were judged on the performance of a ballet solo, choreographed by their RAD teacher and each level was judged separately by the Academy’s Artistic Director, Lynn Wallis and renowned teacher and choreographer, Christopher Hampson who said that he particularly enjoyed the diverse range of music that the teachers had chosen for their choreographies.
One winner was selected at each level (four winners in total) and each received a trophy, Genée memorabilia and two complimentary tickets to the Genée Final. The winners are as follows:
Kiara Beilinsohn from Cape Town taught by Dianne Cheesman
Megan Gerber from Johannesburg taught by June Melville and Dorothy de Witt
Khanya Mandongana from Cape Town, taught by Dianne Cheesman and member of Cape Junior Ballet.
Kathleen Videira, from Johannesburg, taught by Bernice Lloyd and Art of Motion
A special mention was made about Level 3 candidate no 28, Olivia Parfitt from Johannesburg, taught by Vanessa Eborall and Dorothy de Witt.