SOUTH AFRICA SCOOPS 2 BRONZE MEDALS AT THE 2011 GENEE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GENÉE INTERNATIONAL BALLET COMPETITION 2011
Recognised as one of the ballet world’s most prestigious competitions and the flagship event of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), the Genée International Ballet Competition, held at the Artscape Opera House on Sunday 9 October, finished in top form as the Final drew to an exciting close.
The Western Cape’s Mlindi Kulashe (19), originally from Nyanga and Ashley Scott (17) from Hermanus, both currently training at the English National Ballet School in London, were awarded the bronze medals in the male and female categories, to the absolute delight of the audience.
Crowned with success, the overwhelming public response was evident, with sold out performances of the Semi Finals and the Final with the support once again proving the competition’s reputation as a tour de force in the worldwide ballet scene.
Dancers between the ages of 15 and 19 competed in the Semi Finals held over two days and this year saw the participation of dancers from South Africa, the USA, Canada, Wales, Scotland, Israel, Malaysia, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Cyprus and Spain. Candidates are trained in the RAD Syllabus and the male and female entrants were judged separately. The judges were David Nixon OBE, Chair of the Panel and the Artistic Director of Northern Ballet in the UK; Iain MacDonald, the Artistic Director of the South African Ballet Theatre in Johannesburg, and Professor Elizabeth Triegaardt, the Executive Director of Cape Town City Ballet based in the Mother City.
The winners list is as follows:
Gold (R50,000): No gold awarded
Silver (R30,000): Mana Ogawa, Japan, aged 17 and Si Jia Miao, China (Hong Kong) aged 19 Bronze (R20,000): Ashley Scott, South Africa, aged 17
Gold (R50,000): No gold awarded
Silver (R30,000): Jin Hao Zhang, China, aged 16 Bronze (R20,000): Mlindi Kulashe, South Africa, aged 19
Audience Award: Jessica Brown, Australia, aged 15
It is at the judges discretion whether or not to award gold medals. The judges have a clear idea of what a gold performance is and although some outstanding talent was seen at this competition, the Panel did not feel that any one performer delivered that rare performance that merits a gold medal. Mr. Nixon, the Chair of the Panel, said “as well as the candidates did, no gold medal would be awarded this year“. Two silver medals and a bronze medal were awarded in the female category and in the male category, one silver and one bronze medal. The Audience Choice Award, an honour bestowed to the candidate who in the eyes of the audience deserves the top prize, after a very close count was awarded to Jessica Brown, age 15, from Australia.
Said Chief Executive of RAD, Luke Rittner who handed out the Awards onstage, “The warmth and enthusiasm that the RAD membership and ballet lovers in South Africa have exuded for the Genée has been phenomenal; they have not only come out in numbers this evening to watch and support the young dancers, they also orchestrated a remarkable number of events and activities all around the country to raise funds for the Genée.”
As this year’s competition comes to a fulfilling close, bringing to light the young ballet stars on the rise, in a very successful return to London, the international ballet community looks forward to the next Genée International Ballet Competition in 2012 which Luke Rittner announced would take place in Wellington in New Zealand, for the first time.