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SA International Ballet Competition

The 7th South African International Ballet Competition to Pivot Online

The South African International Ballet Competition (SAIBC) is pivoting! The highly anticipated event that was scheduled to take place at the Artscape Opera House from 13 to 18 July 2020 has taken a leap into the online space and will now be held virtually. A virtual ballet competition first, the SAIBC Online will now have a far broader reach as dancers, teachers and ballet fans from every corner of the globe are able to connect to it via the web.

While the competition is still six weeks away, no-one knows which Lockdown level the World will be under by mid-July and, even if mass gatherings will be allowed, social distancing will likely be the advised safety protocol for the foreseeable future.

For the SAIBC Online, ages and categories for participants will remain the same: Scholars (12 to 15 years), Juniors (16 to 20 years) and Seniors (21 to 28 years) with men and women competing separately.  Due to the dancers not being able to rehearse in studios during the lockdown, the competition panel will award the top prize in each category by an evaluation process as opposed to the usual scoring system. During the competition week, the panelists will also be giving each entrant constructive feedback after their variation has been viewed.

Each competitor will need to register for the SAIBC Online between 15th and 17th June and those accepted into the competition will then be required to submit video clips of themselves dancing two variations – a classical repertoire solo and a contemporary solo. The dances must be filmed one week prior to the start of the competition. Those without access to a formal dance studio will be permitted to enter in the contemporary division only. The pre-recorded videos of selected candidates will be screened daily to a paying audience and dancers will be assessed by a panel who will offer feedback after each session.

The 2020 Panel is again made up of lauded industry names such as:

  • Ted Brandsen; Director Dutch National Ballet in The Netherlands who will also be the Panel Chair,
  • Runqiao Du; the Artistic Director of the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, USA,
  • Roberta Martins; Zurich Dance Academy in Zurich, Switzerland,
  • Thoriso Magongwa; The National Theatre of Brno in Prague, Czech Republic,
  • Christian Spuck; Artistic Director of The Zurich Ballet in Zurich, Switzerland,
  • Professor Geung Soo KIM; President of the Ballet Society in South Korea,
  • Feng Ying; Director from the National Ballet of China in Beijing;
  • Martha Iris Fernandez Aguero; National Ballet School in Havana, Cuba,
  • Annarella Sánchez; The Annarella Institute of Ballet & Dance in Portugal,
  • Christoph Böhm; The Berlin State Ballet School in Germany.

Interesting to note that dancers will not be scored but evaluated and prizes will include a grand prize for the best entrant overall, as well as bursaries and scholarships to some of the best ballet schools and summer intensive programmes in the dance world.

SAIBC Online subscribers will be able to access the daily online master classes, Live panel discussions and feedback after the competition rounds and the virtual gala on the 18 July where guest artists from around the world will perform especially for the finale performance.

Registration forms, guidelines and related info can be found on www.saibc.com and applicants should please email their video submissions to saibconline@gmail.com. Follow the @saiballetcomp on Instagram and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/saibc/ for updates.

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