CAPE TOWN - The eighth South African International Ballet Competition (SAIBC) came to a spectacular close at the weekend with South Africa winning eleven medals and South Korea scooping eight.
Held at the Artscape Opera House, the week- long hybrid event kicked off on World Ballet Day on October 19 and saw 180 dancers participating from 28 countries.
There were 70 South African dancers on stage and the remaining international contestants competed via pre-recorded video.
Audiences who were in the theatre and watched online, saw every competitor, with the virtual entries being projected onto a huge screen on the stage.
The eighteen member jury, comprised heads of some of the world’s leading ballet schools, academies and training facilities, and represented six continents for the first time since the SAIBC’s inception in 2008.
At any given time, five of the panel assessed the dancers in real time, while three were present in the auditorium.
Miguel Franco-Green, 15, from South Africa won gold and bronze in the Junior Contemporary and Classical sections respectively, while his compatriots Navin Jacobs, 18, took gold in the Senior Contemporary Section, and Lumé Fourie, 10, won gold in the Scholar Contemporary Section.
Xu Wensheng, 19, from China won gold and silver in the Classical and Contemporary Senior Sections respectively; and Minjin Kim, 15, who won silver and bronze in the Junior Classical Contemporary Sections respectively.
South African medal winners were Jawaun Bester, 16, Navin Jacobs, 18, Miguel Franco-Green, 15 (double medal winner), Elsje Styger, 15, Nico Prinsloo, 13 (double medal winner), Michael Hodges, 13, Lumé Fourie, 10, Zoe Prinsloo, 11, and Micke Van Rooyen, 11.