People In Dance

RamonaDeSaaOne of the leading international figures in ballet training, Ramona de Saá has forged international recognition for Cuba’s ballet training methods. She is Director and Professor at the National Ballet School of Cuba and Associate Professor at Cuba’s Higher Institute of Art and Methodology of the National Centre for Schools of Art. A disciple of Alicia Alonso, she studied at the Academy Alicia Alonso and in 1954 was part of the first international tour of the Ballet Alicia Alonso. As a founding dancer of the National Ballet of Cuba (1959), she became one of the company’s most promising dancers before an injury led to her retirement as a dancer in 1966. She subsequently pursued a career as a teacher, winning acclaim for her work in Cuba and internationally, receiving many awards in recognition of her achievements. She has judged in several international ballet competitions, most recently the Cape Town International Ballet Competition 2012. Many of her students have won international fame, among them Royal Ballet star Carlos Acosta.

Dr. Ramona de Saá, during her first visit to South Africa, conducted a four-day Ballet workshop, presented by Mzansi Productions in Johannesburg, during March 2012

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Profiles on Principal Dancers & Directors of The South African Ballet Theatre...

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Profiles on Principal Dancers & Directors of the Cape Town City Ballet...

Read more about Prof Elizabeth Triegaardt, Keith Mackintosh, Robin van Wyk, Tracy Li, Mervyn Williams, Johnny Bovang, Megan Swart, Laura Bosenberg.

 

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AMSTEL SALUTES BTAs PENELOPE THLOLOE

Penelope ThloloeBallet Theatre Afrikan is delighted to announce that Penelope Thloloe, Director of Satellite Schools Projects for Ballet Theatre Afrikan, is one of the winners of the Amstel salute to Success Award.

On the night of shooting the final episode, the Communications Manager of SAB Michael Farr announced that Amstel was so impressed with the candidates that they decided to triple the investment. R100 000 was handed to 3 winners.

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kittyMzansi Productions dancer Kitty Phetla is one of the most recognizable personalities on the South African stage, a tall, strikingly beautiful dancer quite unlike any other. In a profession where uniformity is often the norm, Kitty Phetla is unique. And current nationwide exposure in a television commercial for First National Bank has extended her recognisability to celebrity status.

But what of the woman behind the dancer and beyond the advertising commercials, and how does she see her future unfolding? “Now is my future. I live for the here and now, one moment at a time, with a smile and with discipline.”

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Li Cunxin

Li Cunxin (pronounced “Lee Schwin Sing”) is a remarkable man borne of a remarkable story. He has published a remarkable book about his extraordinary life. In his runaway best selling autobiography, Mao' s Last Dancer, Li recounts his determination, perseverance, vision, courage and hard work, and in particular, the sacred family values and integrity that he learned in poverty-stricken China, which has driven him to become one of the best dancers in the world. He tells of how the sixth of seven sons born to peasants grew up worshipping Mao Zedong before defecting to the United States.

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DAWN WELLER, OMSS ARAD

DawnWellerDawn Weller brings to The Graduate College of Dance over 35 years of experience in the international ballet world. Trained in South Africa and abroad by prominent figures in the field of dance, Dawn joined The State Theatre Ballet in 1965 and moved rapidly through the ranks to principal dancer status by the age of 19. During her career as a dancer, she built up an extensive repertoire that included all the major classics, full-length dramatic works, shorter ballets and works created for her by leading 20th century choreographers. She was the first South African ballerina to be the subject of a book (Dawn Weller: Portrait of a ballerina) and was the subject of several national TV documentaries. On many occasions Dawn was the recipient of leading awards for dancers. Her contribution to dance was acknowledged by South Africa when she was awarded the Order of Meritorious Service Silver (O.M.S.S.), having the Dawn Weller floribunda rose named after her in 1994 and receiving the Nederberg Award in 1996 for "her contribution to Ballet and creating a company of international standard".

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Andile Ndlovu is a South African ballet dancer with an extremely promising future. Ballet always fascinated Andile as a young child and he wanted to show that boys, especially black boys can do ballet.

Andile Ndlovu

Ndlovu who was born in Ladysmith, Kwa-Zulu Natal and moved to Johannesburg with his family at the age of 10 was not part of the stereotypical crowd who would be doing ballet. Ballet was and still is believed by many to be an elitist art form where mostly white rich folk are a part of.

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