Dance veterans honoured for their commitment

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Four classical dance veterans have been recognised for their dedication and prolific skills in this highly demanding dance discipline.

They are members of The South African Ballet Theatre (SABT) and were presented with the awards before a capacity audience after the final performance of Cinderella - the Ballet at the Mandela theatre of the Johannesburg Theatre, in Braamfontein, last week.

The Madge Cade Trust was established in 1989 in terms of the wishes of the late Madge Cade, an ardent supporter of classical ballet. The trust was amalgamated into the SABT Trust in 2003.

Two awards, namely the Madge Cade Award and the Giselle Trophy, were presented to the dancers by acting SABT artistic director Iain MacDonald.

The prestigious Giselle Award was awarded to Jenny Barlow for her dedication and significant contribution to the academy.

Barlow is currently the director of the SABT Academy, which was established to give promising young high school dancers an opportunity to supplement their training with private teachers.

The dancers do most of their performances in groups in order to prepare for the Corps de Ballet, should they enter a professional ballet company.

The dancers, who are aged between 13 and 16, take regular classes with locally and internationally acclaimed teachers.

The 2009 Madge Cade Awards went to senior principal and coach Angela Malan and senior Corps de Ballet member Nicole Ferreira.

Malan is the highest-ranking female professional ballet dancer in South Africa. She was honoured for her unwavering commitment to the SABT and to ballet generally in South Africa.

Nicole Ferreira was born in Pretoria and she began her dance training at the tender age of five with master dancers Diane Cassidy, Joy Cooper and Michelle Naudé.

She trained in classical ballet, Spanish and modern dance. In 2007, Ferreira was accepted into the SABT's graduate programme and she appeared in Romeo and Juliet, Ballet Highlights,Swan Lake and The Nutcracker.

Ferreira also appeared in the broadcast of Swan Lake on SABC2 in December 2007.

A special third prize for the 2009 Madge Cade Award for her immense contribution to SABT went to Karen Beukes, one of South Africa's best loved ballerinas.

When she retired from stage performance, she was promoted to director: artistic, studio and productions for SABT.

Beukes was also one of the six founder members of SABT. She stepped down as its artistic director in January 2009.