A Malaysian ballerina pipped more than 170 other young dancers to the top prize at an international ballet competition in Singapore on Sunday (June 16).
"I was shocked," said Cheyenne Lok, 14, who lives in Kuala Lumpur and hopes to become a professional ballet dancer one day.
The inaugural competition, known as the International Ballet Grand Prix Singa
pore (IBGPS), was organised by the Singapore Dance Alliance and is the first and only ballet competition to be supported by the National Arts Council and Singapore Dance Theatre. It is open to ballet dancers aged seven to 18 of all nationalities and skill levels.
The five-day event, which also featured conferences and workshops on ballet and contemporary dance, culminated in an awards gala at the National Library's Drama Centre Theatre, with Education Minister Ong Ye Kung as the guest of honour.
The prizes were given out after performances by dancers from the Singapore Dance Theatre and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.
heyenne, who attends daily ballet classes and has been learning ballet for a decade, bagged the IBGPS Grand Award - the top award for the competition - as well as the IBGPS first prize for participants aged 13 and 14, and scholarships to ballet programmes at Elmhurst Ballet School, The Australian Ballet School and New Zealand School of Dance.
A total of 60 awards -including encouragement awards - were given out.
On the jury panel were New Zealand School of Dance's director Garry Trinder, Elmhurst Ballet School's artistic director Robert Parker, and The Australian Ballet School's ballet mistress and level 8 classical teacher Joanne Michel.
About half of the 175 dancers who applied were from Singapore, with the remainder hailing from countries such as Malaysia, China, India, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates.
Those who performed well received trophies, medals and certificates on Sunday. A total of 35 scholarships to various local and international ballet programmes were also awarded. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network
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