Major turnaround for South African ballet

first_imgSABT dancers in Coppélia, an acclaimed ballet. (Image: supplied by SABT) Funding is critical to ballet companies, danseur Dirk Weyershausen said. New employees Ishshah Basheh and Teboho Nkoana are aiming to contribute to SABT’s growth.  SABT’s executives Iain MacDonald and Fiona Budd.(Images: Bongani Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS • Fiona Budd, Managing Director,SABT +27 11 877 6898 RELATED ARTICLES • SA ballet shines in dark times • Celebrating heritage with dance • South African theatreBongani NkosiAfter months of financial strain, the South African Ballet Theatre (SABT) is back on its feet and ready to stage a glittering season of Carmen, thanks to a range of generous benefactors.After sending out an appeal for funding in late 2009, the company has collected R5.3-million in donations – slightly short of its initial target of R6-million.“We’ve certainly turned the corner,” SABT’s managing director Fiona Budd said at a media briefing in Johannesburg on 6 August. “The money received will give us breathing space and time to build up new relationships.”The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund donated a whopping R2.65-million, while the National Arts Council gave R500 000. Further funds came from well-known South Africans, including Constitutional Court Judge Edwin Cameron and world-famous artist William Kentridge.A private donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, donated R1-million, which astounded Budd: “I thought my eyes had blurred because of so many zeros,” she said.The SABT was hit hard by the economic recession in 2009, as fewer patrons turned up for its seasons. It was also affected by some of its prominent funders pulling out to support more welfare-orientated initiatives like orphanages.Despite this, the company managed to stay debt-free and continued with its outreach programmes in the underprivileged Gauteng communities of Alexandra, Soweto and Katlehong.Where the funds will go The R5.3-million will be used for running the core businesses of the company, including staging productions, settling of music copyrights and paying salaries.A huge chunk of the funds will also go towards buying expensive tailor-made pointe shoes for the dancers, who need a new pair for every season, SABT’s spokesperson Samantha Saevitzon said. The pairs bought now will only last until mid-2011.The SABT has additional fundraising schemes to sustain it in the long run, with its most prominent one being “The Hall of One Thousand Stars”. This is appealing to 1 000 patrons to donate a minimum of R50 every four weeks in the hopes of generating at least R50 000 a month. This money will help keep the company and its social projects afloat.“The Hall of One Thousand Stars is bringing in a good income for us,” said Budd. “Some of our patrons give more R50 a month. We try to make ourselves more sustainable.”Fundraising criticalThe SABT recently created a new role within the company: stakeholder relationships manager, which is “essentially a fundraising position”, Budd said. Teboho Nkoana, who comes from a sales and marketing background, has been appointed for the job.Dirk Weyershausen, a German danseur practising in Norway, said ballet in several European countries is sustained because they “get a lot of their budget from the state”.But not all companies are that lucky. The SABT is no different from many groups across the world which rely on donations to cover the exorbitant costs of putting on a quality season.“I have great respect for doing fundraising, like the SABT does, to keep a company going,” Weyershausen said.The German national is currently working with the SABT on the upcoming season of Carmen, an acclaimed “sizzling and sultry” ballet that premiered in France in 1874. Weyershausen will dance the lead role of Don José, rotating with local and overseas greats like Xola Putye, Humberto Montero and Adam Thurlow.With Carmen needing a cast of about 35 dancers, the South African production will be a big collaboration with individuals from the Cape Town City Ballet and the internationally acclaimed Weyershausen and Thurlow, who comes from Australia.Youngsters trained by the SABT’s Alexandra and Soweto outreach programmes will take the supporting roles. “It’s important that these children are exposed to the environment of theatre, to see what they are training for,” said the company’s senior principal dancer Iain MacDonald.last_img read more

Continue reading

2015 Junior Market Lamb Show results

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Nearly 700 lambs went through the show ring at the 2015 Junior Market Lamb Show that proved to be a long, hot day for animals and exhibitors alike. The Final Grade Drive and Champion Drive were punctuated by thunderstorms rumbling outside and electricity in the air as the winners were selected. Here they are:Grand Champion Bailee Amstutz, Union Co. (Grade Champion)Reserve Champion Logan Harvel, Fayette Co. (Grade Res. Champion)3. Bailee Amstutz, Union Co. (Hampshire Champion)4. Lauren Ott, Huron Co. (Natural Colored Champion)HampshireChampion: Bailee Amstutz, Union Co.Reserve Champion: Colin Gump, Miami Co. ShropshireChampion: Morgan Mazey, Wood Co.Res. Champion: Davis Will, Mercer Co. SouthdownsChampion: Ava Shroyer, Logan Co.Res. Champion: Mason Miller, Tuscarawas Co. SuffolkChampion: Logan Harvel, Fayette Co.Res. Champion: Autumn Miller, Fairfield Co. DorsetChampion: Ava Shroyer, Logan Co.Res. Champion: Ava Shroyer, Logan Co. MontadaleChampion: Brock Martin, Seneca Co.Res. Champion: Corbin Melvin, Fayette Co. OxfordChampion: Lauren Ott, Huron Co.Res. Champion: Autumn Miller, Fairfield Co. AOBChampion: Adam Wagner, Hardin Co.Res. Champion: Morgan Seckel, Marion Co. Brockle-faceChampion: Carly Gump, Miami Co.Res. Champion: Meghann Winters, Guernsey Co. Natural ColoredChampion: Lauren Ott, Huron Co.Res. Champion: Sarah Young, Highland Co. GradeChampion: Bailee Amstutz, Union Co.Res. Champion: Logan Harvel, Fayette Co.Photos by Alyssa Muhlenkamp Oxford exhibitors Montadale exhibitors Justin Mason, 12, Coshocton Co., with his Montadale Olivia McDade, Darke County, with her Dorset. Kendal Sattler, Henry Co., with her Suffolk Autumn Miller, Fairfield County, had the Res. Champ Suffolk Dorsets Justin Howell, 11, Knox Co. with his Southdown Brittany Muhlenkamp, Mercer Co, and Morgan Mazey, Wood Co., show their Shrops. Southdowns Shropshire exhibitors watch the judge Shropshires Shoropshires Logan Harvel with his Hamp Hampshires The judge evaluates a tough Hamp class Logan Harvel with his Hamp The judge evaluates a tough Hamp class. Chase Barkalow, Montgomery Co. Taylor Hites, 15, Logan County with her Hamp. Bailee Amstutz, Union Co., had the Champion Hampshire Neilla Kinsman, 16, Fulton Co., shows her Brockle-face lamb. Kaylee Achor from Highland County works with her Natural Colored lamb in the ring. Wyatt House, 11, Preble County, won his Natural Colored class. On the right is Paige Teeter, Highland Co., 13 with her grade lamb Grade exhibitors Garrett Gwin, Wayne County, with his grade lamb Grade Champion: Bailee Amstutz, Union Co. Grade Champion Drive Grade Champion Drive Champion Drivelast_img read more

Continue reading

J&K Governor calls for security review

first_imgA day after the BJP sought security for its workers in the Valley, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday held a meeting in Srinagar and asked the security agencies “to give due consideration to the genuine apprehensions of political activists working at the grassroots level”. ‘Close watch’“There is a need to constantly maintain a close watch on the ground situation. Leaders of different political parties and other organisations may also raise their security concerns with the security headquarters of the J&K police. Due diligence of threat perception will be carried out by the intelligence agencies before any provision of personal security to persons with a perceived threat,” Mr. Malik said during the meeting. The meeting was attended by Adviser to Governor K. Vijay Kumar, Chief Secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh, Additional Director General of Police Security Muneer Ahmed Khan and Inspector General of Police S.P. Pani. The Governor said he would invite leaders of different political parties to discuss their security concerns and ways to address them “to create a secure political and governance environment for one and all”.Inquiry orderedThe Governor also ordered an inquiry into all attacks that have taken place since October 2018 against political leaders or workers in Kashmir. A report would be filed within 15 days “with appropriate recommendations”, an official said. For elected sarpanches, municipal councillors, mayors and presidents, it was decided that they would be provided a secure room for their stay either at the State or the district level. The J&K administration had on February 20 decided to withdraw security to 18 Hurriyat leaders and 155 political persons and activists, including Shah Faesal, who resigned from the IAS, and Peoples Democratic Party leader Wahid Parray. It was followed by withdrawal of security to leaders of the National Conference and the PDP. Over 1,000 police personnel and over 100 vehicles were freed to do regular police work, the administration said. Alarm bellsHowever, the killing of BJP leader Gul Muhammad Mir, 60, in south Kashmir on May 4 outside his residence has set the alarm bells ringing. The BJP hit the streets in Srinagar on Tuesday to demand security for its workers in Kashmir.last_img read more

Continue reading

Harley Davidson sells its bike to a woman in Bangalore

first_imgSheeja Mathews became the first woman in India to own the iconic cult motorcycle.Why should men have all the fun with Harley Davidson? Bangalore-based HR professional Sheeja Mathews on Tuesday became the first woman in India to own the iconic cult motorcycle, thus breaking the stereotype of only tattoo sporting muscular hunks riding the bike.The 34-year-old, who has been riding to her office on her husband’s Yamaha RD 350 for the past 10 years, is now looking to cruise the new ‘Iron 883’ to her workplace at least once a week.”I didn’t know that I was the first woman to buy a Harley Davidson in India till the company people told me. I thought of upgrading to a Harley when they opened a showroom here,” Mathews said.When asked what prompted her to go for a Harley Davidson, she said: “Well, I have been riding my husband’s bike for the past 10 years and I thought it was high time I upgraded.”Mother of a 7-year-old son, Mathews said even her son is excited about the new bike, on which the family has spent about Rs 8 lakh in total, although the ex-showroom price of the bike is Rs 6.5 lakh.”Oh, he wants me to drop him to school on the bike so that he could show off his mother’s bike to his friends,” she said, adding, she would be taking the bike on long rides on weekends.A self proclaimed foodie and a shopaholic like any other woman, Mathews said she has been a drag racer as well.advertisement”I do drive a (Tata) Safari and (Chevrolet) Cruze but I love bikes,” she said, adding, her businessman husband chipped in 20 per cent of the amount for her Harley Davidson.The American cult bike maker started selling its bikes in India from last year and announced to set up an assembly plant in India in order to cater to demands here.The Iron 833 model is one of the two models to be assembled at the Bawal facility in Haryana. The other model is the Super Low.The company offers a total of 15 models in India priced between Rs 5.5 lakh to Rs 38.66 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).last_img read more

Continue reading