Balletomanes annual awards 2019On Monday evening, 16 December 2019, guests, friends from Friends of Cape Town City Ballet, and Cape Town City Ballet’s company dancers gathered at the Vineyard Hotel, Newlands, to celebrate Balletomanes annual awards 2019, reports SHEILA CHISHOLM:

Hosted by Suzette Raymond –  Chairperson CTCB Board and Friends of Cape Town City Ballet (formerly known as Balletomanes) – the air tingled as everyone speculated who 2019’s recipients would be.

Applause rang loud for Leane Theunissen who won the David Poole Award for contributions in performance and enriching the work of Cape Town City Ballet. Mariette Opperman, received Balletomanes award for Most Outstanding Performance by a female dancer in 2019 for her role as Aurora in Sleeping Beauty. Stephen Underwood took Balletomanes award for Most Outstanding Performance by a male dancer in 2019 for his role as Bluebird in Sleeping Beauty. Chante Daniels received 2019’s  Most Promising Newcomer, and Sir Geoffrey Nieman and Brian van Rheede’s Special Award went to Kirstel Paterson for her 2019 role as Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty.

Balletomanes annual awards 2019

Balletomanes annual awards 2019 special award

Raymond, as Friends of the Ballet chairperson, created a special Friends award for exceptional and dedicated service to Cape Town City Ballet.  This went to Annette Frans – Wardrobe Supervisor (pictured left). In her citation Raymond said “This is for an unsung hero, someone who so richly deserves it. She never complains. Has been with CTCB for over 30 years. Does a beautiful job with all our costumes. No task is ever too much trouble. She’s a gem.”

To more applause, after the main ceremony, Raymond and Debbie Turner CEO, Cape Town City Ballet, payed glowing tribute to Robin van Wyk. Van Wyk, who after spending 22 years with CTCB, 12 years as artistic director choreographer and teacher, is retiring on Christmas Eve to change his dance career stream. Everyone wishes him good fortune in his new life.

Formalities concluded, nibbling tasty snacks, and sipping wine, much happy chatter concluded another Balletomanes awards evening.