Entertainment & Arts

South African boy triumphs at ballet awards

Lania Atkins, Jana Baldovino, Leroy Mokgatle and Makensie Henson Image copyright Elliot Franks/RAD
Image caption Lania Atkins, Jana Baldovino, Leroy Mokgatle and Makensie Henson were the night's winners

Young South African dancer Leroy Mokgatle was the winner of the gold medal at the prestigious Genee International Ballet Competition.

The 15-year-old, who was awarded the top prize by the judging panel, also won the Margot Fonteyn Audience Award.

The silver medal was won by Lania Atkins from Australia, while the bronze went to her compatriot Makensie Henson.

Held at London's Sadler's Well Theatre, the contest was streamed worldwide for the first time in its history.

The Royal Academy of Dance's Genee competition is named after its first president, RAD's first president, Dame Adeline Genee.

Dancers from 16 countries took part in this year's competition, which was held over three days leading up to the final.

For the first time, nine entrants were given financial assistance to take part, through the Darcey Bussell Genee Bursary, aimed at assisting those who otherwise could not afford to attend.

The Choreographic Award for the best "dancer's own" work went to Jana Baldovino, 15, from New Zealand

Past Genee medallists have gone on to dance for the Royal Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre and the English National Ballet.

Next year's competition will be held at the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Darcey Bussell bursaries were introduced to give financial aid to dancers

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