UNCSA Dance alumna is chosen for International Ballet Competition

A recent graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts has been invited to compete at the USA International Ballet Competition (USA IBC) in Jackson, Miss. Yaman Kelemet, who graduated from the high school program in the School of Dance in 2017, is one of 52 Americans who were invited to the competition scheduled for June 10-23.

Les Sylphides

Yaman Kelemet performed in "Les Sylphides" during Spring Dance 2017. / Photo: Rosalie O'Connor

USA IBC is held every four years to provide an opportunity for dancers to test themselves against recognized international standards of dance excellence. Other International Ballet Competitions are held in locations including Moscow, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Varna, Bulgaria, where the event was founded in 1964.

Kelemet is currently a trainee at The Washington Ballet. During her senior year at UNCSA, she performed in Fokine’s “Les Sylphides” during Spring Dance, and danced the role of Sugar Plum Fairy in “The Nutcracker.”

“Yaman is an exquisite dancer, with the potential for a wonderful career,” said Dean of Dance Susan Jaffe, who was a member of the USA IBC selection committee. “A prestigious competition like the USA IBC can certainly enhance her resume.”

It was Jaffe’s first experience evaluating IBC applicants, who auditioned by video. “I selected Yaman for the USA IBC before I really understood who she was,” Jaffe said. “I laughed out loud really hard when I finally recognized her.”

Nutcracker Sugar Plum Fairy

Yaman Kelemet danced the role of Sugar Plum Fairy in "The Nutcracker" 2016. / Photo: Peter Mueller

Jaffe and her evaluation partner watched 289 audition videos from more than 300 dancers who applied to compete as soloists or couples. Dancers from 27 countries applied, with 119 dancers from 19 countries invited to compete for gold, silver and bronze medals, along with cash prizes, scholarships and contracts.

“There are some very beautiful, strong and very talented dancers, so I think it’s going to be an exciting competition,” she said.

by Lauren Whitaker

March 20, 2018