Standard Bank Young Artists

The Standard Bank Young Artist Awards were established by the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown in 1984 to recognise relatively established young emerging South African artists who demonstrate  outstanding artistic talent. The National Arts Festival Committee select winners in five different disciplines: Theatre, Music, Dance, Jazz and Visual Art-and from time to time Film.

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2014 dance winner

The National Arts Festival's 2014 Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance, 30 year old Nicola Elliott, is inspired by aesthetics, and by the bizarre experiences that come with being human and living in South African society. As a choreographer-director, performer, dance lecturer and facilitator, Elliott is known for her intellectual rigour, wit and irony; and her aesthetic favours bold juxtaposition, detailed performance crafting and starkness. She admits that she is very ambitious in making her visions manifest.


Elliott works in the fields of dance, theatre, dance-theatre, physical theatre and integrated dance and has briefly explored dance film.  She completed her Master's degree in Drama at Rhodes University, specialising in Choreography, before returning to her home-town of Cape Town, where she continues to work on a project basis.  She has received...

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Winner
2014
Dance

2013 dance winner

Standard Bank Young Artist 2013 for Dance, Fana Tshabalala, believes that the creative process of contemporary dance and the opportunity to work with strong role models has helped him to appreciate his abilities and encouraged him to achieve his own success.

"Wining this award means a new beginning in my career and more opportunities for me as an artist," said Tshabalala. "I think this award will also show people that there is hope in the future of dance,"...

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Winner
2013
Dance

2012 dance winner

From a very young age, the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Dance 2012 winner, Bailey Snyman, pursued a vision of how the arts can challenge perceptions and ideologies  in the 21st century.

The 33 year old dance choreographer from Kimberley describes physical theatre as a medium in which anything can happen, with no right or wrong answers, allowing the performers and choreographer to be able to make fresh, new and exciting work that brings together many different theatre, dance and creative styles. "Audiences at the 2012 National...

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Winner
2012
Dance

2011 dance winner

Mamela Nyamza believes that in order to be a dancer, you must use your body as an instrument to react to all forms of sound. "Growing up in Gugulethu with a huge family did not give me a choice but to love dancing. There is music and sound, all day long, and even in the streets the noise became the music," says Nyamza.

After graduating from Fezeka High School in Gugulethu, Mamela went to study a national diploma in ballet through the Pretoria Technikon Arts Facility. In addition to her diploma, Mamela has completed a one-year fellowship at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Centre in 1998 and also participated in intensive choreography workshops at the Vienna International dance...

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Winner
2011
Dance

2010 dance winner

Durbanite Mlu Zondi (34) was the 2010 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for dance. "As a young artist, winning this award puts you on the forefront of the South African art scene. It boosts your confidence immensely, allowing you to create without the self-censorship that comes with uncertainty."

"You also get a huge platform at the National Arts Festival, exposing your work to a wider audience. What more can you ask for?" said an excited Zondi. This dynamic, out-of-the-box performer moves seamlessly between the stage, gallery and public spaces, and challenges the boundaries of the dance discipline with his cutting edge performance art,...

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Winner
2010
Dance
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