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Written by: SABT

Burnise Silvius was born in Pretoria and began dancing lessons at the age of four, studying at Pro Arte School, Pretoria and privately with Paula Olivier and Catherine Burnett.

She joined the State Theatre Ballet (then PACT Ballet) in 1994, winning the Madge Cade Award for the Most Promising Aspirant Dancer and graduated to the corps de ballet. She was promoted to Principal Dancer in 1999. As a professional dancer, she competed in the 1997 Sanlam International Competition in Pretoria and was placed second in the professional category and won the Best Solo Performance Award.

After the closure of The State Theatre Ballet in 2000 Burnise was invited to dance with the Hong Kong Ballet and joined the company as a senior soloist, participating in a European tour.

In 2001 Burnise returned to South African to join the newly formed South African Ballet Theatre as a Principal Dancer. Her roles for SABT have included the title roles in 'Giselle' and Veronica Paeper's 'Carmen', Odette/Odile in 'Swan Lake', Swanhilda in 'Copplia', Juliet in 'Romeo and Juliet', the 'Flower Festival at Genzano' pas de deux and 'Napoli Act III' for the Royal Danish Ballet collaboration, the title role in 'Papillon', Ophelia in Kenneth Greve's 'Hamlet' and the title role in Cinderella'. Burnise was part of the group of SABT dancers who performed with the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen in September 2003.

In February 2004 Burnise was the recipient of the second Geoffrey Nieman and Brian van Rheede Award for her portrayal of 'Carmen'.

In the beginning of 2004 Burnise guested with the National Ballet of Canada as a Soloist and took leave of absence from SABT to guest with the company in the latter part of 2004 and into 2005. While in Canada she performed in Madame Butterfly, James Kudelkas Nutcracker, Magdalena Papas La Sylphide and Suzanne Farrells Serenade.

In May 2005 she returned to South Africa to guest with SABT as Camille in 'La Traviata' (partnered by Guillaume Ct) and as Aurora in 'The Sleeping Beauty' (partnered by Michael Revie and Kimbrian Bergh). Burnise rejoined SABT full-time in September 2005 performing in Rock-a-Tutu as Princess Rose, the title role in Cinderella as well as the Gold Lady in Who Cares.

Burnise also toured with SABT to Russia where her performance of the Le Corsair pas de deux was tremendously well received. Since then, she has appeared in the title roles of ballets such as Coppelia, Who Cares?, Hamlet, The Nutcracker Romeo & Juliet and Don Quixote.


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