South Africa Mourns Passing of World Ballet Legend Johaar Mosaval

Condolences and recognition for his extraordinary achievements continue to pour in for Johaar Mosaval, the District Six-born ballet dancer who defied apartheid to become a senior principal dancer at the Royal Ballet in London. He was 95.

According to IOL, Mosaval started dancing in the 1940s. In 1950, two visiting dancers, Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin, recognised the talented Mosaval and assisted him in getting a scholarship to attend Sadler's Wells Ballet School in London. After a year, he progressed to the Royal Ballet School, and after another year graduated into the Royal Ballet Company.

He was the first black South African to be accepted into the Royal Ballet School, and he went on to have a distinguished career with the company. He was also a founding member of the South African Dance Theatre.

Throughout his life, he has received numerous awards in South Africa as well as abroad. Mosaval was a recipient of numerous awards, including the Order of Ikhamanga in Gold, the highest honour awarded to South Africans for their contribution to the arts.

President Cyril Ramaphosa bestows the Order of Ikhamanga in Gold to Johaar Mosaval at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria, April 25, 2019.

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