Young dancers in Lausanne compete for a ballet career

The 46th edition of the ‘Prix de Lausanne’ International Ballet Competition kicked off on Monday. This year, 74 young dancers from 16 countries are participating in the prestigious competition. The final will be held on February 3. 

This content was published on January 31, 2018 - 08:33

In this year’s edition, there are no Swiss participants. However, two Swiss-based candidates, a Japanese and a Belgian, both from the Ballet School Theatre in Basel, are taking part.

An abundance of Asian dancers characterises the competition. Some 19 South Koreans, 10 Chinese, and 9 Japanese account for half of the overall participants. 

Paths to becoming a professional ballet dancer in Asia are not plentiful. So, many young dancers from the region come to the Lausanne competition seeking an opportunity to study abroad at prestigious European ballet schools or with ballet companies.

 "The Prix is about potential. Potential is not only where you will end up or what you will do, but it is also what you do with all that you have been prepared for,” said Prix de Lausanne artistic director Shelley Power. 

“At this point, students should not ask themselves [what is possible] because everything is possible. They should feel assured that they have the ability to realize it now. My hope is that they realize the immense opportunity they have to enrich their lives by experiencing the Prix the entire week. Make the best of it and remain present in the moment.”

Japanese dancer Yuriko Kajiya, who performs with the Houston Ballet and who won a scholarship at the Lausanne International Ballet Competition in 2000, is a jury member this time round. Her advice for the young dancers: “do not forget the attitude of always learning".

‘Prix de Lausanne’ International Ballet Competition

The Prix de Lausanne is the international ballet competition known as the young dancer’s gateway to turning professional. The competition has been held in Lausanne since 1973.

The 46th edition will be held from January 28 to February 4, 2018, with the finalists being announced on February 3. This year, 74 dancers from 16 countries, aged from 14 years and 6 months to 19 years old, who passed the preliminary video examination will participate.

Prize winners will receive a scholarship to join a renowned partner ballet school or gain an apprenticeship in various companies.

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