One of the world’s most prestigious ballet competitions, the Genée International Ballet Competition, run by the Royal Academy of Dance is taking place in Sydney this week.
RNZB Artistic Director Francesco Ventriglia will join David McAllister, Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, and Kevin O’Hare, Director of London’s Royal Ballet, on the judges panel.
“It’s an honour for me to be part of this important competition and to share the judges’ table with these prominent members of the ballet world. Competitions like these provide nonprofessional dancers with incredible opportunity to showcase their talents in an international spotlight and it can become a launch pad for a professional career at the highest level,” says Francesco Ventriglia.
This year’s competition has attracted 86 entrants trained in the Royal Academy of Dance’s syllabus, from around the globe. Candidates receive a unique opportunity to work with renowned choreographers and teachers for five days before performing at the semi-finals, and then the final, where they compete for a range of medals.
“I collaborated with the Royal Academy of Dance in Italy and taught at their summer school in 2013/2014. The RAD is a wonderful organisation that provides huge opportunities for aspiring dancers, which culminates in the Genée.”
Running since 1931, the annual international competition has only ever been held once in New Zealand, which took place at Wellington’s St James Theatre and the RNZB dance studios in 2012. RNZB dancer Abigail Boyle competed in the competition in 2002 when it was last held in Sydney. Renowned New Zealand ballet dancer Rowena Jackson won the gold medal at the Genée competition in 1947. Past medallists have gone on to work for some of the best ballet companies around the world.
The winners of the Genée International Competition will be announced at a ticketed event on 11 December held at the Sydney Opera House.