Following the 80th anniversary of the RAD in Australia, Sydney hosted the 2016 Genée International Ballet Competition.
The Semi-finals were held at The Concourse in Chatswood from 7–9 December, with the Final taking place at The Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House, on 11 December.
The decision to return to Sydney was made in recognition of Australia’s long commitment to the Genée, where it has produced outstanding candidates every year for the past decade, including the 2015 silver medal winner Lania Atkins, and bronze medal winner Makensie Henson.
This year was no exception. The judging panel, comprised of David McAllister, Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet; Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet; and Francesco Ventriglia, Artistic Director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, awarded eight medals, including two Australian golds.
- Gold medals were awarded to Australian dancers Joshua Price, 16, from Queensland (taught by Janice Heale of The Dance Centre/Amanda Bollinger Dance Academy) and Maeve Nolan, 16, from New South Wales (taught by Marie Walton-Mahon of Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy).
- The female silver medal was won by Australian dancer Talia Fidra, 15 (trained by Heidi Landford; Claudia Dean of Claudia Dean Coaching) while male silver was taken out by Australian Brayden Gallucci, 17 (taught by Hilary Kaplan of Alegria Dance Studios).
- The female bronze was awarded to Madison Ayton, 15, Australia (trained by Annette Roselli of Annette Roselli Dance Academy) and the male bronze was given to Hamish Scott, 18, from the UK (trained by Sarah Dickinson of Elmhurst Ballet School).
Joshua Price was also presented with the Margot Fonteyn Audience Choice Award. The Choreographic Award, sponsored by Mondor, was awarded to Japanese dancer Kanon Kondo, 16 (trained by Moritoshi Kudo of the Kudo Ballet School).
The competition was last held in Australia to great success in 2002 when Sydney Opera House played host to a record number of candidates. This was the first time that the event had been held outside the UK. It also saw a young Sydney native, Steven McRae, take the gold medal. Steven is currently a Principal of The Royal Ballet and was our Genée 2016 Ambassador. Watch Steven talk about the Genée.
Watch the highlights from the 2016 Final: