The Genée International Ballet Competition 2017 was held in Lisbon, Portugal from 7–16 September.
The competition attracted 52 of the world’s finest young dancers from 14 countries, aged between 15 to 19 years old and culminated in a competitive final that was judged by former Director of The Royal Ballet Dame Monica Mason, former Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Dance Lynn Wallis OBE and CEO/Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet Christopher Hampson.
The prestigious gold medal was awarded to British dancer Harris Beattie, aged 18 trained by Karen Berry, Danscentre and Resmi Malko, Central School of Ballet. Silver medals were awarded to Australian dancers Lucy Christodoulou, aged 17 trained by Annette Roselli, Annette Roselli Dance Academy, and Matthew Maxwell, aged 15 also trained by Annette Roselli, Annette Roselli Dance Academy. British dancer Ryan Felix aged 17 trained by Sarah Dickinson, Elmhurst Ballet School and Japanese dancer Lin Fujimoto aged 18, trained by Denise Whiteman, Elmhurst Ballet School were awarded bronze medals.
Harris Beattie was also presented with the Margot Fonteyn Audience Choice Award and the Choreographic Award for his Dancer’s Own variation Torn, which he choreographed with his teacher Karen Berry. The judges felt that his choreography demonstrated the highest standard of choreography within the Dancer’s Own category.
Harris Beattie is the first dancer to win all three awards: gold medal, Audience Choice Award and the Choreographic Award.
Now in its 86th year, the Genée International Ballet Competition is named after RAD's first president Dame Adeline Genée and is renowned for launching the professional careers of young dancers. Past medallists have gone on to join celebrated companies around the world including: The Australian Ballet, The Mariinsky Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, The National Ballet of Canada, English National Ballet and The Royal Ballet.
The Genée provides pre-professional dancers the opportunity to receive world-class coaching with renowned choreographers and teachers. This year’s Commissioned Choreographer, Lisbon-native César Augusto Moniz, created choreography specifically for the Genée which was revealed for the first time in the competition final.
As the 2017 competition comes to close, the international ballet community looks forward to the next Genée International Ballet Competition in 2018 which the RAD is pleased to announce will take place in Hong Kong.