BY MAYA HARIDAS
The finals of the 2022 edition of the Prix De Lausanne took place in Montreux, Switzerland on the 5th of February. If you were not able to catch the finals, or just want the results, here is a quick round up.
What is the Prix?
The Prix de Lausanne is an international dance competition held annually in Switzerland. The competition is for young dancers seeking to pursue a professional career in classical ballet.It is managed by a non-profit foundation calledthe Fondation en faveur de l’Art chorégraphique and is maintained by various sponsors, patrons and donors.
Prix de Lausanne was founded in 1973 by Philippe Braunschweig and his wife Elvire. The Braunschweigs created the competition after noticing the lack of financial support to young dance students, particularly those from small regional schools, wishing to attend professional level programs.
Around 80 candidates from 30 or so countries compete each year, in the hope of being selected for the final.
How does one enter?
Entry is reserved for young student-dancers, aged 15 through 18, who have not yet been in professional employment. It is open to candidates of all nationalities.
Currently, participants who want to audition are required to submit a 15–20 min digital recording showing them performing a combination of barre and centre-work exercises in a studio environment. 70 dancers are chosen to take part in the Prix, from which 20 finalists are chosen over the course of the 6 days.
The Prix was held over 5 days during which the candidates went through various stages of selections, training and finals. The competition was streamed online.
Days 1, 2, 3 and 4 – The 70 candidates were given coaching and workshops by eminent figures in the dance world. Many of these sessions had the Jury watching and making notes on the candidates’ progress.
Day 5 – Selections for the Final: candidates perform their Classical and Contemporary pieces.
Day 6 – The 20 selected candidates performed their pieces for the Jury, which was presided over by the International Dance Educator & Former Principal dancer of the New York City Ballet Margaret Tracey, and 7 winners were selected.
An interesting point to note is that 60 percent of the prize winners this year are Asian. Asia has consistently been the most successful continent at the Prix, with China, Japan and South Korea having at least one and often 2 winners each year.
Scholarship Winners 2022
With the scholarships they won, 7 promising dancers will have the opportunity to enter one of the prestigious partner schools and companies of the Prix de Lausanne. The 7 Prix de Lausanne 2022 Scholarship Prize Winners are:
Scholarship 4: Fondation Albert Amon
Scholarship 6: Logitech
Scholarship 7: Bourse Jeune Étoile
Click here to see a full list including secondary awards.
And here for the Prix de Lausanne Youtube Channel.
We also want to showcase our own favourite entry, a spectacular variation from Le Corsaire by Korean dancer Seungmin Lee. He had an unfortunate fall during his finals performance but this did not throw him off or impede him at all! Watch how he flawlessly turns it into a part of the choreography, and the performance itself is simply spectacular. Enjoy!
Notable Prix de Lausanne Winners
Mayara Magri was born in Brazil and trained at a ballet school there after gaining a scholarship. She won the Prix de Lausanne Scholarship and Audience Award in 2011, at the age of 16.
Her prize enabled her to study at the The Royal Ballet School in London, and a year later she was offered a place at the Royal Ballet Company. At 26 Magri was made a Principal Dancer, her roles include – Swanilda, Juliet, Kitri and Sugarplum Fairy. Check out her instagram handle @maymagrioffical.
Another example is Chengwu Guo, who was born in China. At the age of 11, Guo joined the Beijing Dance Academy. He won the 2006 Prix de Lausanne scholarship and joined The Australian Ballet School at the age of 17.
He became a part of The Australian Ballet Company at the age of 18. On 25 November 2013 Guo was promoted to Principal Artist. Guo also played the dancer Li Cunxin as a teenager in the 2009 film Mao’s Last Dancer based on Cunxin’s true life story. His facebook handle is ChengwuGuoOfficial.