Feature: Genée International Ballet Competition 2015

Sunday 12 July 2015 by Jessica Wilson

Genee 2015

With past winners including the Royal Ballet’s Lauren Cuthbertson, Steven McRae and the Mariinsky Ballet’s Xander Parish, you are very likely to be watching stars of the future in the Genée International Ballet Competition.

Later this year the Royal Academy of Dance’s flagship event returns to London, with the semi finals taking place at Stratford Circus * before the Grand Final at Sadler’s Wells *(19 Sep). Since 2002 the competition has taken place in venues around the world, including Sydney, Toronto, Cape Town and Wellington.

The Genée Competition is open to dancers aged 15 – 19 who have passed the RAD’s Advanced 2 with Distinction, with 10 August the closing date for applications this year. Candidates receive coaching from prominent répétiteurs and choreographers as part of a unique week-long creative experience – and the competition culminates with respected figures from the world of ballet – this year led by Dame Monica Mason – judging the finalists competing to take away one of the highly prized medals.

Creative Spaces
As part of Genée 2015, the Royal Academy of Dance are host a number of UK-wide Creative Spaces events to complement the competition in September. In London budding musical theatre stars (beginners and improvers) can take part in Wicked workshops led by a member of the cast of the hit West End musical, or take tea in the Members’ Dining Room of the House of Commons with Genée Final judges Dame Monica Mason, David Nixon (Northern Ballet) and David Bintley (Birmingham Royal Ballet). Sadly tickets to see around the Freed of London factory to watch pointe shoes being made by hand have already been snapped up!

Across the UK fans of Billy Elliot: The Musical can enjoy afternoon tea with Harris Beattie, who played the role of Billy 122 times in 2012 & 2013 (4 Sep, Newcastle-upon-Tyne); in Birmingham there’s the chance to hear Desmond Kelly (former Artistic Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet) and Marion Tait (the company’s current Ballet Mistress) in conversation (4 Sep); in Wales you can observe a Ballet Cymru company class and rehearsal, and hear Artistic Director Darius James, in conversation with RAD Chief Executive Luke Rittner (18 October, Newport). Later in the year there’s the chance for young women to join a contemporary dance class developing skills in a choreography workshop, followed by a discussion with local and leading female choreographers and industry professionals (26 Oct, Eastleigh).

All events can be booked at www.rad.org.uk/creativespaces
Each ticket comes with a discount code for a visit to The Orbit, overlooking the 2012 Aquatics Centre and Olympic Stadium in London.

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