News: The Genee International Ballet Competition

Wednesday 14 September 2005

The Genée International Ballet Competition took place at Sadler’s Wells on Sunday 11 September. A record number of 53 candidates travelled to London from all over the world including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada & the USA to take part in this internationally renowned competition and finalists from 6 different countries danced on Sadler’s Wells stage, a theatre with a history of bringing the very best international and UK dance to London audiences.

17 year old Céline Gittens from Canada won the Gold Medal for her outstanding performance

Silver Medals were awarded to Nicki Moffatt and Annie Carroll from Australia and Jade Hale-Christofi from the UK. The Bronze medals went to Australia’s Nathan Young and UK’s Julia Davis. Each finalist performed three variations; one of Michael Corder’s specially commissioned variations, one choreographed by Antony Dowson for the 2004 competition in Athens and their own choice of Classical Repertoire variation.

The audience are also given the chance to vote for their own Genée winner, often producing a very different ‘winner’ from the official decision. On this occasion audience and judges were unanimous – as the recipient of the special Audience Award was the Gold Medalist Céline Gittens. exceptional performance evidently charmed the judges and audience alike.

Whilst Finalists awaited the decision of Judges’ Dame Beryl Grey DBE, David Nixon and Wayne Sleep OBE, Agnes Oaks and Thomas Edur performed Impromptu, to rapturous applause. It was originally created in 1982 by Derek Deane to showcase the talent of Dame Antoinette Sibley, President of the Royal Academy of Dance and David Wall.

The competition is hosted in a different country each year. The 2006 Genee International Ballet Competition will take place in Hong Kong.

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