'Life-changing' Competing for the Prix de Lausanne 2017




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Marina Fernandes da Costa Duarte is one of 68 dancers from 17 different countries in competition at the 45th edition of the Prix de Lausanne. The contest, which ends on February 5, can act as a springboard for an international career. 

Fernandes da Costa Duarte attends Monaco’s Princess Grace Academy. She has to juggle studying with an intense schedule of daily rehearsal sessions. But her commitment has paid off in making it through to the Prix de Lausanne. She sees the competition a life-changing experience that will not only help her to become a better dancer, but also a better person. 

The Prix de Lausanne is an international competition for young dancers of all nationalities aged 15 to 18 who are not yet professionals. It is different from other competitions because it rewards potential rather than present accomplishment. For this reason, the judges sit in on classes and practice during the week, to help them select the finalists. Winners receive scholarships to join renowned partner ballet schools or gain an apprenticeship to companies such as the Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier or the Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Former famous winners include Darcey Bussell, retired prima ballerina of the Royal Ballet, and Carlos Acosta, former principal guest artist with the Royal Ballet.

(Carlo Pisani and Ruiko Ono, swissinfo.ch)