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Dancers gather for prestigious Prix de Lausanne

Dancers are competing for the Prix de Lausanne. Philippe Pache

The 30th Prix de Lausanne competition for young dancers has drawn hopeful candidates from 22 countries.

More than 100 dancers will compete in both classical and contemporary disciplines before a panel of judges.

Their health will be examined as well as their dancing, to determine whether the participants are able to handle the risks and the gruelling schedule associated with a career in dance.

“The health measures will be drastic,” said Patricia Leroy, secretary-general of the competition. Seminars on health-related issues are scheduled throughout the week-long competition.

Four Swiss dancers are among those hoping to make it through the four elimination rounds. Three are from Zurich, and one is from the Juras.

The final competition, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, is open to the public. The gold medal winner of the coveted Lausanne Prize is to be announced on Sunday, February 3. Winners will also be announced in several specific categories.

Career enhancement

Organisers said the competition “aims to give genuine impetus to the career of prize-winners by enabling them to fine-tune their skills free of charge for a year in a world-renowned dance school.

They can also choose, instead, to spend a one-year apprentice scholarship with a major international dance company.”

Since Philippe and Elvire Braunschweig created the competition in 1972, nearly 3,000 young dancers have participated in the prestigious event.

Balanced training

By focusing on dancers’ health, the organisers are hoping to make dancers more aware of the health risks involved in the profession.

The theme is “Balanced and Effective training…with a view to enhancing performance and lengthening careers,” the organisers said.

The seminars and workshops are to examine issues such as the “physiological perspective on dance training” and will be open to the candidates, their teachers and parents.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR