Fierce competition at the Prix de Lausanne

The 45th edition of the Prix de Lausanne Competition for young dancers is underway, with 68 people competing from 17 countries. (Carlo Pisani,

This content was published on February 2, 2017 - 17:00

The event is unique as candidates are assessed over five days, instead of in one single competition. Young dancers are coached on the pieces they have prepared in advance in two categories: classical variation and contemporary variation. They are also trained in new classical and contemporary movements and techniques. 

It’s an international competition, attracting young talent from around the globe, however the country most strongly represented is Japan with 12 dancers.

The dancers are watched by an international jury evaluating their potential talent and how they evolve during their time in Lausanne. This year, in the contemporary variation section of the competition, dancers are learning a piece by choreographer John Neumeier, the director of the Hamburg Ballet.

The competition was started by Swiss industrialist Philippe Braunschweig and his wife, Elvire in 1973. It is considered a gateway for young dancers to start a professional career in ballet. President of the jury, Kevin O'Hare, told “It is more than a competition but a place where young dancers are encouraged, cared for and given the feedback that provides the foundation for future careers."

The final competition will be held on February 4. The prize winners will receive a scholarship to gain free access to a dance school or ballet company for one year.

The competition

The Prix de Lausanne is a world-renowned ballet competition for young dancers aged 15 to 18, held in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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