The stage is set for first Brisbane International Ballet Grand Prix - a new competition that is aimed at equalling the world's top international competitions in scope and prestige.

The BIBGP claims to be the only one of its kind in Australia, with entries open to local and international non-professional dancers aged 10 – 19. They will compete for a prize pool of more than $30,000.

A limited number of dancers will compete in each of the three age categories: • Junior (ages 10 – 11) • Intermediate (ages 12 – 14) • Senior (ages 15 – 19)

Prizemoney will be awarded as trust accounts to further the winners’ dance educations, with the largest portion of the prize pool reserved for the Open category winner ($10,000).

Over the intensive three-day competition, dancers will participate in adjudicated classes, perform both a classical and contemporary solo piece and perform in an evening gala before contesting semi-Finals and a grand final. They will be evaluated by a jury of leading International and Australian ballet professionals including former principal of the Royal Ballet, Mara Galeazzi, award-winning Australian ballerina Kristy Lee Denovan with other international stars to be announced.

Tim Podesta, artistic director of Projection Dance in Albury/Wodonga, is guest Creative Director.  “This is far more than just a competition, this is an invaluable learning experience for the next generation of elite young dancers and we want to really maximise the long-term benefits such an opportunity can bring,” he says. “We want this to be a holistic experience that encompasses every aspect of being a dancer: amazing physical feats but also the creativity and artistry.”

The patron is Mark Brinkley, formerly of the Australian Ballet. “When you have stars like Mara Galeazzi come out to Australia and you’re offered the chance to work alongside them, the experience you gain as a young dancer is invaluable: from learning stage etiquette; to watching how they approach a piece; to how they train, rehearse and prepare; even to how they put their make-up on,” Brinkley says. “Up until now, young dancers had to travel overseas for this kind of experience and exposure. “I hope the Brisbane International Ballet Grand Prix is just the start of a greater presence for us on the world stage where the talent of young local dancers is presented to a wider international community and artistic directors are inspired to travel to Australia more frequently to scout talent and hire our dancers.”

 The Brisbane International Ballet Grand Prix will be staged across three days from 20-22 March 2020 at Edmund Rice Performing Arts Centre, St Laurence’s College, 82 Stephens Road, South Brisbane. Entries close March 6.

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