The annual Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland is now underway, with 83 young dancers of 16 different nationalities taking part, including eight from Australia.
For a week, they will be under the careful supervision of an artistic team composed of renowned international dance teachers and coaches to practise and refine their classical and contemporary variations. On Friday, they will present their solos to the jury presided by Jean-Christophe Maillot (artistic director of Les Ballets de Monte Carlo) for selection for the finals, which will be held on Saturday.
For those stuck at home, the competition is being livestreamed on ARTE Concert and the Prix de Lausanne website, with nearly seven hours of live coverage per day. The selections and the finals will be broadcast in their entirety.
The public can support a candidate of their choice by making a donation via the Prix online crowdfunding campaign and by voting for their favourite finalist. The vote will be open after the Selections, directly on the Prix de Lausanne website or via SMS. The money raised will be shared between the winner of the Audience Favourite Award (public on site in Lausanne) and the winner of the Web Audience Favourite Award (on-line audience) to help them get into the school of partner company of their choice.
The Prix de Lausanne, held at the Beaulieu Theatre, is one of the most prestigious in the world. This year it is celebrating its 50th anniversary. To mark the occasion, it is extending its usual program with an extra day of festive events, including a Gala of the Stars, featuring a glittering line-up of guest artists (among them Australia's Steven McRae). Most of them are former Prix de Lausanne candidates or prize winners.
Also in attendance will be the Cuban star and artistic director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Carlos Acosta, who has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Prix. He received the Gold Medal in 1990.
Dance Australia wishes huge 'chookas' to the Australian candidates!