Genee International Competition 2004 of the Royal Academy of Dance in Athens
The Genee International Ballet Competition is one of the most prestigious events in the dance calendar -The Olympics of the Ballet world. So, it is perfectly fitting that this year, young dancers, aged from 14 to 19 years old, compete in Athens, home to the 2004 Olympic Games, to win the coveted gold, silver or bronze medals on the stage of the Odeon of Herod Atticus. On June 6, admire the young artists' talent and technique demonstrated in choreographies by Antony Dowson and Christopher Hampson, in a grand production that bears the signatures of the Royal Academy of Dance and the Cultural Olympiad.
Since its inception in 1931, the Genee International Ballet Competition has become one of the world's leading ballet competitions and the annual flagship event of the Royal Academy of Dance. It was named after Dame Adeline Genee, the famous dancer with the long and illustrious career. It is only the second time that the Competition has been held outside of the UK. (The first time was at the Sydney Opera House, in 2002).
The long procedure for the selection of the best candidates began just after the closing date for applications on April 27, 2004. Only 46 dancers were successful in achieving the required examination result. All these obtained a ticket for travelling to Athens and have the unique experience to work with the world-renowned teachers and choreographers Antony Dowson and Christopher Hampson, from May 29 May to June 2, under the guidance of Lynn Wallis, Artistic Director of Royal Academy of Dance.
The selection criteria are indeed tough. Only few out of the 46 dancers can get the once in a lifetime opportunity to battle for a medal at the Final on June 6, in front of an international audience of 5,000 people and a jury led by the world-famous former prima ballerina, Dame Antoinette Sibley, President of the Royal Academy of Dance .
Under the stars on the stage of the Herod Atticus Odeon, the stunning venue which hosted in the past great dancers such as Rudolf Nureyev, Margot Fonteyn, Maya Plisetskaya and Mikhail Baryshnikov, each finalist dances 2 solos (male - female) by Antony Dowson and Christopher Hampson, as well as the 19th century classical repertoire variation of his/her choice.
Antony Dowson's Formal Allusion (solo for men) and Tread Lightly (solo for women) are performed in world's premiere.
See the detailed program of the evening here.
The competition is extremely hard and the medals, accompanied by Prize money, only 6: three for men and three for women:
Gold medal € 7,500
Silver medal € 4,500
Bronze medal € 3,000
The Gold medal is only awarded when a candidate, in the judges opinion, demonstrates exceptional technical skills, an inate response to music, outstanding performance qualities and charisma.
The Silver medal is awarded to a candidate who is proficient in technique, musicality and performance. Worth to be mentioned is that in 1997 winner of the silver medal was the Greek dancer Pantelis Zikos.
The Bronze medal is awarded to a candidate who is proficient in technique, musicality and performance although some areas of the work may be less strong than others.