Top ballet competition heads to Stratford

Harry Davis - 2012 silver medalist at the prestigious ballet competition

Harry Davis - 2012 silver medalist at the prestigious ballet competition - Credit: Archant

Stratford is set to become home to one of the world’s most prestigious ballet competitions this month with performers from all over the world landing on the Circus stage.

The Genée International Ballet Competition, organised by the Royal Academy of Dance, will take place at the Stratford Circus Theatre with a record number of 79 performers from 16 different countries showing off their talents.

The competition, which is returning to London after a five-year international tour, will showcase the work of some of the world’s most talented ballet dancers as they compete in the semi-finals.

Semi-final judge, Jeanetta Laurence OBE, said: “I am delighted to be a part of the prestigious Genée International Ballet Competition 2015, particularly as many of The Royal Ballet’s Principals and artists are Genée alumni.

“The Semi-finals are key in spotting real talent; I’m really looking forward to seeing the creativity that will surely be apparent in the pieces performed for the Dancer’s Own section in which the young dancers bring their own choreography to the stage.”

The Genée, which first took place in London in 1931, is from this year, hoping to open its doors to many more potential competitors.

For the first time, The Royal Academy of Dance has introduced a new bursary programme to encourage more young dancers from across the world to enter the competition by offering financial support.

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The new Darcey Bussell Genée bursaries cover successful applicants’ entry fees, travel expenses and associated costs.

In addition, The Dame Margot Fonteyn Scholarship Fund will also award a bursary of up to £2,000 per annum for the next 5 years to support eligible candidates.

Darcey Bussell CBE, President of the Royal Academy of Dance, said: “It’s an honour for these new bursaries to be in my name.

“The Genée presents a rare opportunity to see the most talented young performers from all across the globe come together.

“Successful bursary applicants are coming from six continents so there will be fantastically diverse showcase in styles.

“This will not only be hugely enjoyable to watch but an invaluable experience for the participants.

“I’m delighted that these bursaries will enable dancers from less fortunate backgrounds to benefit from the Genée.”

The semi-finals of the prestigious event takes place at the Stratford Circus Arts Centre on September 16 and 17 from 10.30am on both days.

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