50th anniversary of prestigious dance prize features Monte-Carlo Ballet’s Director as Jury President

Monte-Carlo Ballet’s Jean-Christophe Maillot is leading the jury to select the best of the best at this year’s Prix de Lausanne.

One of the dance world’s most coveted prizes, the Prix de Lausanne dance competition has invited 80 of the world’s top young ballerinas to spend a week, from 29th January to 5th February, honing their skills and performing their art while a panel of expert judges, including Monaco’s Jean-Christophe Maillot, watch their every move.  

The goal is for students from smaller institutions to have a shot at joining top drawer ones by facilitating scholarships to partner companies or dance schools where they embark on a year’s training to help them move to the next level of their careers.   

The event has returned home to Lausanne’s Théâtre de Beaulieu after several years of works forced a relocation to Montreux.  

Of course, performances are important, but evolving is equally so, and the week is spent taking lessons and being coached to improve on the already inherent abilities of the 15 to 18-year-old dancers. The majority of the week is spent preparing for the big event on Friday 3rd February, where the group of 80 will drop to 20.   

Those not selected still have a chance to perform for directors of prestigious schools, with the chance of being invited to join their institutions.   

The 20 chosen ballerinas go on to the final, where they are invited to hit the stage and present their own classical and contemporary variations of the dances worked on during the week. Each jurist then ranks the performances from this group, and the winning dancers are selected using criteria set by the schools and troupes.   

Dancers are judged on a variety of criterium, including artistry, individuality, sensitive response to music, physicality, technical ability and dynamic movement. 


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Photo credit: Rodrigo Buas / Prix de Lausanne