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Moscow International Ballet Competition (About the competition)

Bolshoi Theatre, Russia

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About the competition

Held every four years, the Moscow International Ballet Competition has become one of the worldwide ballet community’s most prestigious and highly anticipated annual events. Founded in 1969 by three legends of Russian Ballet—Igor Moiseyev, Olga Lepeshinskaya, and Galina Ulanova—it attracts talented young dancers from all over the world, with honorees going on to lead successful careers built on the invaluable experience and professional connections made there. The competition frequently pays tribute to outstanding ballet personalities, most notably choreographer Marius Petipa in 1993, ballerina Galina Ulanova in 2001, and ballerina Marina Semenova in 2009.

Since 2001, a new contest for choreographers was added, giving rise to the event’s current three categories: choreographers, junior dancers, and senior dancers. It has also highlighted the event’s other important functions: as an opportunity for international discussion and exchange among dancers, teachers, and choreographers, and as a platform for the development of ballet science.

Over the competition’s history, the Grand Prix has been awarded to only four dancers: Nadezhda Pavlova (USSR, 1973), Irek Mukhamedov (USSR, 1981), Andrei Batalov (Russia, 1997), Denis Matvienko (Ukraine, 2005). Previous winners of the competition’s other prizes have included Francesca Zumbo, Patrice Bart, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Eva Evdokimova, Lyudmila Semenyaka, Viacheslav Gordeev, Loipa Araujo, Vladimir Derevyanko, Nina Ananiashvili, Andris Liepa, Julio Bocca, Vladimir Malakhov, Maria Aleksandrova, Alina Cojocaru, Nikolay Tsiskaridze, Natalia Osipova, Ivan Vasiliev, among others.

The competition’s international jury is always composed of celebrated representatives of ballet’s elite, and has included Marina Semenova, Maya Plietskaya, Vladimir Vasiliev, Yvette Chauvire and Claud Bessy (France), Alicia Alonso (Cuba), Arnold Haskell (UK), Allan Fridericia and Kirsten Ralov (Danmark), Birgit Cullberg (Sweden), Rudivan Dantzig (Netherlands), Robert Joffrey and Natalya Makarova (USA), Konstanze Vernon and Dietmar Seiffert (Germany), Doris Lane (Finland), Julio Bocca (Argentina), and many more.

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