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48th Prix de Lausanne international ballet competition is on 

Poppi Eccleston (Amanda Bollinger Dance Academy). Photo by Ryan Kettle at Move Photography.
Poppi Eccleston (Amanda Bollinger Dance Academy). Photo by Ryan Kettle at Move Photography.

It’s that time of year! The 48th Prix de Lausanne, held 2 – 9 February, with Finals on 8 February, is upon us, bringing 84 (51 girls and 33 boys) hopeful dancers together from around the world to compete in Montreux, Switzerland. These sharp young dancers will compete for prestigious scholarships granted by global partner schools and companies, enabling winners to further their training in pursuit of a professional career. 

Sophie Beaty (The Australian Ballet School). Photo by Taylor-Ferné Morris.
Sophie Beaty (The Australian Ballet School). Photo by Taylor-Ferné Morris.

The competition has been running each year since 1973, and is open to candidates of all nationalities between the ages of 15 and 18. The intensive week offers candidates daily lessons and workshops, individual discussions with jury members, exposure and opportunities to network with professionals and other competitors from around the world.

These competitors were selected by video in October 2019, in Lausanne by a panel of nine jury members. In total, 377 applicants (301 girls and 76 boys) from 44 different countries submitted their entries, and out of 62 Australians, 12 were chosen to compete.

The Australian dancers attending the Prix de Lausanne 2020 are Bronte Barnett (Sydney College of Dance), Sophie Beaty (The Australian Ballet School), Emilia Bignami (Queensland College of Dance),  Poppi Eccleston (Amanda Bollinger Dance Academy), Samantha Geddes (Atelier), Austen McDonald (Tanya Pearson Academy), Alfie Shacklock (The Dance Centre Peregian Springs), Lincoln Sharp (Tanya Pearson Academy), Isabella Smith (The West Australian School of Dance), Jackson Smith-Leishman (Amanda Bollinger Dance Academy), Eliza Wenham (Tanya Pearson Academy) and Charlie Young (Atelier).

Jackson Smith-Leishman (Amanda Bollinger Dance Academy). Photo by Ryan Kettle at Move Photography.
Jackson Smith-Leishman (Amanda Bollinger Dance Academy). Photo by Ryan Kettle at Move Photography.

Kathryn Bradney, Prix de Lausanne’s artistic and executive director notes, “I am proud to present the selected dancers that will take part in the Prix de Lausanne 2020. These chosen dancers are the results of the video selections, with applicants from a large and varied number of countries, but also the successful results of our first Summer Intensive – European Preselection, that took place last July in Lausanne. I also went to Beijing in August and to Goiania (Brazil) in September and chose five dancers. I am sending all of the contestants my very best wishes and look forward to meeting them all in Montreux!”

The daily sessions and selections will be presented by Emma Sandall (Prize Winner, Prix de Lausanne 1994) and Jason Beechey. Sandall will also introduce the Selections. The Finals will be presented by Deborah Bull (Prize Winner, Prix de Lausanne 1980).

Stay up to date with the live stream at www.prixdelausanne.org/multimedia/live-streaming with extracts from the Studio 2, where the jury observes the candidates! The Selections and the Finals will be live streamed in their entirety and replays available here.

To all the competitors, Dance Informa wishes you the best of luck!

By Renata Ogayar of Dance Informa.

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