Prix de Lausanne 2024

“Rising Stars”
Théâtre de Beaulieu
Lausanne, Switzerland
February 04, 2024 (livestream)

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2024 by Ilona Landgraf

1. Finalists, Prix de Lausanne 2024 © G.BatardonYear after year, the organization team of the Prix de Lausanne has done a great job offering its online audience insight into the competition. This year, the one-week event concluded with a newly launched Rising Stars gala, which presented the finalists and three new choreographies. It was also streamed live.

2. T.Toshida (Japan), Architanz Training Program; Prix de Lausanne 2024 © G.Batardon3. T.Toshida (Japan), Architanz Training Program; Prix de Lausanne 2024 © G.BatardonAlthough the competition is officially limited to a maximum of seventy-five participants from which six to eight prize winners are chosen, number restrictions were taken lightly this year. Eighty-seven young dancers from eighteen countries were admitted, and prizes – (i.e., one of the sought-after scholarships) – were awarded to nine talents. Boys were especially fortunate, as almost half of the original ninety-two applicants were invited to Lausanne. Preselection was tougher on the girls; only forty-three of 333 total applicants were admitted.

5. J.P.Dos Santos Silva (Brasil), Basileu França; Prix de Lausanne 2024 © G.Batardon4. J.P.Dos Santos Silva (Brasil), Basileu França; Prix de Lausanne 2024 © G.BatardonIn the early days of the Prix de Lausanne, candidates had more freedom in selecting their presentations, presently, however, the artistic committee predetermines a selection of classical and contemporary pieces, and each candidate selects one of those to prepare. This process made it easier for the jury to make comparisons but resulted in a repetitious program at the gala. Several variations were shown twice; Do You Care? by Aleisha Walker was presented three times. While the nine prize winners danced both the classical and contemporary variations, the other eleven finalists performed one solo each. Only one boy – the Brazilian João Pedro Dos Santos Silva – dared to tackle the role of Harlequin from Petipa’s Harlequinade. It was a good choice – he won a scholarship.
6. P.Livellara Vidart (Argentina), Académie Princesse Grace; Prix de Lausanne 2024 © G.Batardon 7. P.Livellara Vidart (Argentina), Académie Princesse Grace; Prix de Lausanne 2024 © G.Batardon Three of the winners train at Monte-Carlo’s Académie Princesse Grace: Paloma Livellara Vidart from Argentina (her timing in the Gamsatti variation of La Bayadère was on point), the Frenchman Juliann Fedele-Malard (who infused Christopher Wheeldon’s shilly-shally Urge for Going with energy), and Martinho Lima Santos from Portugal (his Ali from Le Corsaire had power).

9. J.Fedele-Malard (France), Académie Princesse Grace; Prix de Lausanne 2024 © G.Batardon8. J.Fedele-Malard (France), Académie Princesse Grace; Prix de Lausanne 2024 © G.BatardonI admired the determination of Crystal Huang (U.S.A.) in the acrobatic Do You Care? and the Japanese Airi Kobayashi’s change of pace in the Raymonda variation. The Australian Jenson Blight gave Tout va bien? the right flow; Taichi Toshida from Japan was a light-footed Colas, and Natalie Steele from the United States was a fine Aurora. However, Steele was so absorbed in maintaining the refinement of her turns that she finished wobbly – a reminder of how challenging classical ballet is.

10. M.Lima Santos (Portugal), Académie Princesse Grace; Prix de Lausanne 2024 © G.Batardon11. M.Lima Santos (Portugal), Académie Princesse Grace; Prix de Lausanne 2024 © G.BatardonOf the fifty-five young choreographers who submitted pieces, five reached the final. Two of them – Kseniya Kosova and Quinn Bates – won the Young Creation Award 2024. The American Bates is among the graduating class of the School of the Hamburg Ballet, John Neumeier. His Groovin’ is a hip solo that combines machine-like angularity with smooth fluidity and a solid shot of hip-hop. It was accompanied by the rattling sounds of the Bonkers Beat Club’s Clean Cut and danced by Bates’s fellow student Miguel Artur Alves Oliveira.
13. C.Huang (U.S.A.), Bayer Ballet Academy; The Rock Center for Dance; Prix de Lausanne 2024 © G.Batardon12. C.Huang (U.S.A.), Bayer Ballet Academy; The Rock Center for Dance; Prix de Lausanne 2024 © G.BatardonThe Belarussian-born Kosova, a student of the Palucca University of Dance in Dresden, created the solo Under Glass to piano music by Sebastian Oswald. It featured her fellow student Satura Natorigawa who tentatively stepped out of her comfort zone to explore the open space but later tucked herself back into self-imposed confinement. Natorigawa superbly conveyed the fragility of this process and the courage it requires.
14. A.Kobayashi (Japan), Deparc Ballet School; Prix de Lausanne 2024 © G.Batardon 15. A.Kobayashi (Japan), Deparc Ballet School; Prix de Lausanne 2024 © G.Batardon This year’s non-competing choreographic project was assigned to Kinsun Chan, director of the dance company of the Theater St.Gallen and, beginning this September, the Semperoper Ballet Dresden’s new artistic director. Within one week, Chan created SCHRäääg, a piece for twenty-five dancers from partner schools. Although witty at first, it soon turned into clumsy jumping about and looked dumb rather than funny. Let’s see how Chan will fare at the Semperoper.

17. J.Blight (Australia), Queensland Ballet Academy; Prix de Lausanne 2024 © G.Batardon16. J.Blight (Australia), Queensland Ballet Academy; Prix de Lausanne 2024 © G.BatardonThe gala was framed by two former Prix de Lausanne Prize Winners – Madison Young and Julian MacKay (both principals of the Bavarian State Ballet, Munich) who danced a pas de deux from Don Quixote and Le Parc. I know that the Bavarian State Ballet’s artistic director Laurent Hilaire likes Angelin Preljocaj’s Le Parc and also that the piece is in the repertory this season. Nevertheless, its sensual flying kiss pas de deux didn’t seem appropriate to open a youth competition.18. N.Steele (U.S.A.), American Ballet Theatre, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School; Prix de Lausanne 2024 © G.Batardon

Links: Website of the Prix de Lausanne
Prix de Lausanne 2024 – Trailer
Photos: 1. Finalists, Prix de Lausanne 2024
2. Taichi Toshida (Japan), Architanz Training Program; Prix de Lausanne 2024 
3. Taichi Toshida (Japan), Architanz Training Program; Prix de Lausanne 2024
4. João Pedro Dos Santos Silva (Brasil), Basileu França; Prix de Lausanne 2024
5. João Pedro Dos Santos Silva (Brasil), Basileu França; Prix de Lausanne 2024
6. Paloma Livellara Vidart (Argentina), Académie Princesse Grace; Prix de Lausanne 2024 
7. Paloma Livellara Vidart (Argentina), Académie Princesse Grace; Prix de Lausanne 2024 
8. Juliann Fedele-Malard (France), Académie Princesse Grace; Prix de Lausanne 2024
9. Juliann Fedele-Malard (France), Académie Princesse Grace; Prix de Lausanne 2024 
10. Martinho Lima Santos (Portugal), Académie Princesse Grace; Prix de Lausanne 2024 
11. Martinho Lima Santos (Portugal), Académie Princesse Grace; Prix de Lausanne 2024 
12. Crystal Huang (U.S.A.), Bayer Ballet Academy; The Rock Center for Dance; Prix de Lausanne 2024
13. Crystal Huang (U.S.A.), Bayer Ballet Academy; The Rock Center for Dance; Prix de Lausanne 2024
14. Airi Kobayashi (Japan), Deparc Ballet School; Prix de Lausanne 2024
15. Airi Kobayashi (Japan), Deparc Ballet School; Prix de Lausanne 2024
16. Jenson Blight (Australia), Queensland Ballet Academy; Prix de Lausanne 2024
17. Jenson Blight (Australia), Queensland Ballet Academy; Prix de Lausanne 2024
18. Natalie Steele (U.S.A.), American Ballet Theatre, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School; Prix de Lausanne 2024
all photos © Gregory Batardon
Editing: Kayla Kauffman