Ballet News | Phyllis Bedells Bursary winner 2012 is announced
Fifteen-year-old Chisato Katsura, has won the prestigious Phyllis Bedells Bursary, held on Sunday 25 March 2012 at Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Headquarters.
Named after Miss Phyllis Bedells, founding member and Vice President of the RAD, this year’s internationally-recognised competition attracted a record-breaking 40 candidates competing for the bursary of £1,000 to use for further professional development training.
Following a Welcome by RAD Artistic Director Lynn Wallis, candidates were judged in a class, taught by former Royal Ballet dancer, Tomoko Furuya Hristov, with piano accompaniment by Martin Cleave; in front of an audience, including special guest Jean Bedells, daughter of Phyllis Bedells. Each candidate then performed a Set Variation and a Classical Repertoire Variation, accompanied by pianists Richard Norriss, Guy Attew and Alan Costello.
Chair of the panel of judges, Valerie Aitken ARAD, spoke of the competition and the achievements of winner Chisato Katsura: “The standard this year was very high, with greater numbers than ever before. The young lady was the most complete dancer. She had everything: technique, musicality – the all-round package.”
Fellow judges were Lauren Cuthbertson, Principal at The Royal Ballet and Marly Apoliano, RAD Vocational Grades Examiner. Lauren Cuthbertson commented: “The Phyllis Bedells Bursary is about students becoming young artists – progression through their classes into their solos means they can show something individual. The winner was outstanding from beginning to end, with an innate sensibility, beautiful posture and technique.”
Past winners of the Bursary have gone on to dance with international companies including The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet and the Dutch National Ballet, and win medals at the prestigious Genée International Ballet Competition – which will be held in Wellington, New Zealand this year from 6 – 15 December.
A new addition to the Bursary programme this year was a performance by the regional winners of the Genée Dance Challenge 2011. The 10 candidates attended a Masterclass in the morning taught by Justine Berry ARAD, before each performing their winning solo for the delighted audience and panel of judges.
Chisato Katsura performed Set Variation: Demi-caractère 1 and Repertoire Variation: Sleeping Beauty, Prologue: First Fairy. She came to London from China to audition for The Royal Ballet School aged 12, and has trained at the school for the past three years. She is currently in Year 11 and is taught by Miss Diane van Schoor, with Miss Hope Keelan coaching her for RAD examination work. The bursary was instituted to encourage talented young dancers to further their careers in classical ballet. It is open to RAD members under 17-years-old who have passed the Academy’s Advanced 1 Examination with distinction but have yet to take the Advanced 2 Examination.
About The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD)
The Royal Academy of Dance is an international dance teacher education and training organisation with over 13,000 members in 79 countries. The Academy promotes the knowledge, practice and understanding of dance internationally through the education and training of teachers. The Academy is also the largest international ballet examinations board. The RAD is a Registered Charity in England and Wales No. 312826.