November 22, 2010

Ballet, Ballet News, Press Releases




Genee, ballet, awards, medals

Photograph : Elliott Franks

21 November 2010, LONDON — Recognised as one of the ballet world’s most prestigious competitions and the flagship event of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) the Genée International Ballet Competition 2010 finished in top form, as the Final held at Sadler’s Wells,  London’s  dance house, drew to a close on November 21, 2010 with a sold-out auditorium.

Crowned with success, the overwhelming public response and support for this year’s Genée once again proves the competition’s reputation as a tour de force in the worldwide ballet scene. Fra 

Genee Medalists, ballet, dance, news, medals

Genee Medalists Photograph : Elliott Franks

Coming out on top with silver medals – no gold medals were awarded this year – were British students Francesca Hayward for the females and Sean Bates for the males.  The Audience Choice Award, an honour bestowed to the candidate who in the eyes of the audience deserves the top prize, after a very close count was also awarded to Francesca Hayward. The audience prize was awarded by Claudia Dean, who was the 2009 gold medalist as well as the recipient of last year’s Audience Choice Award.


Other medalists are Lachlan Monaghan from Australia and Orazio Di Bella from Italian who were awarded bronze medals.

Genee, ballet, dance, news, awards, medals

Dame Sibley, Lachlan Monaghan Photograph : Elliott Franks


Ballerina Tierney Heap, another British student won a Bronze medal.

Afterwards, Dame Antoinette Sibley, chair of the panel of esteemed judges and President of the Royal Academy of Dance said, “It is at the judges’ discretion whether or not to award gold medals. We have a very clear idea of what a gold performance is and although we saw some outstanding talent this evening, we did not feel that any one, young performer delivered that rare performance that merits a gold medal. The standard across the board was very high this year and my fellow judges (Dame Monica Mason, The Royal Ballet & David Nixon OBE, Northern Ballet) and I feel that the future of ballet is very safe indeed.”

“The warmth and enthusiasm that membership in UK and Ireland has exuded for the Genée has been phenomenal; they have not only come out in numbers this evening to watch and support the young dancers, they also orchestrated a remarkable number of events and activities all around the country to raise funds for the Genée” said Chief Executive of RAD, Luke Rittner. “It has been so successful and it really shone a spotlight on British ballet and British talent.”

As this year’s competition comes to a fulfilling close, bringing to light the young ballet stars on the rise, in a very successful return to London, the international ballet community looks forward to the next Genée International Ballet Competition in 2011; which Luke Rittner announced would take place in Cape Town, South Africa, for the first time ever.

ballet, Genee, Francesca hayward, news, dance

Silver medallist Francesca Hayward Photograph : Elliott Franks

The Genée International Ballet Competition is dedicated to promoting and rewarding standards of excellence in ballet dancers internationally. This is achieved by offering aspiring dancers the unique opportunity to work with world-renowned choreographers and professionals as well as the chance to perform on an international stage.

With over 13,000 members’ spread across 79 countries, the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is one of the largest and most influential dance education and training organisations in the world.  Established in the 1920’s, to improve standards and re-invigorate dance training initially within the UK, the Academy helps and encourages its teachers to perfect their teaching skills and pass on this knowledge to their students. There are currently over 1,000 students in full-time or part-time teacher training programmes with the Academy and each year, the examination syllabus is taught to more than a quarter of a million students worldwide. The RAD celebrates its 90th anniversary, this year.

The medallists :

Tierney-Ann Heap

Age: 17

Nationality: British

School: Centre Pointe Dance School, Elmhurst School for Dance, Royal Ballet Senior Associates, Royal Ballet School

Trained by: Anita Young, Caroline Wright, Alexandra Howarth, Samira Saidi, Marion Tait, Katya Zvelebilova, Meelis Pakri, David Peden

Sean Bates

Age: 18

Nationality: British

School: Gaynor Cameron School of Dance, The Royal Ballet School

Trained by: Gary Norman, Gaynor Cameron, Hope Keelan, Anthony Swell, David Yow, Antonio Castilla, Meelis Pakri, David Peden

Orazio Di Bella

Age: 19

Nationality: Italian

School: Elmhurst School for Dance 

Trained by: Errol Pickford, Desmond Kelly, Denise Whiteman

Lachlan Monaghan

Age: 17

Nationality: Australian

School: The McDonald College, The Royal Ballet School

Trained by: David Peden, Julie Wells, Josephine Jason, Jane Kesby, Allan Cross, Jacqui Dumont, Meelis Pakri

Francesca Hayward

Age: 18

Nationality: British

School: Royal Ballet School

Trained by: Gailene Stock, Petal Miller-Ashmole, Anita Young, Katya Zvelebilova, Diane Van Schoor

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  1. May Says:

    Nice to see the list of teachers’ names. Gives credit to the local teachers who first saw and guided the talent in these future stars, as well as an update of what the former principal dancers are doing now.

    • alison Says:

      I watched the semi final on the Friday (only the morning section) and it was absolutely clear straight away that Francesca Hayward was a wonderful ‘dancer’. If I’m correct, the criteria for entering the awards is to have passed Solo Seal? Well, there were lots of girls on that stage in the morning who should not have been up there – where was their ‘dancing’ and musicality in Liam Scarlett’s piece. It truly showed up the ‘dancers’ from the rest.

  2. Dorothy Says:

    There were many international dancers who excelled over the two days of semi finals. It seemed the judges favoured the Royal Ballet School. Especially one judge who through his arms in the air and cheered after a Royal Ballet student performed. With out standing dancers spending alot of money to complete their solo seal award and qualify to compete, as well as the travel costs get to England I would have expected a lot more from the Royal Academy of Dance. Many audience members witnessed the judges not recording any adjudication slips or notes after performers danced. I am sure this will not inspire the award winning ballet dancers from Australia, Canada and Japan to return to another Genee competition.

  3. Ballet News Says:

    May – thank you

    Alison – lucky you to be there !

    Dorothy – I’ve passed your comment on to RAD

  4. Dave Says:

    It was an enjoyable evening and I reckon the judges just about got it right. But equally right was the decicion not to award gold. There was no stand out performer, and while technically good, most dancers seemed to lack strength. An inability to hold a position was quite noticeable at times.

    And let’s not get carried awat here. The results do not suggest British dancers are leading the way. This is a UK domintaed competition held for dancers who are RAD trained.

    For a more accurate reflection at the standing of British dancers look at the acceptances for next years Prix de Lausanne – open to dancers with any training background. Out of 84 entrants only two are at UK vocational schools (both at ENB School), and they are French and Japanese respectively. That I find very worrying.

  5. Flavia Cerrone, RAD Acting Communications Manager Says:

    Dear Dorothy,

    The Royal Academy of Dance welcomes all feedback, positive or negative.
    I will respond to your comment in several points:

    – The candidates’ list is only published in the programme. The judges have NO access to the programmes and therefore have no idea of who is going to perform, the history of the dancers of what school they come from. We received requests on our Facebook pages to publish the list of candidates, and you will be able to see that we refused publishing it in order to ensure absolute fairness in the competition.

    – The Genee International Ballet Competition happens every year in a different country/side of the world. This means that if, for example, it is held in Australia, students entering it will most likely to be from that side of the world. This year we had a high number of students from The Royal ballet School most probably because the competition was held in London. The Royal Academy of Dance awards the medals to who the judges believe is best, and not according to the country of origin or for how long they have studied.

    – Every judge had a clipboard with marking sheets, a pen, a pencil and a small torch, which they switched on and off during and after the performance of every dancer in order to write and take notes when they wish. I am assuming that you were not sat close enough to the judges to be able to see this.

    I hope this clarifies some of your doubts.

    Kind regards

  6. Dorothy Says:

    I overheard many of the candidates talking about the week of coaching at the Royal Academy of Dance and they said it was outstanding. It is conversations from audience members watching the semi finals who questioned the lack of recording of comments from the judges as it seems when the small torches were turned on, the audience members seated behind had full view of the clipboards and sheets.

    It is nice to know that dancers at The Royal Ballet School can also complete the Royal Academy of Dance Advanced 2 and Solo Seal award while training at The Royal Ballet School.

    Thank you for your comments.


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