Genée finalists get a place at Scottish Ballet for the Hansel & Gretel premiere season

November 20, 2013

Press Releases

Genée finalists get a place at Scottish Ballet for the Hansel & Gretel premiere season

Natasha Watson_photo_Andy Ross

Natasha Watson Photograph : Andy Ross


The Genée international Ballet Competition proves to be a great springboard for aspiring professional dancers once again.

This year’s Genée, held in Glasgow, saw 58 candidates enter from 14 different countries. After a week of intensive training and competition 12 finalists were chosen to vie for the coveted Genée medals on the stage of Theatre Royal Glasgow, home to Scottish Ballet. Out of the 12 finalists, three have been offered the chance to dance with Scottish Ballet in their brand new Hansel & Gretel season, which premieres at Theatre Royal Glasgow from 10 – 28 December, before touring Scotland, Newcastle and Belfast throughout January and February 2014.

Pascal Johnson has been engaged by the company on a temporary contract, whilst Katie Rogers and Natasha Watson (bronze medallist) are on student secondment from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Ballet West respectively.

Christopher Hampson, Scottish Ballet’s Artistic Director and one of the judges of the Genée International Ballet Competition 2013, says: “We are delighted to welcome these talented young dancers to Scottish Ballet. From judging their performance at Genée, to bringing them to join our company for this very special world premiere tour of Hansel & Gretel, I am very excited to help guide them in these early steps of their career.”

Past Genée finalists and medallists have gone on to exciting and high-profile careers with companies as diverse as The Royal Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, San Francisco Ballet, Australian Ballet and Mariinsky Ballet (formerly the Kirov) to name but a few. Another example of Genée alumni success is ballet dancer Claudia Dean, gold medallist in 2009, who last week made her debut as the Chosen One in The Royal Ballet’s Rite of Spring.

About the Genée International Ballet Competition

The Genée International Ballet Competition is the Academy’s flagship annual event and one of the industry’s most prestigious international competitions.

Named after the Academy’s founder Dame Adeline Genée and first convened in 1931, it 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. The competition has taken place almost every year since the 1930s, even during the Second World War.

Royal Academy of Dance (RAD)

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 1920s 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.


Scottish Ballet’s Hansel & Gretel will tour Theatre Royal Glasgow (10-28 December), Festival Theatre Edinburgh (8-11 January), His Majesty’s Theatre Aberdeen (15 – 18 January), Eden Court Inverness (22 – 25 January), Theatre Royal Newcastle (29 January – 1 February) and Grand Opera House Belfast (5 – 8 February).

This delightfully inventive, brand new Hansel & Gretel takes creative twists and turns inspired by the Grimm Brother’s famous fairy tale – and the stories and imagination of the people of Scotland.

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