John Rhys Halliwell triumphs at 2011 Phyllis Bedells Bursary
Sixteen-year-old Briton, John Rhys Halliwell, a finalist in the 2006 Fonteyn Nureyev Young Dancers Competition, has won the prestigious Phyllis Bedells Bursary held on Sunday 27 March 2011 at Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Headquarters.
Held in honour of Miss Phyllis Bedells, founding member and Vice President of the RAD, 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.
This year’s internationally-recognised competition attracted 29 candidates from six different countries including France, Germany, Spain and Thailand and they contested for the bursary of up to £1,000 to use for further professional development training. The prize can be offset against existing tuition fees where the winner may be studying, or against material or equipment needed for the student to continue their training.
Jean Bedells, daughter of Phyllis Bedells, chaired the panel of judges and handed out photographs of her mother to all candidates signed by herself and fellow judges Thérèse Cantine, RAD Vocational Graded Examiner, and Jonathan Cope, CBE. Thérèse Cantine spoke of her fellow judges and the achievements of the winner:
‘It was a real privilege to work again with Jean Bedells who has such a unique link with the very foundations of the Academy, and to have Jonathan Cope as a co-judge – one of the finest artists that England has produced in the last decade. The winner [John Rhys Halliwell] danced with his whole being – I wish him and all the candidates much luck and happiness in their chosen careers.’
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 this year in Cape Town, South Africa.
John Rhys Halliwell performed Repertoire Variation: Giselle, Act I: Peasant pas de Deux. He has trained at The Royal Ballet Lower School, White Lodge, for the past five years and was a finalist in the Young British Dancer Awards 2010.
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.