Final saw 12 dancers from Australia, Britain and Japan compete for Gold, Silver and Bronze at the Sydney Opera House on 11 December 2016

The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is revealed the winning medallists of the prestigious Genée International Ballet Competition 2016 held at the Sydney Opera House on 11 December 2016. The annual flagship event of the Royal Academy of Dance, the competition attracted 86 of the world’s finest young dancers from 12 countries, aged between 15 to 19 years old and culminated in a final that was judged by David McAllister, Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, and Francesco Ventrigilia, Artistic Director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

Prestigious gold medals were awarded to Australian dancers Joshua Price, 16, from Queensland (taught by Janice Heale of the Amanda Bollinger of Dance Academy) and Maeve Nolan, 16, from New South Wales (taught by Marie Walton-Mahon of Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy). Two silver medals were won by Australian dancers Talia Fidra, 15, (taught by Heidi Landford & Claudia Dean of Claudia Dean Coaching) and Brayden Gallucci, 17 (taught by Hilary Kaplan of Alegria Dance Studios). The female bronze was awarded to Madison Ayton, 15, Australia (trained by Annette Roselli of Annette Roselli Dance Academy) and the male bronze was given to British finalist Hamish Scott, 18, UK, (trained by Sarah Dickinson of Elmhurst Ballet School). The medallists were selected following three days of semi-finals at The Concourse and a competitive final held at the iconic Sydney Opera House on 11 December. 

Joshua Price was also presented with the Margot Fonteyn Audience Choice Award with his popular solo performance. The Choreographic Award, sponsored by Mondor, for the choreographer who demonstrated the highest standard of choreography within the dancer’s own variation to the judges, was awarded to Japanese dancer Kanon Kondo, 16 (trained by Moritoshi Kudo of the Kudo Ballet School).

Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet, David McAllister said: “I thought the finalists were really fantastic and I think all of the dancers came up from the semi-finals. We really enjoyed seeing Tim Harbour’s choreographed piece because it helped us see the finalists in a different light as we had seen all the other solos at the semi-finals. It was a really difficult decision and we kept changing our minds all the way through the evening. On the night we felt that these winners were the ones that deserved the medals.”

 Now in its 85th year, the Genée International Ballet Competition is named after RAD’s first president Dame Adeline Genée and is renowned for launching the professional careers of young dancers. Past medalists have gone on to join celebrated companies around the world including: The Australian Ballet, The Mariinsky Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, The National Ballet of Canada, English National Ballet and The Royal Ballet.

With gold-level sponsorship from Bloch® Australia and Mondor, and as one of the most prestigious dance competitions in the world, the Genée provides pre-professional dancers the opportunity to receive world-class coaching with renowned choreographers and teachers. This year’s Commissioned Choreographer, who took part at the Genée thanks to sponsor Energetiks™, Tim Harbour, Resident Choreographer of The Australian Ballet, created choreography specifically for the Genée which was revealed for the first time in the competition final. Candidates also got to showcase their own (or their teachers’) choreography as part of the competition with the chance to win a Choreographic Award, sponsored by Mondor.

The 2016 Genée International Ballet Competition boasts an esteemed faculty including Lynn Wallis OBE, Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Dance, New Zealand-born Adrian Burnett, Director of Dance, Australia Council for the Arts and Fiona Tonkin, Artistic Associate & Principal Coach of The Australian Ballet.

As the 2016 competition comes to close, the international ballet community looks forward to the next Genée International Ballet Competition in 2017 which the RAD is pleased to announce will take place in Lisbon, Portugal. Since 2002, the Genée has been staged around the world as far as Wellington, Athens, Singapore, Hong Kong, Toronto and Cape Town.