Genée International Ballet Competition is heading to Lisbon, Portugal this year for the first time in the competition’s 86 year history.
In addition to competing on a global stage, participants will work closely with a leading choreographer, playing a vital role in the creation of a new piece. This year’s Commissioned Choreographer, César Augusto Moniz, will create two variations specifically for the Genée, to be premiered at the competition final.
Lisbon-born César gained recognition as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher through his extensive international work with Ballet Gulbenkian, Companhia Nacional de Bailado, Lisbon Dance Company, Compañia Nacional de Danza of Madrid, and Dance School of the National Conservatoire.
He is also Artistic Director of Kamusuna Ballet Company, which he formed in 2006. César’s television work includes appearing as a judge on the Portuguese ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and ‘Let’s Dance’.
César looks forward to working with this year’s Candidates: “The RAD’s Genée International Ballet Competition is such a prestigious event, and I am so excited to be involved as it takes place in Portugal for the first time. I am very much looking forward to working with talented young dancers and hope that my choreography will both challenge and inspire them.”
Candidates will also receive intensive training from professional faculty and judges. The judging panel comprises of prominent figures in ballet:
- Former Director of The Royal Ballet Dame Monica Mason
- Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet Christopher Hampson
A third judge will be announced shortly.
For this year’s competition, the RAD will be working in partnership with Companhia Nacional de Bailado. Candidates will be able to train in the same studios used by the company and dancers from CNB will perform at the Final on 16 September.
The Genée attracts the finest RAD trained dancers from around the world, with many going on to perform in the world’s best companies. In-keeping with that tradition, Valentino Zucchetti, former Genée gold medallist (Hong Kong, 2006) and First Soloist with The Royal Ballet, and Portugal-native Brígida Pereira Neves, dancer with Tiroler Landestheater and Genée alumni (Birmingham, 2003), have been named Ambassadors for this year’s competition.
Valentino said: “I am truly honoured to be an Ambassador for Genèe 2017, as I have cherished being a part of the Royal Academy of Dance from a young age. I have very fond memories of competing in the Genèe. The training was invaluable, and the advice provided always felt constructive. There was such a friendly atmosphere too; we were encouraged to enjoy the week together and support one another.”
Brígida is delighted that the Genée will take place in Portugal for the first time: “Taking part in the Genée came at a crucial moment of my career, where students often find themselves faced with the daunting task of entering the professional world. Meeting, sharing, training and rehearsing with fellow dancers from all over the world, gave me the chance to broaden my horizons and introduce me to the international dance scene. I created bonds with fellow dancers that stay with me and keep very fond memories of camaraderie, fun and learning together. The Genée is such a landmark event and I am so excited that it will take place in my home country this year. As a proud Portuguese and long-time member of the RAD, I am thrilled to be an Ambassador for Genée 2017.”
Since its inception in 1931, when the Adeline Genée Gold Medal was awarded to Felicity Garratt, the competition has taken place almost every year.