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Moscow Ballet Competition

Official website

“The famous Moscow Ballet Competition has discovered a whole constellation of new talents over the past decades and has given a start in life to many talented dancers and ballet-masters.”

President of Russia Vladimir Putin

The International Ballet Competition is one of the most respected ballet competitions in the world. It was founded by the Government of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. The Competition is held every four years on the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia.

The International Ballet Competition was founded in 1969. Legends of the Russian ballet were at the dawn of its origins: Galina Uvalova, Jury Chairman of the first Competition; Igor Moiseev, Head of its Organizing Committee; Olga Lepeshinskaya, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of many subsequent Competitions.

Starting from the second Competition (1973), the great contemporary choreographer Yuriy Grigorovich has been the permanent chairman of the jury and its Artistic Director.

Over the years the Competition jury included: Marina Semyonova, Galina Ulanova, Sofya Golovkina, Maya Plisetskaya, Irina Kolpakova, Vladimir Vasilyev, Yvette Chauvire, Alisia Alonso, Robert Joffrey, Arnold Haskell, Rudi van Dantzig, Svetlana Zakharova, Ulyana Lopatkina, Helgi Tomasson, Julio Bocca, Nikolay Tsiskaridze, and other representatives of the world ballet elite.

The Moscow Ballet Competition has opened up a whole galaxy of eminent dancers to the world, such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Vyacheslav Gordeev, Vladimir Malakhov, Nikolay Tsiskaridze, Maria Aleksandrova, Nina Ananiashvili, Julio Bocca, Vadim Pisarev, German Cornejo, Misa Kuranaga, Thiago Suares, Galina Stepanenko, Evgenia Obraztsova, Ivan Vasiliev, Natalia Osipova, and others. During the existence of the competition, Gran Prix has been awarded to Nadezhda Pavlova (USSR, II Competition, 1973), Irek Mukhamedov (USSR, IV Competition, 1981), Andrey Batalov (Russia, VIII Competition, 1997), and Denis Matvienko (Ukraine, X Competition, 2005).

The competition has been dedicated to outstanding figures of the Russian and world ballet three times: VII competition (1993) was dedicated to the 175th anniversary of Marius Petipa; IX competition (2001) was held in honor of Galina Ulanova; XI competition (2009) was devoted to the Russian ballet dancer Marina Semyonova.

After the XII Competition in 2013, the All-Russian Contest of Ballet Dancers and Choreographers was established on the initiative of Yuriy Grigorovich. Winners in the category of Classical Dance have the right to enter the All-Russian Contest of Ballet Dancers and Choreographers without participating in the qualifying stage.

The XIII Competition in 2017 stood out among the previous ones because of the record prize fund. Thanks to the attention and support of the Government of the Russian Federation the main prizes of the Competition, two Grand Prix, amounted to $100,000 each.

The XIII Competition was broadcasted with great success for the first time in the whole of Europe by the Internet classical music channel Medici.

The rich history of the Competition, its prestige and status as well as the opportunity it gives to young dancers to perform on the famous stage of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia traditionally attracts a lot of participants both from Russia and from abroad. The Competition has been the leader among other international contests for several decades.

Creative meetings, seminars, master classes and exhibitions are traditionally held as part of the Competition. Well-known figures in the world choreography from many countries as well as representatives of Russian and foreign media attend the Competition as guests of honor.