Asian Grand Prix: Regional Qualifiers in Sydney for promising young dancers

 Youth Asian Grand Prix Award winner 2017, Hyeji Kang (South Korea), Photo by Conrad DY-LIACCO

Youth Asian Grand Prix Award winner 2017, Hyeji Kang (South Korea), Photo by Conrad DY-LIACCO

The mission of the Asian Grand Prix is "to provide opportunities for young dancers to demonstrate their talents, explore their potential, and learn from the experts as well as their peers". More than just a competition, candidates at both the regional qualifiers and the finals will take masterclasses designed to inspire them and develop their skills as young artists, as well as immersing themselves in a community of dancers from all over the world. For the first time, the Asian Grand Prix is holding regional qualifiers in Sydney and other Asia-Pacific cities including Singapore, Bangkok, Manila and Auckland. Previously only open to international dancers via video audition, this high profile competition is now more accessible than ever, giving more promising young dancers the chance to compete on a world stage at the finals in Hong Kong.

 Rebecca Alexandria Hadibroto (Indonesia) at the Asian Grand Prix 2017, Photo by Conrad DY-LIACCO

Rebecca Alexandria Hadibroto (Indonesia) at the Asian Grand Prix 2017, Photo by Conrad DY-LIACCO

For dancers in Australia, the regional qualifier will be held at the Concourse Theatre in Chatswood NSW, on the 28th and 29th of April. Competitors between the ages of 7 and 19 (age defined by August 13th 2018) are eligible, and must complete the registration form online (for further details on registering please see the information at the bottom of this article). Dancers can expect to take part in an observed onstage class as well as competing set classical variations in their divisions. The competitors will be performing for a panel of esteemed international jurors including Leanne Benjamin (Former Principal Ballerina of the Royal Ballet), Lisa Elizalde Macuja (Artistic Director of Ballet Manila) and Septime Webre (Artistic Director of Hong Kong Ballet). Awarded at the Sydney qualifier will be a range of prizes including Royal Ballet School Summer School Scholarships plus £1,500 per scholarship, Summer School scholarships to Houston Ballet, Universal Ballet, Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC and the Singapore Ballet Academy, as well as entry to the Asian Grand Prix Ballet Intensive Program 2018. The top four dancers from each division will receive entry into the finals in Hong Kong. 

Especially exciting is the announcement of our Energetiks Young Artist Scholarship, which will be a $1,500 cash prize towards the recipient's dance education. Energetiks Marketing Manager Elysia Mangier says, "We’re really thrilled about aligning with the AGP as it provides an excellent platform for Australian dancers to gain international recognition to aid the launch of their dance careers. We created the Energetiks Young Artist Scholarship to provide an opportunity for a promising young artist to further their dance education, whether it be with their current teacher or toward an overseas summer school opportunity, for example. Energetiks take prides in supporting dancers and ultimately their families through this incredibly demanding, rewarding and yet sometimes costly art form. We’re excited to see how the recipient chooses to facilitate their scholarship and will be following their dance journey to keep up with their progress."

 Dancers in class at the 2017 competition

Dancers in class at the 2017 competition

For the dancers who receive entry to the final in Hong Kong, there are even more dance opportunities on offer. The Finals in Hong Kong take place over 5 days, in which dancers will participate in Classical Ballet and Contemporary classes, Variation coaching and seminars relating to professional training and careers, as well as their performances, all observed by the international jury. Scholarships to the New Zealand School of Dance, The English National Ballet School, Canadian's National Ballet School, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and our very own Australian Ballet School will be awarded along with travel assistance, as well as sponsor prizes and medals. The Youth Asian Grand Prix Award Winner (age 13-17) will receive a trophy, a certificate, and HK$30,000 in cash, whilst the Asian Grand Prix Award Winner (age 15-19) will receive a trophy, a certificate, and HK$50,000 in cash. These funds will give the recipients the chance to invest in their dance futures and pursue dance training opportunities to facilitate their growth and development, which is why competitions such as these are so important for young dancers. More important however, is the often once in a lifetime chance to dance in a different country - in this case China - observing, learning from and making friends with dancers from different cultures than their own.

I believe this competition is especially important for young dancers because of the opportunities it can create for them, and the chance to perform in front of members of the International Ballet community.
— Amanda Nolan, Australian Regional Qualifier Representative
 Yan Chun Hung (Hong Kong) at the Asian Grand Prix 2017, Photo by Conrad DY-LIACCO

Yan Chun Hung (Hong Kong) at the Asian Grand Prix 2017, Photo by Conrad DY-LIACCO

 Chaelynn Kim (South Korea) at the Asian Grand Prix 2017, Photo by Conrad DY-LIACCO

Chaelynn Kim (South Korea) at the Asian Grand Prix 2017, Photo by Conrad DY-LIACCO

For those who wish to enter to compete in the Sydney qualifier, details can be found on the official website. Registration is completed via the online form here, where dancers must enter their details, upload a headshot which will appear in the Program, select the variation they are doing plus whether their music starts when they are on stage or off, and which side of the stage they are starting from. Also on the website there is a list of variations for the different divisions to choose from. Candidates should consult with their teacher before entering.

For further details, the Australian representative for the competition Amanda Nolan can be contacted via email: Contact Amanda

 

Article by Emily Newton-Smith

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