Brayden Gallucci on stage at the 2015 Sydney Eisteddfod. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
On Sunday, 31 January, the curtain rose on the 2016 Prix de Lausanne. One of the most important competitions for aspiring dancers, it attracts promising students from all parts of the globe. This year, a total 292 young hopefuls faced their first judges on video, while others participated in a pre-selection contest in Buenos Aires, Argentina. All were assessed by expert panels, and after careful consideration, 74 candidates qualified for the semi-final.
The semi-finalists come from 19 different nations and with13 candidates into the semi final, South Korea is leading the field, while Australia and Japan each have 12 qualifiers to their credit. The remaining 33 come from 15 different nations with China, France and United States topping the lower level with four semi-finalists each. As the students who perform in Lausanne will be observed by artistic directors of leading companies whether they qualify for the final or not, they are bound to benefit from the experience. Sydney Eisteddfod extends best wishes to the entire Australian contingent Lania Atkins, Emily Bray, Aiden Foster, Brayden Gallucci, Mackensie Hensen, Riley Lapham, Naomi Sano, George Susman and Natalie Taylor are all recent Sydney Eisteddfod entrants. New Zealander Katherine Sonnekus, who lives in Sydney and trains with Lucinda Dunn at the Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy, won the second Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship in 2015, so as an Australian in all but nationality, she is unofficially part of our team. The other three Australians are Edward Cooper (QLD), Freya Wilkinson (VIC) and Grace Robson who studies at the Royal Conservatorium in The Netherlands.