After a full week of class, coaching and competition, the 2019 Prix de Lausanne has announced its eight prizewinners. The dancers were selected from an initial group of 74, narrowed down to 21 selected to perform in last Saturday's Finals. The eight winners will receive company apprenticeships or scholarships to one of the Prix de Lausanne's partner schools. In addition, the Prix awarded five other prizes, and all of the remaining finalists received the Finalist Award, which includes 1,000 Swiss Francs.
This year, the Prix offered an unprecedented number of live streaming hours. If you tuned in this week, you weren't alone; more than 562,530 ballet fans watched the daily sessions, and the selections have been viewed more than 1,199,322 times. If you missed out, you can catch up here.
Get to know the winners below!
Country: United States
Not only is Mackenzie Brown the only American to take home one of the eight main prizes, but she also came in first and won the Contemporary Dance Prize (watch her contemporary variation here) and the Audience Favorite Prize. A student at the Monaco-based Académie Princesse Grace, Brown was the 2016-17 Miss World Dance and has been a Russian Pointe ambassador. And she's no stranger to the Prix de Lausanne; last year she participated in the inaugural Partner Schools Choreographic Project.
Gabriel Figueredo trains at the John Cranko School in Stuttgart, Germany. He is also a Só Dança Ambassador. His competition experience includes the Junior Age Division Youth Grand Prix at Youth American Grand Prix's 2013 New York Finals, and 1st place in the Classical Dance Category at YAGP 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.
Originally from Osaka, Japan, Sumina Sasaki is a student at the Tanz Akademie Zürich in Switzerland. Sasaki is one of three Japanese prize winners, the largest group from any one country. Sasaki also won the Best Swiss Candidate Prize.
Like Sasaki, Yu Wakizuka is also from the city of Osaka. "I could dance comfortably," he told the The Japan Times about his experience at the Prix. "Although I made a mistake, I don't regret it. I had a good experience."
Shuailun Wu is a student at The Secondary Dance School of Beijing Dance Academy, one of China's most prestigious ballet schools. Last year, Pointe got a look behind-the-scenes at the Academy; check it out here.
João Vitor Da Silva
A student at Ballet Vórtice in Uberlândia, Brazil, João Vitor Da Silva was one of three dancers chosento compete at the Prix de Lausanne's South American preselection last October.
Alexandre Joaquim first competed in the Prix de Lausanne in 2016, where he won a scholarship to the École Supérieure de Danse de Cannes Rosella Hightower in France, where he still trains. Last year he was part of the Prix's Choreographic Project, and this year he returned as a competitor in the hopes of winning a company contract.
Like Sasaki, Mio Sumiyama is a student at the Tanz Akademie Zürich. Last spring, Sumiyama won the top prize at the International Dance Competition in Spoleto, Italy. The Tokyo native told The Japan Times, "I could dance without becoming nervous. I'm really happy to win a prize."
Contemporary Dance Prize: Mackenzie Brown (United States)
Best Young Talent Prize: Julia Shugart (United States)
Best Swiss Candidate Prize: Sumina Sasaki (Japan)
Audience Favorite Prize: Mackenzie Brown (United States)
Web Audience Favorite Prize: Jihyun Choi (South Korea)