The eight 2020 Prix de Lausanne prize winners. Rodrigo Buas, Courtesy PdL.

Congratulations to the 2020 Prix de Lausanne Winners!

The 2020 Prix de Lausanne has officially come to a close after a thrilling week of classes, coaching sessions, competition performances and networking forums. The annual competition, which was live streamed around the world and watched over 1.1 million times, gave 77 dancers an opportunity to perform and take class in front of an international panel of judges. In addition to a classical variation, candidates had to master a contemporary solo by Mauro Bigonzetti, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Cathy Marston, Wayne McGregor, Heinz Spoerli or Richard Wherlock.


Twenty-one dancers advanced to Saturday's finals (click here to watch them in full), where eight were awarded a scholarship to a Prix de Lausanne partner school or company of their choice. One finalist from the United States, Ava Arbuckle, was among the winners. The Prix also presented five other additional awards, and all finalists who did not receive a scholarship received the Finalist Award for the sum of 1000 Swiss Francs. Read on for the list of prize winners, and congratulations to all!

Marco Masciari

Italian dancer Marco Masciari, who also won the Prix's Contemporary Prize, is a 17-year-old student at the Academie Princess Grace in Monaco. Not only is he a beautiful dancer, he's also a big-hearted: In his acceptance speech, Masciari dedicated his prize to his Academie Princess Grace classmate and fellow Prix de Lausanne candidate, Katomi Yamada. She had broken her toe the day before the semi-finals and was not able to finish the competition. "God knows how much she has been working and wanted to perform. So, Kotomi, that's for us," Masciari said, pointing to his medal.

Ava Arbuckle

Ava Arbuckle trains at Elite Classical Coaching in Frisco, Texas, directed by Catherine Livengood Lewellen. She not only won a scholarship to a Prix de Lausanne partner school, but she also received the Best Young Talent prize. While only 15, Arbuckle has amassed an impressive resumé, including second place in the junior category at Youth America Grand Prix's 2019 New York Finals and two gold medals (in both the classical and contemporary junior categories) at the 2019 American Dance Competition. She was also named Grishko's 2019 Model Search winner. We can't wait to see where she ends up!

João Vitor Santana

Seventeen-year-old João Vitor Santana is one of two finalists who train at Brazil's Itego em Artes Basilieu França. According to the publication RFi, he has only been taking ballet since age 13. Watching his classical variation from Paquita above, it's obvious that those have been four years well spent!

Lin Zhang

Lin Zhang, 17, trains at the Secondary School of Beijing Dance Academy in China. (Her classmate, Yuyan Wang, also made the Prix de Lausanne finals). She performed the Giselle Act I variation and Mauro Bigonzetti's Solo de Rossini Cards for her contemporary selection. Zhang was also a semi-finalist at the 2020 YAGP China and has been invited to participate in the New York City Finals in April.

Chaeyeon Kang

Chaeyeon Kang attends the Yewon School in Seoul, South Korea, the same school that produced Washington Ballet's EunWon Lee. Kang is only 15, yet she performed her Paquita variation with polished precision, clean pirouettes and buoyant jumps, showing confidence beyond her years,

Matei Holeleu

Matei Holeleu was one of four pre-selected candidates chosen from Prix de Lausanne's first summer intensive, held last July. The 18-year-old dancer, who hails from Romania, currently trains at Switzerland's Ballettschule Theater Basel. Holeleu also won the Prix's Best Swiss Candidate Prize.

Augusto Vitor Vaz

A native of Brazil, Augusto Vitor Vaz, 15, also trains at Itego em Atres Basileu França. According to the publication RFi, he gave up judo lessons for ballet at age nine after his instructor told him he had more of a dancer's physique. "My mother said, if this is what you want in your life, this is what you'll have," he told RFi.

Yuyan Wang

Seventeen-year-old Yuyan Wang more than impressed the judges. In addition to winning a scholarship, the Beijing Dance Academy student was awarded the Web Audience Favorite Prize, given to the dancer who received the most votes from those watching the finals via live stream. Watching her Gamzatti variation above, it's easy to see why!

Other Prizes

Carolina Pires does a piqu\u00e9 first arabesque on pointe on her left leg. She smiles brightly, wearing a white tutu with black and red trim, pink tights and pointe shoes. Her dark brown hair is pulled into a low bun.

Carolina Pires, winner of the Audience Favorite Prize.

Gregory Batardon, Courtesy PdL

Best Young Talent Prize: Ava Arbuckle

Contemporary Dance Prize: Marco Masciari

Best Swiss Candidate: Matei Holeleu

Web Audience Favorite (co-organized with ARTE Concert): Yuyan Wang

Audience Favorite: Catarina Pires

Latest Posts


Whitney Ingram

Revisiting Julie Kent's Dance Bag, 20 Years Later

Julie Kent was our very first Show & Tell when Pointe magazine launched in spring of 2000. Then a principal with American Ballet Theatre, Kent carried a second bag entirely dedicated to her pointe shoes. Twenty years later, she is now the artistic director of The Washington Ballet, and no longer needs to tote her pointe shoes. "For 40 years they were like a part of my body," says Kent. "And now they're not part of the landscape until my daughter's old enough to go on pointe." Nevertheless, Kent's current role keeps her in the studio. She always carries practice clothes and ballet slippers for teaching and rehearsals.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Courtesy Frederic Van Strydonck

In This New Short Film, Beatriz Stix-Brunell Shares Why Her Pointe Shoes Are Both Friend and Foe

"The pointe shoes are part of my instrument," says Royal Ballet first soloist Beatriz Stix-Brunell in the new short film "Friend & Foe," a two-minute exploration of Stix-Brunell's love/hate relationship to her pointe shoes. "They're like a second skin to me," she says, later adding, "And it never gets easier."

"Friend & Foe" was directed by Belgian filmmaker Frederic Van Strydonck. And though it's hard to believe, the whole thing was shot on his Xiaomi MI 10 cell phone. The film is presented by Xiaomi Studios, a promotional branch of the Chinese electronics company. Van Strydonck is no stranger to filming on cell phones; before creating content for Xiaomi, he worked for Apple, showcasing the capabilities of iPhone cameras.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Tulsa Ballet in Ma Cong's Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music. Kate Luber Photography, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Updated: Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

Updated on 4/8/2020

As COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.

Keep reading SHOW LESS