Training

Congratulations to the 2020 Prix de Lausanne Winners!

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

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

Instagram

Are you a total bunhead who loves to write? You might be the perfect fit for Pointe. We're seeking an editorial intern who's equally passionate about ballet and journalism.

Keep reading...
News
Frances Chung as the title role in Christopher Wheeldon's Cinderella. Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB.

Six-time Tony Award-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz has lit such Broadway musical hits as Frozen, Hello Dolly! and A Chorus Line. She is also one of choreographer Christopher Wheeldon's biggest collaborators, designing the lighting for works such as Broadway's An American in Paris, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Cinderella, a 2012 co-production of San Francisco Ballet and Dutch National Ballet. Shortly after SFB opened their 2020 season with Cinderella last month, Pointe caught up with Katz to talk about her career, her collaborative relationship with Wheeldon, and the lighting profiles of co-productions.

Keep reading...
Viral Videos

Happy Valentine's Day! Below, Josephine Lee plays a version of the Newlywed Game with Alonzo King LINES Ballet dancers and couple Michael Montgomery and Shuaib Elhassan.

Keep reading...
Profiles
Irina Kolesnikova with Kimin Kim in Swan Lake. Courtesy Konstantin Tachkin.

This weekend, Irina Kolesnikova will appear on a U.S. stage for the first time, dancing alongside Bolshoi Ballet star Denis Rodkin. The Russian ballerina is a member of St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre, a touring company helmed by Konstantin Tachkin that will appear at the Brooklyn Academy of Music February 15-16. Before joining SPBT in 1998, Kolesnikova, a native of St. Petersburg, graduated from the city's esteemed Vaganova Ballet Academy. Koleniskova spent just two years in the company's lower ranks before being promoted to principal.

Keep reading...