The ballet world is full of competition, from the recent Youth America Grand Prix to constant auditioning and jockeying for roles. But the English National Ballet takes it to the next level; for the past eight years the company has held its annual Emerging Dancer competition, a chance for ENB's lower-ranked dancers to compete for the Emerging Dancer Award. The competition has been a good predictor of future ENB stars. Past winners include principals Shioni Kase and Yonah Acosta. This year's Emerging Dancer competition will take place at London's Sadler's Wells Theatre on May 25. The six finalists, nominated and coached by their peers in the company, will each perform a classical pas de deux followed by a more contemporary solo in front of a panel of distinguished judges including their boss, Tamara Rojo.
The 2017 female finalists are Isabelle Brouwers, Rina Kanehara and Madison Keesler, an American dancer previously with San Francisco Ballet. All three have been finalists before, and their deep passion for ballet is clear.
The company's male finalists are Aitor Arrieta, Guilherme Menezes and Emilio Pavan. While Menezes was a finalist in 2015, Arrieta and Pavan are both relatively new to the company, Arrieta still in the midst of his first season.
Also revealed on the 25th will be the recipients of the People's Choice Award and the Corps de Ballet Award. Last year's winner of both the Emerging Dancer Award and the People's Choice Award, Cesar Corrales, will also perform. Stay tuned for updates on the competition! We can't wait to see which of these vibrant and promising dancers will walk away as the winner.