Prix de Lausanne winner Antonio Casalinho

Nikita Alba, Courtesy Prix de Lausanne

Congratulations to the 2021 Prix de Lausanne Winners!

The 2021 Prix de Lausanne Video Edition came to a close this weekend. While this year's competition was held virtually due to COVID-19, six young finalists—four boys and two girls— were named prizewinners, having earned the chance to enter one of the Prix's prestigious partner schools and companies.

The winners were chosen out of a pool of 20 finalists, whittled down from the competition's 78 participants. Each dancer submitted classwork, a classical variation and a contemporary solo via video. A nine-member jury evaluated their submissions live from Lausanne, Switzerland. Fans around the world could follow along on livestream; the Prix estimates the videos have been watched a cumulative 500,000 times. While Saturday's live-streamed awards ceremony lacked the usual fresh-from-the-stage vim, the finalists were able join in via Zoom, giving viewers a chance to watch them receive the exciting news in real time. (You can catch the finals, as well as the rest of the competition, on the Prix's YouTube channel.)

Read on below to get to know the 2021 prizewinners.


António Casalinho

Antonio Casalinho, shirtless and in black jeans , socks and ballet slippers, presses over his toes with two bent knees, lifting his arms up slightly.

Casalinho in costume for his contemporary variation

Nikita Alba, Courtesy Prix de Lausanne

António Casalinho is becoming something of a household name. The 17-year-old Portugal native can now add the Prix de Lausanne's top prize and its Contemporary Dance Award (which he shared) to his long list of competition wins, which includes first place at Youth America Grand Prix's 2020 Virtual Pas De Deux Competition, Grand Prix IBCC China in 2019, and a special distinction at the 2018 Varna International Ballet Competition, among others. Casalinho trains at the Conservatório Internacional de Ballet e Dança Annarella Sanchez in Leiria, Portugal, a small school that's gained international recognition in recent years. In his acceptance speech, broadcast via Zoom on Saturday, Casalinho thanked his colleagues, teachers and family, while his coach, Annarella Sanchez, warmly embraced him in a hug.

Luca Abdel-Nour

Wearing a red bolero jacket, black tights and cummerbund and  a white shirt, Luca Abdel-Nour does a large sissone to the right, his legs in a deep split.

Luca Abdel-Nour

Courtesy Prix de Lausanne

Seventeen-year-old Luca Abdel-Nour, is quickly becoming one to watch. Abdel-Nour hails from Egypt, and is in his final year at Switzerland's Tanz Akademie Zürich. He was also named the Prix's Best Swiss Candidate and its Web Audience Favorite. According to CairoScene, Abdel-Nour is the first Egyptian to compete in the Prix de Lausanne. "I have watched this competition every year since I can remember, and always thought of it as a distant goal," he told the online magazine, adding that he hopes his participation shows the next generation that they can pursue their dreams regardless of their circumstances.

Andrey Jesus Maciano

Andrey Jesus Maciano, a Brazilian teenage boy, wears a white Harlequin costume with blue and red diamonds. He kneels onto the floor on his right leg and holds his hands to his heart, smiling wistfully.

Andrey Jesus Maciano

Cida Ladaga, Courtesy Prix de lausanne

Brazilian dancer Andrey Jesus Maciano took home both the third place prize and the Best Young Talent Award. The 16-year-old trains at Balé Joven de São Vicente in the coastal city of São Vicente, Brazil. According to a rapid-fire Q&A video published by the Prix de Lausanne last week, Maciano's dream role is Siegfried, his favorite pirouettes are in arabesque, and he prefers turns to adagio.

Seojeong Yun

Seojeong Yun, a teenage female ballet student, wears a black and red tutu and does a giant jet\u00e9 with both legs split in second position and her arms out to the side. She wears a large, confident smile.

Seojeong Yun

Courtesy Prix de Lausanne

Seojeong Yun is one of only two ballerinas to place in the competition. At 17 years old, Yun hails from South Korea, and trains at Seoul Arts High School. Yun was the 2018 Grand Prix Junior winner at the Korean IBAA competition.

Shunhei Fuchiyama

Shunhei Fuchiyama, a teenage Japanese ballet student, wears an all-white cavalier costume and performs a large split sissone to the right. He looks out towards the audience with a smile.

Shunhei Fuchiyama

Courtesy Prix de Lausanne

A finalist at the 2019 Prix de Lausanne, Shunhei Fuchiyama, now 18, is one of this year's prizewinners. Raised in the Japanese city of Saitama, Fuchiyama trains at the HARID Conservatory in Florida. "We are proud and happy for you, Shunhei," the conservatory wrote on its Instagram page. "Congratulations and thank you to his teachers in Japan, Massimo and Miwa Acri, and his teacher at HARID, Meelis Pakri."

Ashley Coupal

Ashley Coupel, a Canadian ballet dancer of Asian decent, wears a blue and white peasant costume dress and performs a tendu devant effac\u00e9. She holds her skirt with her left hand and bends slightly over her curves her right arm, with a shy smile and downward eyes.

Ashley Coupal

Courtesy Prix de Lausanne

Ashley Coupal is originally from Vancouver, Canada. The 18-year-old dancer is in her first year with Orlando Ballet II, having previously trained at the Goh Ballet Academy. Coupal is no stranger to competitions: she won a gold medal at the 2018 World Ballet Competition and the 2018 and 2017 Global Dance Challenge, among others.

Young Creation Award Winners

This year the Prix de Lausanne introduced a Young Creation Award for budding choreographers. Out of five finalists, the awards were presented to Samuel Winkler of the School of Hamburg Ballet for his solo Supress, and to Maya Smallwood of Canada's National Ballet School for her variation Unravel. Both pieces will be included among the 2022 Prix de Lausanne contemporary repertoire selections.

Other Awards

Rui Cesar Cruz, a teenge Afro-Brazilan dancer, does a relev\u00e9 effac\u00e9 to the left and arches his back dramatically, his arms stretched up and behind him. He wears a black mesh shirt, gray booty shorts and brown socks.

18-year-old Rui Cesar Cruz, from Brazil, was one of two dancers who won the Contemporary Prize

Courtesy Prix de Lausanne

Best Young Talent Prize: Andrey Jesus Maciano

Contemporary Dance Award: António Casalinho and Rui Cesar Cruz

Best Swiss Candidate: Luca Abdel-Nour

Web Audience Favorite Award: Luca Abdel-Nour

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