Over the past week, 52 dancers from 14 countries trained in the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus flocked to Lisbon, Portugal, for the 2017 Genée International Ballet Competition. After four days of coaching (see highlights on our Instagram), the dancers competed in two days of semi-finals. By Saturday, the pool had been narrowed to just 11 contestants who performed in the finals at Teatro Camões; five lucky dancers took home medals.
The prestigious gold medal (past winners have included ballet stars such as Stella Abrera and Steven McRae) went to 18-year-old British student Harris Beattie. Beattie made Genée history this weekend as the first dancer ever to win all three awards: gold medal, Dame Margot Fonteyn Audience Choice Award and the Choreographic Award, which he received for his Dancer's Own variation entitled Torn, which he co-choreographed with his teacher, Karen Berry. Beattie trains at the Central School of Ballet in London.
Gold medal, the Dame Margot Fonteyn Audience Choice Award and Choreographic Award winner Harris Beattie. Photo by Bruno Simao, Courtesy of the Royal Academy of Dance.
The silver medals were awarded to Australian dancers Lucy Christodoulou (age 17) and Matthew Maxwell (age 15), both trained at Annette Roselli Dance Academy in Tingalpa, Australia.
British dancer Ryan Felix (age 17) and Japanese dancer Lin Fujimoto (age 18) won the two bronze medals. They train together at Elmhurst Ballet School in Birmingham, UK.
Past Genée medalists have gone on to thrilling careers; we're excited to see where these five dancers are headed. In the meantime, you can look forward to next year's competition, which RAD recently announced will take place in Hong Kong.