The USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, announced today that its 2022 competition has been rescheduled for June 10–24, 2023. The prestigious event, which draws over 100 students and professional dancers from around the world, was last held in 2018 and typically runs every four years. Naturally, COVID-19 is to blame—the date move is part of a larger reshuffling of associated IBCs canceled this summer because of the pandemic.
2018 USA IBC gold medalists Yungting Qiu and Sicong Wu, shown here in the pas de deux from Giselle.
Richard Finkelstein, Courtesy USA IBC
USA IBC is part of a network of sister competitions, with the others held in Varna, Bulgaria; Helsinki, Finland; and Moscow, Russia. They are spaced apart to avoid competing with each other and to maximize the pool of participating dancers. When the coronavirus pandemic forced the 2020 Helsinki and Varna IBCs to be rescheduled, their new dates would have put them within months of the 2022 competition in Jackson—forcing dancers to choose between them and potentially hindering ticket sales. "Our partners in Varna, Moscow and Helsinki shared our belief that we should work together to make the competitions accessible to as many gifted dancers and as many global audiences as possible," USA IBC executive director Mona Nicholas said in a statement.
Luckily, the competition schedules get back on track next year. So get out your calendars! The revised schedule for all four IBCs is as follows:
2022: Helsinki and Varna
2026: Helsinki and Varna