I am sending you my very best regards from Lausanne, Switzerland, where I am one of nine jury members for the world famous ballet competition Prix de Lausanne. Today we will be watching the young participants’ classes for classical and contemporary dance, tomorrow the competition continues on stage.
Actually, being on the jury is much more work than dancing in the competition – you have hardly any free time to stroll around this beautiful city, there is just so much to do! You need a lot of focus and concentration to spend up to twelve hours a day watching and evaluating the dancers – I don’t want to miss any detail, and it is important that each participant gets the jury’s full attention…
But I love doing this, it is interesting to see these youngsters and the amazing things they can do! Also the atmosphere among the jury members is almost like family, we all know each other well. Jose Martinez, for example, is an old friend, and with Jean-Christophe Maillot I worked together in Stuttgart for his ballet Vers Un Pays Sage.
This year’s competition is a very special one as the Prix de Lausanne is celebrating its 40th Anniversary. On Sunday there will be a big Anniversary Gala at the Théâtre de Beaulieu with many principal dancers from all over the world, all former prize winners of the Prix de Lausanne – among them my Stuttgart colleague Friedemann Vogel.
Of all the competitions I know (and I have worked as a juror on numerous contests) I think the Prix de Lausanne is the toughest for the dancers. First of all, the artistic level is very, very high! Also not only the performances on stage, but also some classes are evaluated, so the participants are on show for much longer than a few minutes. The kids are of course nervous, which I can totally understand – I remember taking part in the competition myself so well! But the atmosphere is good, and the coaches and teachers do a good job in calming everybody down. I believe that the more relaxed you are, the better you can dance.
I’ve already seen many competitors who are doing really well already, and I’m excited to see more in the course of this week! I will be back in Stuttgart after the Anniversary Gala on Sunday and am already looking forward to seeing everybody again!
Une bisou de Lausanne,
your Sue Jin