LSM Newswire

Monday, June 2, 2008

GENą‚E to makes its North American debut


Toronto, August 14 - 23, 2008

The GENą‚E INTERNATIONAL BALLET COMPETITION, the flagship event of London's Royal Academy of Dance and one of the world's most prestigious events of its kind attracting many of the worlds most brilliant and promising young dancers, makes its North American debut in Toronto, August 14-23, 2008.

Chaired by Dame Antoinette Sibley DBE, President of the Royal Academy of Dance, and named after the Academy's founder Dame Adeline Geną©e, the GENą‚E INTERNATIONAL BALLET COMPETITION is one of the leading ballet competitions in the world, nurturing and showcasing the talent of young dancers on the cusp of their professional careers by inviting leading teachers and internationally renowned choreographers and artistic directors to coach, choreograph and judge the young dancers over a unique week-long experience.

For over seventy years, The GENą‚E INTERNATIONAL BALLET COMPETITION was held in London, but in 2002, in a dramatic break with tradition, the competition was held in Sydney, Australia. That event attracted the largest ever entry and culminated in a sold out Final at the Sydney Opera House. Encouraged by the enormous success of Sydney, the Geną©e returned in 2003 to the UK and was staged in Birmingham in association with the Birmingham Royal Ballet. An invitation from the Greek International Cultural Olympiad to stage the 2004 Geną©e in the great open-air theatre of Herod Atticus at the foot of the Acropolis added another unforgettable chapter to the history of the Geną©e. In 2006 to mark the 50th anniversary of the first ballet examinations held in Hong Kong - Hong Kong hosted another spectacular, sold-out event.

Each year, an international jury headed by the Academy's President and ex prima ballerina, Dame Antoinette Sibley, selects finalists who then battle it out at a Final for the coveted Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. So high is the Geną©e standard that it is only exceptional candidates who receive a Gold medal. In addition to Dame Antoinette Sibley, the 2008 Geną©e International Ballet Competition judges include: Karen Kain, Artistic Director, National Ballet of Canada; Ashley Wheater, Artistic Director, Joffrey Ballet, Chicago; and Rex Harrington, Artist-in-Residence, National Ballet of Canada.

Each candidate will perform a 19th Century classical variation, a 20th Century classical variation and an exclusive solo commissioned by the Academy and created by a renowned choreographer for the young competitors during the week-long competition. Canadian Choreographer Sabrina Matthews has been commissioned to create two exclusive variations (male and female) to be performed by the candidates and premiered during the competition. This recent innovation has added enormous interest to the competition, both by competitors and audiences alike.
The competition culminates in a tense and exciting Final in which the finalists try to outshine each other to win over the hearts and minds of the both the Judges and the audience. The best of the best have the opportunity to win a coveted gold, silver or bronze medal and walk away with up to $11,000 in prize money.

Winners of the Geną©e International Ballet Competition have gone on to perform with leading international companies including the Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre, Australian Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet and the San Francisco Ballet to name but a few. The National Ballet of Canada's Chan Hon Goh was the first participant to win a medal for Canada (1988), while Cą©line Gittens was awarded the gold medal for her performance in 2005.

In 1977, Dame Antoinette Sibley DBE made her film debut as "Sevilla" in Herbert Ross's THE TURNING POINT dancing with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Join Veronica Tennant, herself beloved as one of Canada's best and most versatile ballerinas, at this special screening of THE TURNING POINT, after which Veronica Tennant will delve into the career and life of Dame Antoinette Sibley before opening the floor to questions from the audience.

THE TURNING POINT in a Dance Career o Friday, August 22, 7pm
Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St W
Tickets: Members: $7.08* Students/Seniors/ Children: $7.08* Non-Members: $11.56*
* Prices do not include GST, building fund fee and service charges.
Presented by the Toronto International Film Festival Group and the Royal Academy of Dance for details

The Royal Academy of Dance is a global organization with 13,500 Members, a worldwide staff of 153 and 173 examiners. With offices in 79 countries and headquarters in London, it is the largest ballet examination and dance teacher training and education institution in the world. Its mission is to promote knowledge, understanding and practice of dance internationally. It seeks to accomplish its mission through examining students of ballet, educating and training teachers of dance and promoting the study and performance of dance.
Royal Academy of Dance presents
The Geną©e International Ballet Competition
August 14 - 23, 2008
Toronto, Ontario

Wednesday, August 20 and Thursday, August 21, 2008
Betty Oliphant Theatre at Canada's National Ballet School, 400 Jarvis Street
Tickets for the Semi-finals are $35.00 per single day or $60.00 for both days and are available from the Royal Academy of Dance office in Toronto by calling 416.489.2813, toll-free 888.709.0895 or email

Saturday, August 23, 2008 @ 7pm
The Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts, 145 Queen Street West
Tickets for the Finals are $50 - $160 and can purchased by calling 416.363.8231, toll-free 800.250.4653, or email
N.B. An $8 per ticket service charge applies on all online & telephone ticket sales

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