WBC Pre-Professional Gold medalist Julia Anne Conway. All photos by Siggul/Visual Arts Masters
It seems like international ballet competitions are everywhere this summer. While the Jackson and Varna IBCs are just around the corner, over 120 dancers descended upon Orlando, FL, last week for the eighth annual World Ballet Competition. Ranging in age from 9 to 24, the competitors represented 22 countries, as well as 22 states from the U.S. In addition to medals, cash prizes and job offers, participants were eligible for scholarships to numerous summer intensives and year-round programs. The United States was well represented in the winners’ circle, with four American dancers sweeping the female pre-professional division.
The All Stars of Dance gala topped off the event on Saturday night, in which competitors danced alongside an eclectic roster of professionals, including a rousing performance of Balanchine’s Tarantella by New York City Ballet’s Daniel Ulbricht and Boston Ballet’s Shelby Elsbree. The gala also featured Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s JoAnna Schmidt, Colorado Ballet’s Abigail Cotter and State Street Ballet’s Meredith Harrill in a new ballet choreographed by Viktor Plotnikov, along with performances by Cuban international guest artists Rolando Sarabia and Venus Villa, Momix Dance Company and Metropolis Productions aerial company.
Here’s the rundown of winners from the professional and pre-professional divisions:
Female Professional Medalists (ages 18–24)
Gold: Jin Zhang (China)
Silver: Nina Barcelos Fernandes (Brazil)
Bronze: Claire Rathbun (USA)
Male Professional Medalists (ages 18–24)
Gold: Lang Ma (China)
Silver: Jorge Lopez Barani (Cuba)
Bronze: Kota Fujishima (Japan)
Female Pre-professional Medalists (ages 14–17)
Gold: Julia Anne Conway (USA)
Silver: Madeline Gardella (USA)
Bronze: Caitlin Rosalie Field (USA); Jessica He (USA)
Male Pre-professional Medalists (ages 14–17)
Silver: Jin Chang Gu (China)
Bronze: Austin Acevedo (USA)
Pas de Deux Medalists (ages 14-24)
Gold: Maria Clara Marinho Coelho and João Pedro de Jesus Sampaio Machado (Brazil, pictured below)
Silver: Nina Barcelos Fernandes and Davi Chagas de Carvalho (Brazil)
Bronze: Maine Kawashima and Masahiro Haneji (Japan)
Click here for a full list of medalists and scholarship winners.