Announcing the Winners of the 2022 Helsinki IBC

June 7, 2022

The ninth Helsinki International Ballet Competition came to a close on Monday, June 6, with a celebratory gala and awards ceremony at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet. Sixty-two dancers representing 16 countries participated throughout the week of competitions, master classes and performances. Twenty-one of them advanced to the finals held on June 4 and 5.

The gala included performances by both special guest stars and the finalists, who reprised their classical and contemporary pieces. International guest artists Brooklyn Mack (who also served on the jury) and Patricia Zhou danced the exhilarating Black Swan pas de deux from Swan Lake, and Bayerisches Staatsballett principals Maria Baranova and Emilio Pavan closed the gala with Roland Petit’s Méditation de Thaïs pas de deux. Livestreamed on the HIBC website, the bilingual program was interspersed with commentary from Svenska Yle journalists Jenny Jägerhorn (a former dancer with the Finnish National Ballet) and Liisa Vihmanen along with Marko Juusela, a Finnish dancer with the Mariinsky Ballet. They also conducted interviews with various dancers, choreographers and Finnish artists at intermission.

Dancer and choreographer Minna Tervamäki introduced the artists throughout the show and emceed the award ceremony immediately following the gala. Madeleine Onne, artistic director of Finnish National Ballet and HIBC’s international jury president, took a moment to praise her “jury of megastars” as humble role models for the next generation. “I want to have excellence, experience, but I want them to be good human beings,” she said of the judges, who included Mack, Nina Ananiashvili, Frank Andersen, Julio Bocca, Jorma Elo and Nicolas Le Riche. “Culture has a great impact on society, and it is important that we have the right front figures.” With that, the competitors were called onstage one by one to receive their certificates and a bouquet of flowers, to roaring applause.

Check out the winners below. Congratulations to all!

Jane Erkko Grand Prix (€20,000/~$21,400)

Yuka Masumoto, Japan

Yuka Masumoto, with Clark Eselgroth. Photo by Roosa Oksaharju, courtesy Helsinki IBC.

Doris Laine Prize (€12,000/~$12,800)

Giulio Diligente, Italy

Giulio Diligente stands onstage in front of a bronze-lit backdrop, posing in a tendu devant croisé with his left leg in front. He holds his right arm outstretched in front of him and his left arm up, and wears a brown loincloth costume with a strap around his right shoulder, and brown ballet slippers. He looks out over his right hand confidently.
Giulio Diligente performs a variation from La Esmeralda. Photo by Roosa Oksaharju, courtesy Helsinki IBC.

Senior Women

Hui Wen Peng wears a pink peasant dress costume and performs a large sissone fermé onstage in front of a bronze-lit backdrop. She holds her right arm out to the side and her left arm up She wears pink tights and pointe shoes, and looks out towards the audience with a happy smile.
Hui Wen Peng. Photo by Roosa Oksaharju, courtesy Helsinki IBC.

First Prize (€10,000/~$10,700)

Not awarded

Second Prize (€7,000/~$7,500)

Hui-Wen Peng, Taiwan

Third Prize (€5,000/~$5,300)

Viola Länsivuori, Finland

Senior Men

Keita Fujishima performs a sissone onstage moving towards stage left. Shirtless, he wears black pants, socks and ballet slippers and stretches his arms high above his head. He turns his head and looks down towards his left.
Keita Fujishima of Japan performs Zahir. Photo by Roosa Oksaharju, courtesy Helsinki IBC.

First Prize (€10,000/~$10,700)

Keita Fujishima, Japan

Second Prize (€7,000/~$7,500)

Luciano Ghidoli, Italy

Third Prize (€5,000/~$5,300)

Joshua Kiesel, USA

Junior Women

Maya Schonbrun performs onstage in front of a blue-green backdrop, wearing a peasant-dress costume with a pink skirt and purple and pink bodice. She is shown executing a large saut de chat towards stage left with her arms in high fifth. She looks toward up and out towards the wings with a large smile.
Maya Schonbrun performs a variation from Coppelia. Roosa Oksaharju, courtesy Helsinki IBC.

First Prize (€5,000/~$5,300)

Maya Schonbrun, USA

Second Prize (€3,500/~$3,700)

Matoi Kawamoto, Japan

Third Prize (€2,000/~$2100)

Alexis Workowski, USA

Junior Men

Clark Eselgroth performs an entrechat six onstage during a performance. He wears a black tunic, tights and ballet slippers as his costume, and holds his arms out to the side as he jumps. He holds his head high and smiles toward the audience and performs in front of a blue backdrop.
Clark Eselgroth in a variation from Grand Pas Classique. Photo by Roosa Oksaharju, courtesy Helsinki IBC.

First Prize (€5,000/~$5,300)

Clark Eselgroth, USA

Second Prize (€3,500/~$3,700)

Alexei Orohovsky, USA

Third Prize (€2,000/~$2,100)

Vasco Yu Belo Prazeres Pereira, Portugal

Attitydi/Attitude Award (€1,000/~$1,000)

Pinja Rissanen, Finland

Rinja Rissanen performs a saut de chat onstage towards stage left during a performance, in front of a bronze-lit backdrop. She wears a short black skirt and patterened black and gray bodice, with a black choker around her neck, and tan pointe shoes. She lifts her arms high and slightly behind her as she jumps.
Pinja Rissanen of Finland. Photo by Roosa Oksaharju, courtesy Helsinki IBC.

Encouragement Award From the Jury (€1,000/~$1,000)

Alexei Orohovsky, USA

Alexei Orohovsky kneels on his left knee as he finishes a dance onstage. He lifts his arms high in a wide V-shape and smiles confidently towards the audince. He wears a birght red bolero jacket and gold cumberbund, white tights, and white ballet slippers, and poses in front of a black backdrop.
Alexei Orohovsky in a variation from Paquita. Photo by Roosa Oksaharju, courtesy Helsinki IBC.

Special Partnership Prize: Pas de Deux (€5,000/~$5,300)

Yuka Masumoto, Japan, and Clark Eselgroth, USA