Congratulations to the 2023 Prix de Lausanne Winners!
The 2023 Prix de Lausanne concluded this past weekend, marking the end of the competition’s 50th anniversary. This year’s selection of international competitors participated in an action-packed week of classes, rehearsals and performances, and a special Gala of the Stars wrapped up the competition on Sunday. Out of the original 87 entrants in attendance, 11 competitors were named prizewinners.
Throughout the week, dancers from 18 nations competed for a chance to secure a spot at one of the competition’s prestigious partner schools and companies. After six days of classes and coaching, each candidate presented a classical variation and a contemporary solo evaluated by the 10-member jury led by Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo director Jean-Christophe Maillot. The winners were chosen from a selection of 22 finalists who performed during Saturday’s final round.
The Prix also presented six additional awards, and the finalists who did not win a scholarship received a Finalist Award along with 1,000 Swiss francs. A networking forum on Sunday connected all participants with the Prix’s partner schools and company representatives for additional chances for scholarships or apprenticeships. The competition also livestreamed nearly 50 hours of footage; viewers can catch recordings on the Prix YouTube channel.
Read on to learn more about the 2023 Prix de Lausanne winners, and congratulations to all who participated!
Millán De Benito (Spain)
Fifteen-year-old Millán De Benito commanded attention from his first switch-leap in the Flames of Paris men’s variation. With strong, clear execution and a mature stage presence, he confidently tied the first Prix scholarship with Mexico’s Fabrizzio Ulloa Cornejo. A student of the Royal Professional Conservatory of Dance “Mariemma,” De Benito was also this year’s Web Audience Favorite awardee.
Fabrizzio Ulloa Cornejo (Mexico)
Fabrizzio Ulloa Cornejo, 16, of Mexico’s Escuela Superior de Musica Danza de Monterrey and Switzerland’s Balletschule Theater Basel, tied with De Benito for the first Prix scholarship. Also performing the male Flames of Paris variation, Ulloa Cornejo’s controlled power and airy pirouettes helped him make history as the first Mexican to win a Prix scholarship and this year’s Best Swiss Candidate award winner.
Sangwon Park (South Korea)
Sangwon Park, 18, of South Korea’s Sunhwa Arts High School, impressed with infectious charm in her rendition of Coppélia’s Swanhilda variation. With unwavering balance and masterful épaulement, Park radiated instant star power.
Julie Joyner (USA)
Seventeen-year-old Julie Joyner, representing the U.S. as a student of Marietta, GA’s International City School of Ballet, returns to the Prix after competing in 2021’s virtual competition. In her performance of the Grand Pas Classique variation, Joyner’s engaging presence, dynamics and crystal-clear lines secured her a scholarship and the Best Young Talent award this year.
Seehyun Kim (South Korea)
While the La Esmeralda variation is almost synonymous with ballet competitions these days, Seehyun Kim, 17, of South Korea’s Seoul Arts High School, gave it fresh vigor with fiery, steady confidence. This performance also helped her win this year’s Audience Favorite award, which is chosen by the live audience.
Alecsia Maria Lazarescu (Romania)
15-year-old Alecsia Maria Lazarescu, of Ballettschule Theater Basel and the “Floria Capsali” Choreography High School, stood out in her rendition of The Talisman’s first female variation, a popular selection among female Group A candidates. This year’s only Romanian candidate, Lazarescu kicked off Friday’s selection rounds with playful coupés and gorgeous lines.
Ana Luísa Negrão (Brazil)
Ana Luísa Negrão showed composed strength and playfulness in her performance of the Grand Pas Classique variation. Originally from Brazil, the 18-year-old is in her second year of study at London’s Royal Ballet School. She is also a Contemporary Dance Award winner for her standout execution of Luca Branca’s “Les Ombres du Temps.”
Keisuke Miyazaki (Japan)
Fifteen-year-old Keisuke Miyazaki studies at Japan’s Wakui Ballet School. His performance of Siegfried’s Act III Swan Lake variation was filled with soaring ballon, snappy pirouettes and easeful, sigh-inducing arabesques.
Emily Sprout (Australia)
Emily Sprout, 16, of Australia, also stood out with her rendition of the first female variation from The Talisman. A student at Prima Youth Classical Academy, her exceptional carriage and airy pirouettes commanded attention.
Giuseppe Ventura (Italy)
Italy’s Giuseppe Ventura, 18, studies at the Zurich Dance Academy. Gorgeous attitude lines, lofty sauts de chat and clear turns marked his performance of Solor’s variation from La Bayadère.
Soo Min Kim (South Korea)
Rounding out this year’s winners is South Korea’s Soo Min Kim. The 18-year-old Sunhwa Arts High School student secured a scholarship with her dynamic execution of the lead female Paquita variation, embellished with masterful port de bras.
Young Creation Award Winners
The Young Creation Award, now in its third year, recognizes outstanding creative talent among artists ages 14–21. Choreographers submit original solo works for the chance to win recognition and a spot in the competition’s contemporary repertoire. This year’s winners, selected from five finalists, are France’s Elena Dombrowski, 19, for her Tout va bien? and the U.S.’s Aleisha Walker. Both winning pieces were performed at the competition finals on Saturday and will be available to watch on the Prix YouTube page.
Walker, 21, is an American Ballet Theatre apprentice and created her solo, Do You Care?,on ABT Studio Company member Madison Brown. Set to Johannes Bornlöf’s Nocturnal Waltz, the piece, as Walker explains in her pre-performance speech, reckons with overcoming mental obstacles based on how other people have perceived her. “You can’t let others hold you back from moving forward,” she says. “Progress is yours to achieve.” She thanked ABT and the Prix for the creative space and opportunity, as well as Brown for helping her vision “come to life.”
- Best Young Talent: Julie Joyner (USA)
- Contemporary Dance Award: Ana Louisa Negrão (Brazil) and Alexander Mockrish (Sweden)
- Best Swiss Candidate: Fabrizzio Ulloa Cornejo (Mexico)
- Web Audience Favorite: Millán De Benito (Spain)
- Audience Favorite: Seehyun Kim (South Korea)