Fri, Aug 17, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Highlights: Competition shows highlight ballet talent

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

The Taipei Royal Ballet is presenting the finals of the 10th Taipei International Ballet Grand Prix tomorrow, coupled with a performance by the troupe of two short works, Thematic Rapsody and Fantasyland.

Photo courtesy of Taipei Royal Ballet

The Taipei Royal Ballet (台北皇家芭蕾舞團) is hosting its 10th Taipei International Ballet Grand Prix (第十屆台北國際芭蕾舞大賽) shows tomorrow, coupled with performances by the troupe itself of two short works, Thematic Rhapsody (主題狂想曲) and Fantasyland (異想舞國).

Wu Ching-yin (吳青吟), founder and artistic director of the troupe, and her husband, Hong Kang-jie (洪康捷), decided several years ago that a competition would help inspire ballet students to improve their technique, given that serious students in Taiwan have long faced an uphill battle to get master classes and performance opportunities.

Their goal was to provide educational opportunities in classical and modern ballet through master classes, films, performances and scholarships.

Their first National Ballet Competition was held in 2009. They renamed it the National Ballet Competition – International Grand Prix in 2013 to reflect the diversity of the entrants the contest was attracting and this year they changed the title again.

Scores of dancers aged from nine to 25 compete every year for cash prizes in each division ranging from NT$3,000 to NT$8,000. Trophies and other prizes as well as scholarship offers for the older ones ranging from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati — for students accepted to the school — to next year’s summer intensive programs at the Cincinnati Ballet in Ohio, the Beijing Dance Academy, the Guangzhou Ballet and Shandong University.

A seven-member jury of ballet teachers judge each competitor based on artistic presentation, technical skill and musical performance.

The actual competition, which is being held today, is closed, but the two shows tomorrow are open to the public.

The 2pm matinee, which is already sold out, features the finals of the competition, an awards ceremony and then the two works choreographed by Wu and Hong.

The 7pm show will feature performances by the winners of the competition and the dances by the company.

■ Taipei National University of the Arts Dance Theater (國立臺北藝術大學展演藝術中心戲劇廳), 1 Xueyuan Rd, Guandu District, Taipei City (台北市關渡區學園路1號)

■ Tickets are NT$400 to NT$1,000, available at NTCH box offices, online at www.artsticket.com.tw and at convenience store ticketing kiosks

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