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Ukrainian dancer wins top prize in the SH International Ballet Competition

Reporter: Huang Yue 丨 CCTV.com

08-16-2016 00:32 BJT

The fifth Shanghai International Ballet Competition wrapped up last Thursday, with Ukrainian dancer Olexander Omel'chenko winning the Grand Prix prize.

23-year-old Olexander Omelchenko danced at the awarding gala last night at the Shanghai Grand Theater. Omelchenko is now First Soloist at Stanislavsky and Nemirovch Danchenko Moscow Music Theater.

Chinese dancers Qi Bingxue and Yuan Anpu won the gold awards for the senior division.

The gold awards in the junior division went to Chinese dancers Yu Hang and Xu Jingkun.

17-year-old Yu also won the gold prize at the prestigious Lausanne international dance competition in February.

The fifth Shanghai International Ballet Competition

The fifth Shanghai International Ballet Competition

The biennial Shanghai International Ballet Competition was the first ever professional ballet contest to be launched on the Chinese mainland after the foundation of the PRC. Unfortunately, the event has been suspended for the last nine years due to lack of funds. More than 100 dancers signed up as soon as the contest was announced for this year. More than half of the contestants are from 15 different countries outside of China. Some Chinese dancers say they learned a lot from their peers from other countries.

"The contestants here all performed very well. The competition is high standard," said contestant Yi Yuxun.

Many contestants are already professional dancers at famous ballet companies abroad. The six-day competition asked contestants to present two classical dances and one contemporary work at each of the three rounds. Some dancers said the competition is difficult for them but helpful for skill improvement.

"It's very good for us to get to do that because later on in our careers when we start to perform more solos there gonna be times that we have to do more than one solo. So it's a great experience to get to work on more than one at the same time," said contestant Chisako Oga.

Judges spoke highly of the ability demonstrated at this year's competition.

"I was very much impressed by the quality of the contestants especially the Chinese contestants. I see great development towards presentation. I feel the spirit comes into the dancing how it should be," said Judge Chairman Ivan Liska.

The next competition will be held two years from now in 2018, at the newly built Shanghai Dance Center in Changning District, which will be officially put into use this October.

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