The ballet world will pay attention to Budapest in November 2023, because the Budapest Ballet Grand Prix will begin. The desire was there before, but the organization and organization was a big challenge,” Zoltan Tamás Nagy, Chairman of the Arts Council of the Hungarian Academy of Dance (MTE), associate professor and director of the Budapest Grand Prix Ballet Competition, told Index. Organizing a competition of this quality. According to him, MTE, as a paradigm-shifting institution, now has more opportunities for this purpose.
The university administration wants its institution to be one of the most famous and recognized dance training places abroad, and this competition can make a significant contribution to achieving this. “There is no better institution to organize such a competition than the Hungarian Academy of Dance, which has been the premier institution for teaching Hungarian dance for decades. So it is also a kind of brand building.”
Equation with one unknown
Marta Fodorny Molnar, dean of the Hungarian Academy of Dance, said that before holding the competition, they were at a crossroads over who to advertise the competition to: a mix of professionals and amateurs, or exclusively for young novice dancers participating in professional performances. Training or already working in teams. Although the first option would have been more financially beneficial, they still prioritized quality.
That’s why it was about creating the right financial background and reaching out to potential competitors. In the end, they succeeded in both parts. Many more qualified competitors applied than expected (132 entries were received from 23 countries, of which 90 were selected for the walk-in competition), and several big-name sponsors found their ideas worthy of support.
Tamas Nagy believes that all this is not experienced as fear, but as an unknown equation. He explained that with the first-year competition, it is difficult to beat sponsors. “Next year it will be much easier, because we will be able to show how many distinguished contestants there are and how many people watched the different rounds of the competition, the concert and the telecast, and which famous artists made up the jury.”
The jury of the Budapest Ballet Grand Prix 2023 consists of internationally recognized dance artists, choreographers and company leaders.
- Sujin Kang – former soloist of the Stuttgart Ballet and Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Korea;
- Thomas Eddor CBE – former principal dancer with the English National Ballet;
- Daria Klimentova – former soloist with the English National Ballet, and teacher at the Royal Ballet Higher School. Founder and organizer of international ballet classes in Prague;
- David Makhatile – former soloist with the Royal Ballet in London. Founding Director of D&D Art Productions and Grand Audition, he is an invited guest teacher at the Royal Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Paris Opera, Finnish National Ballet and Royal Swedish Ballet;
- Tamás Solimosi – Hungarian State Opera Ballet Director, ballet artist, choreographer;
- Anna Tsygankova – prima ballerina of the Dutch National Ballet.
This is not applicable here
“With the Budapest Ballet Grand Prix, we offer applicants not only a competition, but also an educational process. Competitors can participate in workshops, meet and talk with jury members, and these few days also give them an insight into the international dance scene,” said the MTE President. “.
The first two days will be very long, which is part of the educational process,” Tamas Nagy said about organizing the competition. In most competitions, competitors are sent home during the warm-up if they do not see their potential.
This is not applicable here. Anyone who comes here can definitely dance two or three numbers, and only then the jury will decide who can get to the finals. As an educational institution, we want to take ballet competition in this direction, and in the case of our competition, the jury will look at the productions in a more precise way, and then they can score according to three types of criteria – performance artistry, technical knowledge and musicality.
– commented the competition director. “For example, if someone’s technical knowledge is still lacking, they can make up for it with their artistic performance and music.”
It can be a real stepping stone
The Budapest Ballet Grand Prix is announced for exceptionally talented young dancers from all over the world between the ages of 14 and 24 who consider dance as a career in various age groups. Competitors from vocational schools and teams can demonstrate their skills in three age groups in classical ballet and modern dance, both solo and duet.
The last category was intended for young artists who are already dancing in groups to promote their career, and who have not yet received solo assignments in their own group, but are potential candidates for it. Here they can offer their knowledge and even show their team managers that they are right for the job. In this way, competition can be a real stepping stone for them
– Zoltan Tamás Nagy, speaking about the Budapest Ballet Grand Prix, added: Being an art competition, the result is not primarily important here either – participation and preparation are what really matters.
In addition to competition, the BBGP organization creates opportunities for the most distinguished scholarships and careers. It also transmits the values and outcomes of Hungarian culture, Hungarian dance art and education to the wider world.