American named a Prix de Lausanne winner

Prix de Lausanne 2017 FinalistsLauren Hunter, a 15-year-old from California, was named one of the eight prizewinners of the 2017 Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition over the weekend. Along with seven other competitors, she was awarded a scholarship that will allow her to choose among the 68 prestigious partner schools and companies of the competition. 


The 45th edition kicked off in Switzerland on January 29. Only 67 dancers participated in the 2017 event out of the 74 who were originally accepted to compete out of 338 entries from 36 different countries. Hunter was one of five American dancers at this year’s Prix de Lausanne. She was the only one to make it to the Finals, which took place Saturday, February 4.


Prix de Lausanne 2017 PrizewinnerThe 8 Prizewinners of the 2017 Prix de Lausanne are:

#102 – Lauren Hunter – 15 years old – United States

#410 – Michele Esposito – 17 – Italy

#306 – Marina Fernandes da Costa Duarte – 17 – Brazil

#415 – Taisuke Nakao – 17 – Japan

#201 – Koyo Yamamoto – 15 – Japan

#423 – Stanislaw Wegrzyn – 18 – Poland

#120 – Diana Georgia Ionescu – 16 – Romania

#406 – Sunu Lim – 17 – South Korea


Italy’s Michele Esposito (#410) also won the Contemporary Dance Prize for his interpretation of Nijinsky and the Best Swiss Candidate Prize for his performance of Nijinsky and La Bayadere.


Prix de Lausanne 2017 PrizewinnerBrazil’s Marina Fernandes da Costa Duarte (#306) was named the Audience Favorite.


The Rudolf Nureyev Foundation Artistic Award also went to a Brazilian – 16-year-old dancer Denilson Almeida (#205.)


During the Finals’ interlude, the audience enjoyed a world premiere by John Neumeier entitled John’s dream, performed by the National Youth Ballet of Germany. They also saw a grand pas de deux choreographed by Christian Spuck and performed by The Royal Ballet’s Principal Dancer Lauren Cuthbertson and Ballett Zürich’s Soloist Alexander Jones.


During the week of the competition, the Prix de Lausanne’s daily live-streamed sessions were watched more than 500,000 times by viewers online – via ARTE Concert, its website and Facebook. Shelly Power, artistic director and chief executive officer for the Prix de Lausanne, stated, “Thanks to the live streaming, the Prix de Lausanne is proud to share this unique experience worldwide.”


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Photo (top): Finals’ Candidates on stage. Photo (left and right): Lauren Hunter competing at Finals. Photos by Gregory Batardon, courtesy of Prix de Lausanne.

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