Curtain falls on 44th Prix de Lausanne

2016 Prix de Lausanne Prize-Giving CeremonyThe Prix de Lausanne, an annual international ballet competition for young dancers, has yet again attracted young, promising dancers from all parts of the world. Having just concluded, it ran February 1-6 at Beaulieu Theatre in Lausanne, Switzerland. The seven 2016 prizewinners are: Hang Yu (number 126, from China); Madison Young (307, USA); Vincenzo Di Primo (412, Italy); Leroy Mokgatle (206, South Africa); Laura Fernandez (314, Switzerland); Junnosuke Nakamura (205, Japan); and Dingkai Bai (211, China). [See full results listed below.]


Out of the 71 selected candidates, 67 actually participated in the 44th edition of the competition. Out of those, only 20 were selected to compete in the Finals on Saturday, February 6. Amongst these finalists, only seven, the cream of the crop, were awarded a scholarship allowing them to further their dance studies with one of the 66 prestigious Prix de Lausanne partner schools or companies.


For non-awarded candidates, the Prix de Lausanne has organized a Networking Forum, an audition giving them the opportunity to be chosen by representatives of partner schools and companies of the Prix. The Networking Forum, in addition to the experience candidates have gained, makes the competition worthwhile for all participants.


Over the course of the week, jury members observed the candidates performing their chosen classical and contemporary variations. The jury was made up of nine internationally renowned dance professionals, as chaired by Julio Bocca, former principal of American Ballet Theatre in New York and current director of the Ballet Nacional Sodre in Uruguay.


 American dancer Madison Young competing in Prix de Lausanne FinalsThe Prix de Lausanne 2016 Prizewinners are:


– Hang Yu, 16 years old, China (sponsored by Adveq)

– Madison Young, 17 years old, USA (sponsored by Beau-Rivage Palace)

– Vincenzo Di Primo, 18 years old, Italy (sponsored by Fondation Albert Amon)

– Leroy Mokgatle, 16 years old, South Africa (sponsored by OAK Foundation)

– Laura Fernandez, 18 years old, Switzerland (sponsored by Fondation Coromandel)

– Junnosuke Nakamura, 16 years old, Japan (sponsored by Harlequin)

– Dingkai Bai, 16 years old, China (sponsored by Fondation des Amis du Prix de Lausanne)  


The Contemporary Dance Prize of Minerva Kunststiftung went to:


– Laura Fernandez, 18 years old, Switzerland

– Vincenzo Di Primo, 18 years old, Italy


American dancer Madison Young after Prix de Lausanne FinalsThe Best Swiss Candidate, sponsored by Fondation en Faveur de L’Art Choregraphique, is:


– Laura Fernandez, 18 years old, Switzerland


The 2016 Audience Favourite Award, sponsored by Fondation en Faveur de L’Art Choregraphique and Arte Concert, is:


– Leroy Mokgatle, 16 years old, South Africa


The Prix Jeune Espoir, sponsored by the Rudolphe Nureyev Foundation, went to:


– Danbi Kim, 15 years old, South Korea


During the Finals, the audience enjoyed a performance by former prizewinner Diana Vishneva, current principal of the Mariinsky Ballet of Saint Petersburg. In addition, the audience was treated to a world premiere by 12 dancers of the Junior Company of the Dutch National Ballet.


For the third consecutive year, the Prix offered daily conferences, the “Daily Dance Dialogues.” The series of talks featured ballet stars like Nikolai Tsiskaridze, Viviana Durante, Diana Vishneva and Marcelo Gomes. These dialogues were an occasion for the public to engage in a discussion with dance professionals.


For the second consecutive year, the Prix presented a live stream of daily backstage events, the selections, and the Finals in collaboration with Arte Concert, the online platform of the famous bilingual channel. For further information, visit


Photo (top): Finalists pose after the 2016 Prix de Lausanne Prize-Giving Ceremony. Photo (left and right): American dancer Madison Young at the Prix. Photos by Gregory Batardon.