|Théâtre de Beaulieu|
Last year I celebrated Natasha Watson's success in The Genée in Yet More Good News from Ballet West - Natasha Watson's Medal in the Genée 30 Sept 2013. Between the 1 and 8 February 2015 Ms Watson will be competing in the 43rd International Ballet Competition for the Prix de Lausanne. This talented young dancer will be the only British competitor in the finals of this competition. I for one will be rooting for her and I am sure that every other ballet goer will do the same.
Although I visit Scotland several times a year I have not yet had the pleasure of seeing Ms Watson. However, I have seen her colleagues from Ballet West in The Nutcracker and Swan Lake as well as graduates of the school such as Sarah Mortimer who are now dancing with Ballet Theatre UK and they are good. Clearly, somebody is doing something right in Taynuilt.
The Prix de Lausanne is open to dancers aged between 15 and 18 who have not yet turned professional. According to the organizers' website its mission is:
- "To reveal the potential of exceptionally talented young dancers (ages 15 to 18) from around the globe by having them perform before a jury of world-renowned dance personalities
- To open the doors to the world’s finest schools and companies for them by providing scholarships to the most prestigious international schools and companies
- To promote their scholastic education (a dancer’s career is short-lived: from about age 18 to 38) by ensuring that they earn a high school diploma which will facilitate their career transition
- To preserve their health by applying a strict health policy: eating habits and body mass index are scrutinised before the competition."
The list of prize winners is impressive. They include Steven McRae, Alina Cojocaru, Diana Vishneva, Benjamin Millepied, Christopher Wheeldon and Carlos Acosta. Ms Watson has already done very well indeed just to get this far.
I regret that I cannot justify a week in Switzerland to see the competition but I do hope to see Ms Watson's fellow students and instructors in Romeo and Juliet in their annual tour which will culminate in a performance in the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow in February, Ballet West have already taken this show to China where it was received very well and there are videos of the company's rehearsals on its Facebook page (see Scottish Ballet and Ballet West).