The competitors that qualified for the final Third Round of the XXVI International Ballet Competition – Varna were announced at a Press Conference in the “Cherno More” Hotel today. In the Second Tour that ended last night 44 candidates performed classical and contemporary pieces of choreography. 24 of them were admitted the International Jury with Chairman Professor Vladimir Vasiliev to the decisive Third Round of the Competition. A total of 10 competitors in the “Girls” and “Boys” categories and 14 competitors in the “Women” and “Men” categories will perform at the finals.
The Korean representatives continue to be the largest group – 9 competitors, followed by Bulgaria, France and Russia with three competitors each. Japan has two competitors admitted to the final round, and China, Italy, Ukraine, and Switzerland each have one.
To the delight of the Bulgarian admirers of ballet, all three admitted to the Second Round representatives of the host country are to perform until the end of the Competition. They are Ralitsa Ilieva – “Girls” category, and Doichin Dochev and Venera Hristova in “Men” and “Women” categories, respectively.
The final Third Round of the Competition starts on 26 July in the Summer Theatre of the sea city, and will continue two days.
At the Press Conference, the members of the Jury gave answers to questions posed by journalists regarding the rating, and pointed out the objectivity of the system for evaluation. Eldar Aliev from USA shared, “All members of the Jury, as well as each person in the audience, have their favorites, these are artists that make choreographer think how they could fit into his/her company. And, if there appear replies to these questions that support the intuitive perception of the given candidate, there are outlined better perspectives before this candidate. The Varna Competition has proven to be a lawmaker of ballet, and the criteria it imposes are criteria the whole ballet community complies to because the whole ballet world is gathered here. We have had cases when in the first year certain participants have not managed to pass to the Third Round, and in the next edition of the Competition they already become medalists. That is why we are responsible in taking our decisions, and we put efforts in promoting the development of the young artists”.
The matter of the flooring of the scene of the Summer Theatre that has already turned into a symbol of the Competition was raised. Dimitar Dimitrov, Chairman of the “International Ballet Competition – Varna” Foundation outlined the technical hardships, “We are trying to provide conditions to the participants to dance on a surface they are used to dance on which is usually a type of vinyl flooring. Regretfully, the proximity of the sea does not permit us to install such a floor due to the danger of condensation. Therefore, we are looking for technical solutions that would allow the condition of the floor to remain stable and safe 24 hours a day until the end of the Competition. The temporary solution of the problem we trusted to the number one company in the world in the construction of dance floorings – Harlequin. They installed a wooden floor which has a system of absorbing the impact at the landing of the competitors. We hope that after our experience from this year, we will continue our cooperation with Harlequin to find a lasting solution for the Summer Theatre”.
The Managing Director of the Harlequin Floors, Guy Dagger, who is in Varna for the days of the Competition said, “The Varna Competition is the competition with the highest reputation in the world, and it has a tradition of its own. 50 years ago things stood differently, and 25 years ago, for example, we began our cooperation with the Bolshoi Theatre which still has our flooring. It is on our flooring that the companies of the Paris Grand Opera, the London Royal Ballet, and the National Ballet of Korea dance. In Varna, the weather poses a huge challenge because it is quite complex to develop a system that provides the necessary cohesion, and does not allow the formation of condensation all at once. I dare say that the scene in the Summer Theatre behaves well. It, of course, needs daily care – we process it with chemicals every day to prevent the danger of causing injuries to the competitors. This scene is definitely different from the hard floor ballet dancers used to dance on in the past, but we will continue to seek new solutions for the Varna Ballet Competition”.
The International Ballet Competition – Varna which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary is organized by the “International Ballet Competition – Varna” Foundation, the Varna Municipality is a co-organizer. The forum is held with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria. Patron of the jubilee edition is Margarita Popova, Vice President of Republic of Bulgaria. The Ballet Olympiad is under the patronage of the UNESCO, and Irina Bokova, Director General of the world organization. The Competition is held in support of the candidacy of Varna for European Capital of Culture in 2019. General sponsor of the competition is Societe Generalе Expressbank.