Varna Mayer Ivan Portnih held a meeting today in the “Varna” Hall in the City-hall with the management of the “International Ballet Competition – Varna” Foundation, and the members of the International Jury of the ballet forum. He welcomed the ballet celebrities that comprise the International Jury of the Competition, and pointed out: “The Ballet Competition is an emblem of Varna Municipality, therefore, the Municipality and the citizens of Varna feel deeply about the competition, and it is wonderful this year we all celebrate its 50th anniversary”.
Dimitar Dimitrov, Chairman of the “International Ballet Competition – Varna” Foundation thanked for the exceptional support of Varna Municipality as a co-organizer of the Competition during the past 5 decades, while Sonia Dimitrova, member of the Management Board of the “International Ballet Competition – Varna” Foundation, introduced the members of the International Jury. The jury is chaired by Professor Vladimir Vasiliev, Russia, its members are Professor Petar Lukanov, Bulgaria, Eldar Aliev, USA, Maximiliano Guerra, Argentine, Yoko Morishita, Japan, Cirylle Atanassoff, France, Professor Suhua Xiao, China, Johann Fogl, Germany, Luca Masala, Monaco, Tursynbek Nurkaliyev, Kazakhstan, Konstantine Dutu, Rumania, Dr Seon-Hee Jang, Korea, Academician Krasimira Koldamova, Bulgaria, Sara-Nora Krasteva, Bulgaria. Jury members Aurora Bosch, Cuba, Professor Sun-Hee Kim, Korea, and Associate Professor Biser Deyanov, Bulgaria could not take part in the meeting as they give classes at the International Summer Ballet Academy. Each member of the Jury was applauded by the journalists and ballet figures present at the meeting.
The Chairman of the Jury, Professor Vladimir Vasiliev, spoke of the past decades of the Competition: “Wonderful people have been part of the Varna Competition throughout all these decades, yet we have been given the great honor to be here for the 50th jubilee of the Competition. The Competition level this year is very high – three thirds of the competitors are with very close ratings, and we now must be firm, and have just half of them pass to the Third Round. Yet we already regard them as our children… Let us thank the people who during these five decades have made this forum happen. Many of them already are not among us, but they were people who wrote history. We bear enormous gratitude also for Emil Dimitrov, thanks to whom Varna now has such a trump-card in both presenting itself internationally and as a candidate for European Capital of Culture in 2019. He was one of the people who established Bulgarian ballet on the world scene. Thank you Mr. Portnih and Varna Municipality! Thank you children of Emil Dimitrov, for continuing a great work!”
Professor Petar Lukanov again underlined the support of the Jury for the candidacy of Varna for European Capital in 2019. Luca Masala from Monaco, who is for the first time in Bulgaria, noted that with each round the level of the Competition becomes higher, and shared his great expectations for the performance of the competitors in the Third Round. Professor Suhua Xiao from China pointed out that he was in Varna for the eleventh time, and said that almost a year of his life has passed in the Bulgarian sea city. “Creating this competition in such a small country must have been a real feat, a glimpse in the future. I thank Varna and Bulgaria for this wonderful year of my life! I have been a member of juries of international competitions 42 times, he pointed out, but I regard the Varna Competition as the most difficult and prestigious ballet competition in the world. I wish it to prosper and keep providing world ballet with new stars time and again. We thank Varna for this!”
Ballet photographer Stoyan Lefedzhiev, who has been photographing the competition for decades, took the opportunity to give the Varna Mayor his book-album of photographs dedicated to the Ballet Competition.
The Mayor expressed his gratitude and led the guests to the stately Press Center of the Municipality where Professor Vladimir Vasiliev was ceremoniously awarded the honorary token of the Mayor of the city of Varna. The Director of the “Culture and Spiritual Development” Department of the Municipality, Antonia Yovcheva, voiced the decision for awarding of the token, and emphasized that Vladimir Vasiliev, a name – legend in world ballet, is not only the first and only, until now, holder of the Grand Prix of Varna Municipality, but also a great friend of the sea city who keeps contributing for the good image of Varna and of the Ballet Competition around the world.
Ivan Portnih stated, “It is a high honor for me to bestow Professor Vladimir Vasiliev with the honorary token of the Mayor of Varna. This act is a manifestation that Varna Municipality appreciates the enormous contribution Professor Vasiliev has for the acknowledgment of the name of Varna as a globally recognized ballet center, and as a scene at which the careers of future great names in the art of ballet begin”.
At the end, the Jury, organizers of the competition, and ballet figures had their picture taken in front of the Coat of Arms of the city of Varna to preserve their memories and this moving moment of the 50th jubilee of the 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.