Every four years, aspiring ballet professionals from all over the world trek to Jackson, Mississippi, to compete in the USA International Ballet Competition. America’s official international ballet competition will celebrate its 10th installment, June 14–29. The 2014 Dance School and Teacher Training Program will run in conjunction.
This year, Edward Villella (DT, January 2013) is international jury chair and Luigi (DT, September 2003) is the first jazz master to serve as honorary chairman. Luigi’s appointment might seem a surprise choice for a ballet competition, but executive director Sue Lobrano views it as a chance to honor him for a lifetime of achievement. “He’s a legend,” she says. “We just wanted to thank him for what he’s doing for dancers.”
Former Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and American Ballet Theatre dancer Roni Mahler will lead the teacher training program. Those who take part–instructors both with and without students in the competition–will get the chance to observe the dance school and competition classes and attend a Balanchine panel led by Villella.
Photo by Richard Finkelstein, courtesy of USA IBC