About

Moscow International Ballet Competition has become a tradition, an integral and prolific aspect of the world ballet community. Founded in 1969 it quickly attained professional  prestige as well as a reputation of a  serious platform for young dancers. The magic of the Bolshoi Theatre  has always attracted young dancers from all over the world, and success on its famous stage meant  wonderful future possibilities. 

The Moscow Competition has given the world a galaxy of extraordinary dancers, providing them with invaluable experience. A majority of the winners have become well-known ballet stars in their own countries. 

The ballet competition was founded by the legends of the Russian Ballet  -Igor Moiseyev, Olga Lepeshinskaya and Galina Ulanova. Since 1973 Yuri Grigorovich, an outstanding choreographer of our times has been the permanent President of the Jury of the Moscow Competition. 

Over the years the International Jury included Marina Semenova, Maya Plietskaya,  Vladimir Vasiliev, Yvette Chauvire and Claud Bessy (France), Alicia Alonso (Cuba), Arnold Haskell (UK), Allan Fridericia and Kirsten Ralov (Danmark), Birgit Cullberg (Sweden), Rudivan Dantzig (Netherlands), Robert Joffrey and Natalya Makarova (USA), Konstanze Vernon and Dietmar Seiffert (Germany), Doris Lane (Finland), Julio Bocca (Argentina) and other representatives of the ballet elite. 

The Moscow Ballet Competition Grand Prix has been awarded only to four dancers so far: Nadezhda Pavlova (USSR, II Ballet Competition in 1973), Irek Mukhamedov (USSR, IV Ballet Competition in 1981), Andrei Batalov (Russia, VIII Ballet Competition in 1997), Denis Matvienko (Ukraine, X Ballet Competition and Contest of Choreographers in 2005). 

Among the winners of the Moscow Competition are Francesca Zumbo, Patrice Bart, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Eva Evdokimova,   Lyudmila Semenyaka, Viacheslav Gordeev, Loipa Araujo, Vladimir Derevyanko, Nina Ananiashvili, Andris Liepa, Julio Bocca, Vladimir Malakhov, Maria Aleksandrova, Alina Cojocaru, Nikolay Tsiskaridze, Natalia Osipova, Ivan Vasiliev etc. 

Since 2001 the Ballet competition is held together with the Contest of Choreographers. 

Thrice the Moscow Competition has paid tribute to the outstanding Russian and world ballet personalities: the VII International Ballet Competition in 1993 was dedicated to the choreography of Marius Petipa, the IX International Ballet Competition and Contest of Choreographers in 2001 was held in honour of Galina Ulanova, the XI International Ballet Competition and Contest of Choreographers in 2009 was dedicated to the great Russian ballerina Marina Semenova. 

The press-centre of the Competition  is responsible for organizing  meetings, seminars and exhibitions during the contest. 

The Moscow Competition is important not only as a means of professional interaction among dancers. It also provides a venue for teachers and choreographers to exchange  ideas, serves as a platform for discussions and development  of ballet science and professional critiques, and it gives the opportunity to get acquainted with different cultures. 

The Moscow Competition retains its classical traditions, its standard of excellence, a triumph of youth and beauty and a celebration of the Art of Ballet. 

International Ballet Competition is held every 4 years. It is State sponsored  and plays an important role in the world culture. 

In this competition I saw a lot of talented young people, many amazing surprises... featuring himself, his work, each participant thus represented his country, the level of its culture. We all were interested to see what is happening in the world in the field of dance, what's new and significant.

Arnold Haskell, UK

The alarming tendency is that the contestants very often change the chorographical “texts”. This arises a strongest protest in me – I do not want to see the well-known choreography of a ballet masterpiece to be filled up with various “additions” which destroy its style and logic…Distortion of choreographer’s original texts is caused by the technical difficulties which make it hard to perform for the contestants. Then they make a “light version”. The situation is very irritating and requires certain amendments in the competition Regulations.

Charles Jude, France

... This is a great event and I am confident that even the performance on the most famous stages in the world will be a precious memory for all who participate in the competition, regardless of whether they will be among the first or not.

Arnold Haskell, UK

And what I would consider to be the most important – the Competition allows us to see that it is the individual style that is most valued in art

Alicia Alonso, Cuba

Since the very first competition in 1969 many things have changed. And if at that time the difference between the countries with long-standing traditions of classical dance and the counties which did not have any was very big, in the following years this gap has faded away. The popularity of ballet has grown up all around the world. And all the better, as I think it has become difficult to demonstrate you mastery, skills, - the professional requirements have been leveled up!

Olga Lepeshinskaya, USSR

Our Competition, giving a very difficult program, thus stimulates the progress of ballet.

Yuri Grigorovich, Russia
To affirm the basis of classical dance, constantly renewing it, enriching it with new lexis, new themes, new genres – that is what our common task is, that is what should reveal itself most brightly at the Competition.
Igor Moiseev, USSR
To success at the competition you need to have a great deal of personality, the strength… You need to be able to show that you love ballet and to perform even better than you actually can.
Loipa Araujo, Cuba
Ballet is not a sport, the combination of ballet movements should be expressive, meaningful, magical. Bazil and Jose should have the same brilliant technique, but by no means – the same expression.
Ben Stevenson, USA
At the International competition in Moscow I have seen a lot of what is really interesting, which I woul never see anywhere else. I love the art of classical dance and will never lay its precious heritage aside. But every time the epoch brings out something fresh, new. And you do not have to make the choice of “either…or” in art. That is fine which is perfect. This is life itself.
Agnes De Mille, USA
Organizers