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.