Young Choreographers’ Competition: objectives and issues

It is often difficult today for a young classical/neo-classical choreographer to gain recognition or launch a creative project. Hiring an ensemble of classically trained dancers that can be available for several weeks to create a performance, finding theaters where they can be booked, etc. are activities that are too often out of reach.

Thus above and beyond providing support for emerging young choreographers and new talented individuals, one of the issues pointed out is renewing the ballet repertoire and giving it high visibility in the profession both nationally and internationally.

To assist emerging young choreographers, in 2015, Charles Jude and Thierry Malandain have decided to create a competition to identify, highlight and assist two budding talents during three seasons by giving them the means to create for an ensemble of classical dancers and present their work to audiences.

Another objective is also to help attract and promote aspiring choreographers that didn’t dare try their luck until now.

The purpose is to assist an “artistic associate” at the Centre for Choreographic Cooperation to prepare him or her to direct a Ballet (artistic and team management, communication, partner relationships, seeking funding, etc.).

Today, the Bordeaux National Opera’s Ballet, the Malandain Ballet Biarritz with the CCN Ballet de l’Opéra national du Rhin and the support of the Caisse des Dépôts group, launch the 2nd Edition of the Emergent choreographers contest.

Competition’s General Programme

15 october 2017 – 17 december 2017: call for applications

15 january 2018: six finalists nomination

27 may 2018: final round for the 6 finalists. Selection in Bordeaux (France) Grand Theatre of two winners and special awards

2018-2019 Season: creating and performing residencies with both Ballet companies.


Six finalist

The six candidates selected for the final phase which will take place May 27 2018 at the Grand Théâtre of Bordeaux (France) are:

★ Robert Bondara (Polish National Ballet)
★ Marioenrico D’Angelo (Saarländisches Staatstheater)
★ Craig Davidson (ex Ballet Royal des Flandres from 2003 to 2013 & Sempeoper Ballet from 2014 to 2017)
★ Julien Guérin (Ballets de Monte Carlo)
★ Ludmilla Komkova (Ballet du Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden)
★ Mattia Russo  (Compañía Nacional de Danza de España from 2012 to 2017, choreographer in the company Kor’sia) & Antonio De Rosa (Compañía Nacional de Danza de España from 2011 to 2017 – soloist from 2013, choreographer in the company Kor’sia)

Centre for Choreographic Cooperation

Before presiding over the destinies of their respective dance troupes, the former Bordeaux National Opera Ballet’s Choreographer and Director Charles Jude and the Toulouse Capitole Ballet’s Choreographer and Dance Director Kader Belarbi were leading “étoile” dancers at the Paris Opera Ballet. As for Thierry Malandain, he has made a name for himself as the creator of works presented in France and worldwide with Malandain Ballet Biarritz as well as prestigious international ballets.

Today, these three figures focus on the aesthetics of classical dance from its roots to its most current forms. Their collaboration is a result of the Greater South West’s Centre for Choreographic Cooperation (in French: Pôle de coopération chorégraphique du Grand Sud-Ouest).

The Centre’s project came to be in 2012 as a result of several observations. Ballet, now more than ever, continues to delight a broad audience thanks to works taken from its repertoire and creations. Despite this popularity, there are only five hundred dancers employed under permanent contracts in France, there are very few troupes compared to other countries, and ultimately there aren’t many young choreographers demanding a commitment to academic vocabulary. This is even more ironic than the vocabulary, since Ballet as a theatrical genre earned a reputation for excellence in France before spreading throughout Europe and then worldwide.

In this context, the Centre’s aim is to encourage a joint analysis of Ballet today by creating and producing new choreographies, an economic model for tours, conditions for emerging young classical/neo-classical choreographers, training and dancing careers, etc.


Charles Jude, Thierry Malandain et Kader Belarbi © Olivier Houeix