Royal Academy of Dance

2012 Genée International Ballet Competition

The 2012 Genée International Ballet Competition, which attracted 70 candidates from 12 countries, came to a stunning climax on Saturday 15 December at the magnificent St James Theatre in Wellington.  Two gold and three silver medals were awarded by the judging panel - David McAllister, Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet (chair); Li Cunxin, Artistic Director designate of Queensland Ballet and Christopher Hampson, Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet.  Check out the photos.  Scroll down for video.

Gold: Montana Rubin, 15 years old, Australian.  Trained by Mark Reily and Peta Frith
Silver: Kaena Ahern, 17 years old, New Zealander.  Trained by Melinda Palmer
Silver: Ariana Hond, 16 years old, New Zealander.  Trained by Melinda Palmer, Heather Palmer and Allan Barry

Gold: Aurelian Child-de-Brocas, 15 years old, New Zealander.  Trained by Hilary Kaplan and Archibald McKenzie
Silver: Harry Davis, 17 years old, Australian.  Trained by Janne Blanch, Susan Massey and Steven McTaggart

No bronze medals were awarded.

THE AUDIENCE AWARD was sponsored by TORY & KO jewellers, who awarded an exclusively designed jewelled tiara to winner Ariana Hond.

GOLD MEDALLISTS: Montana Rubin & Aurelian Child-de-Brocas

SILVER MEDALLISTS: Kaena Ahern & Harry Davis & Ariana Hond

2012 Finalists
1. Montana Rubin, aged 15 from The Dance Spot (Australian)
2. Anyah Siddall, aged 16 from Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy (Australian)
3. Sana Sasaki, aged 16 from The Mcdonald College (Australian)
4. Georgina Hills, aged 17 from Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy (Australian)
5. Olivia James-Baird, aged 17 from Mt Eden Ballet Academy (New Zealander)
6. Harry Davis, aged 17 from The Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School (Australian)
7. Isobelle Dashwood, aged 15 from Classical Coaching Australia, Dance Central (Australian)
8. Kaena Ahern, aged 17 from Mt Eden Ballet Academy (New Zealander)
9. Emma McBeth, aged 18 from Alegria School of Ballet (New Zealander)
10. Kelsey Stokes, aged 16 from Prudence Bowen Atelier (New Zealander)
11. Aurelian Child-de-Brocas, aged 15 from Alegria Dance Studios (New Zealander)
12. Ariana Hond, aged 16 from Mt Eden Ballet Academy (New Zealander)

There was huge support from Royal New Zealand Ballet and New Zealand School of Dance in the run up to the competition, and overwhelming public response was evident with large audiences in attendance for the Semi-finals and the Genée Dance Challenge a junior competition in association with Genée.  The atmosphere in the theatre for Saturday's sold-out performance once again proved the Genée International Ballet Competition's reputation as a tour de force in the worldwide ballet scene.

This year, as well as performing a classical repertoire variation and specially choreographed solo (separate male and female), exclusively commissioned by New Zealand choreographer Adrian Burnett, the Finalists had the opportunity to perform an original solo choreographed by themselves or their teacher as part of 'Dancer's Own' - a new addition to the competition.


David McAllister, Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet and Chair of the Panel of Judges:
'It has been 10 years since I judged the competition in Sydney, and I think it has really evolved from that time.  The standard of the candidates was wonderfully good and the whole week has been a complete joy.'
Listen to David McAllister on Radio New Zealand.  David is Vice-President of the RAD.

Li Cunxin, Artistic Director of Queensland Ballet and one of the three Judges:
'I thought the standard was very high and that the Dancers' Own variation was the highlight of the competition and a valuable addition to the competition.  As a judge, I was pleasantly surprised by how all of the candidates brought their own unique qualities to the repertoire.'

Lynn Wallis, Artistic Director of the RAD and producer of the competition:
'The introduction of the Dancers' Own choreography section has gone so well that I will be introducing a special choreographic prize next year.'

Adrian Burnett, Choreographer of the 2012 commissioned piece:
'Congratulations to everybody, the candidates put their heart and soul into it and they did a great job!.'

TORY & KO, sponsors of the Audience Award:
'TORY & KO really loved creating two beautiful, unique pieces of jewellery for the Audience Award winner and it was such an honour to present the tiara to Ariana on stage.  We would be delighted to be the jewellers for the Genée International Ballet Competition in future years.'

Darcey Bussell, President of the Royal Academy of Dance:
'For dancers who aspire to turn their passion into a profession, the experience of competing internationally is very important.  Ballet is extremely competitive and dancers who are serious about a career need to not just have the technical and artistic ability but also the drive and stamina to go all the way.  Competitors in the Genée have the bonus of being judged by Artistic Directors from top ballet companies, and as a result many of the medallists are offered contracts.  Past winners have gone onto join many of the best ballet companies in the world.'
Listen to Darcey Bussell on Radio New Zealand.

Other Events held During the Competition 6-15 December
Candidates, Faculty and supporters were welcomed on 6 December with a very moving traditional Maori Powhiri at the New Zealand School of Dance facilities which were used for the 5 days of intensive coaching.

Genée History
History of the Genée International Ballet Competition

Winners from 1931 to 2014 Winners from 1931 to 2014 (172 KB)