The Board of Trustees of the Foundation for the Hungarian Dance University (HDU) and the Hungarian Dance University will organise their first independent international ballet competition named Budapest Ballet Grand Prix (BBGP) between 21 and 24 November 2023.
On 24 October 2023, the Organising Committee held a press conference in the Zórándi Hall of the Hungarian Dance University. The event was entitled “One month before the Budapest Ballet Grand Prix”.
At the event, which was attended by many, it was Minister of State for Innovation and Higher Education Dr Balázs Hankó that held a keynote-speech. Other participants included Erika Miklósa, Kossuth Prize-winning soprano coloratura opera singer, recipient of the Order of St. Stephen of Hungary, and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the MOL-New Europe Foundation, János Kiss, Kossuth Prize-winning ballet artist, President of the Board of Trustees of the University, Professor Márta Fodor-Molnár, Rector of the Hungarian Dance University and Zoltán Tamás Nagy, Competition Director of BBGP.
The event was hosted by Noémi Morvai, presenter of the M5 culture public television channel, and by the event’s Head of Communications, Dániel Mezei, as in early December, M5 will broadcast a detailed summary of the BBGP Gala to be held at Müpa Budapest. At the beginning of the press conference, it was also revealed that the first days of the competition will be hosted by the university’s excellent partner, the National Dance Theatre.
BBGP aims to become the most renowned and acknowledged ballet competition in Central Europe and the continent within five years of its launch in 2023. With such high standards in mind, the Organising Committee will do its best to ensure that the first edition, to be held between 21 and 24 November 2023, will already meet the highest standards. The BBGP will provide young dancers with an opportunity to compete and gain exposure on the international dance scene, offer scholarships and career opportunities to the most outstanding dancers, and promote the values and achievements of Hungarian culture, dance and dance education to the world.
As indicated by HDU Rector Márta Fodor-Molnár, organically 132 competitors from 23 countries entered the BBGP, which indicates that there is a demand for a professional ballet competition in Central Europe. As one of the main goals of the university is to become a leading dance training institution in Europe, it is particularly glad to see such a great interest in the first edition of the competition. Following the pre-selection process, 90 ballet dancers are expected to take part in the event and the high number of applicants is expected to result in a very high artistic standard.
Of course, HDU is also preparing for the event. The organisation is underway, and the students are also preparing to give their best performance in front of a very prestigious international jury, which will include Tamás Solymosi, the Hungarian State Opera’s Ballet Director.
Members of the jury:
- Thomas Edur CBE, former principal dancer with the English National Ballet,
- Jan Broeckx, Artistic Director, Ballett-Akademie of the University of Music and performing Arts, Munich,
- Suejin Kang, former principal dancer of the Stuttgart Ballet and Artistic Director of the Korean National Ballet,
- Daria Klimentova, former principal dancer with the English National Ballet and teacher at the Royal Ballet Upper School. Founder and organiser of the International Ballet Masterclasses in Prague,
- David Makhateli, former principal dancer with the Royal Ballet of London. Founding director of D&D Art Productions and Grand Audition, invited guest teacher at the Royal Ballet, the Dutch National Ballet, the Paris Opera, the Finnish National Ballet and the Royal Swedish Ballet,
- Tamás Solymosi, Ballet Director of the Hungarian State Opera House, ballet artist, choreographer,
- Anna Tsygankova, solo dancer with the Dutch National Ballet.