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The Budapest Ballet Grand Prix kicked off on Monday evening with Day Zero. Young artists from 23 countries lined up at the registration desk in the lobby of the National Dance Theatre, and will continue to do so on Tuesday. We asked the competitors about their preparations, Budapest and of course their expectations for the BBGP.

Under the BBGP’s scoring rules, BBGP competitors are given a number at registration that will accompany them throughout the event until the final. For the majority of the competition, BBGP competitors will be called to the podium by their swarm numbers rather than their names, so the dancers who will be called on day zero of the competition will not be named in this article.

Photos by Patrik Tomasik and Zsófia Falcz

The students of the Hungarian University of Dance were excited about the competition. Many of them said that it was a very good opportunity for students and masters from several European countries, as it could be important for their future and a chance for professional development. The students of the Hungarian Dance University (HDU) have been preparing diligently for months, sparing no time and energy in working on their variations.

“We are so tired, but we are so inspired by the fact that we can do a pas de deux from a great classical ballet that we feel tireless!” – said a student from HDU.

“We want to prove ourselves first and foremost. It’s a dream come true. There are so many big names on the jury that I would like to get some feedback from all of them,” said another student from our institution.

What do the participants from Spain expect from the competition itself and from themselves?

“I would like to gain as much experience and learn as possible at the BBGP,” said one Spanish girl who is visiting Budapest for the first time. The contestant also revealed that she has spent the last few months preparing for the Budapest Ballet Grand Prix with her masters, so a big weight will come off her shoulders once she is through the competition.

As previously reported, participants have travelled from all over Europe and the world. As they arrived at the podium, we asked questions of the young dancers, and we had the opportunity to speak to a Belgian competitor after registration.

“This is my first time in Budapest. If I have time after the competition, I would love to see the city. The variation I brought for the Budapest Ballet Grand Prix required a lot of work. We are at the end of a very intense process, it required a rigorous schedule. I hope to return home with a lot of experience and to receive feedback and corrections from the masters that will shed light on my performance from a new perspective, so I can improve!”

The Czech participants we interviewed were also visiting Hungary for the first time. In addition to the competitors arriving for the BBGP, their coaches also spoke about the Budapest Ballet Grand Prix.

“It’s a very good opportunity for our students and of course a benchmark to see what we can do better. It’s also a great experience to see talented young people perform for several days.”

Following the Czech master’s words, his student talked about who he would most like to prove to with his performance at the competition.

“I really want to prove myself, but also to my masters. I would like to take their advice and follow exactly the corrections we have discussed.”

Anna Tsygankova and Tamás Nagy

Finally, a Brazilian participant admitted that he was impressed by the surroundings, the location and the city. He is already happy to be here.

We wish him to be even happier after the Budapest Ballet Grand Prix 2023.

We wish all the competitors good luck!