Edward Villella chairs distinguished 2014 panel
The USA International Ballet Competition strives to provide dancers the opportunity to test their skills against the highest international standards.
The USA IBC was the first international competition to allow only one jury member per country, a requirement that has since been replicated by other competitions that seek to ensure fairness.
The 2014 International Jury, chaired by Edward Villella, USA, includes noted dance experts from around the world.
2014 International Jury Members
Julio Bocca began his studies at age four under tutelage of his mother, Nancy Bocca, and three years later joined the Superior Institute of Art of the Colon Theatre. In 1982, he became a principal dancer in the Teresa Carreño Foundation of Venezuela and in the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 1985, he won gold at the 5th International Ballet Competition in Moscow and, in 1986, joined the American Ballet Theatre as principal dancer. He danced as a guest artist with leading companies, with renowned partners such as Nina Ananiashvili, Eleonora Cassano, Alessandra Ferri, Carla Fracci, Cynthia Gregory, Susan Jaffe, Julie Kent, Natalia Makarova, Amanda McKerrow, Raquel Rossetti, Cheryl Yeager and Ana Botafogo. In the 1990s, he founded Ballet Argentino; created a dance school; and, with choreographer and director Ricky Pashkus, established the School of Musical Comedy. Among the many awards Bocca has received were the Maria Ruanova Award Inter Pares, 1986; Dancer of the Year, The New York Times, 1987; Benois de la Danse, Bolshoi Theatre, 1992; Cultural Equinox career tribute, Gold Medal in the Arts by Kennedy Center International Committee of the Arts and homage by American Ballet Theatre during Noche Latina, all in 2008; and the Rome Prize, in Ostia, 2010. He danced for the last time at the Avenida 9 de Julio in Buenos Aires, in December 2007, before an audience of more than 300,000. In 2009, he moved to Montevideo, Uruguay, where President José Mujica appointed him director of the national ballet, composed of dancers of different nationalities with whom he tours globally.
John Meehan joined the Australian Ballet in 1970, was promoted to principal dancer in 1974 and, in 1977, joined American Ballet Theatre as a principal dancer. He also appeared as guest artist with the New York City Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada. Meehan danced an extensive repertoire of classical and contemporary ballets, frequently partnering many important ballerinas, including Margot Fonteyn, Natalia Makarova, Merrill Ashley, Gelsey Kirkland, Cynthia Gregory and the Australian ballet stars Marilyn Rowe and Marilyn Jones. He served as artistic director of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the ABT Studio Company and the Hong Kong Ballet. He has been a jury member for the Prix de Lausanne, Youth America Grand Prix and the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson. Meehan has taught and rehearsed repertoire for the American Ballet Theatre, the Joffrey Ballet, the Australian Ballet and the Houston Ballet. He currently is chair of dance at Vassar College.
As a principal dancer of the National Ballet of China, Feng Ying danced all leading roles of the company repertoire of her time, winning acclaims from her peers and audiences around the world. Following her appointment as the company director in 2009, she orchestrated the production of numerous world classic pieces, and participated in dozens of international events to exchange new ideas with peers around the world. She also led the company to international tours every year, including performances at Nijinsky Festival in Hamburg and Edinburgh International Art Festival. She has served as a jury member at the 19th Benios de la Danse inRussia, Helsinki International Ballet Competition, International Ballet Competition in Japan, 1st Beijing International Ballet and Choreography Competition, and Taoli Cup National Dance Competition in China.
Born in Tbilisi, Nina Ananiashvili became Georgia’s junior figure-skating champion in 1973, at age 10, the same year she began studying ballet. She went on to the Moscow Choreographic Institute, affiliated with the Bolshoi Ballet, and joined the Bolshoi in 1981. She quickly advanced to the position of soloist and was a prima ballerina from 1985 to 2004. She has been prima ballerina for the American Ballet Theatre, danced as the first former-Soviet ballerina for the New York City Ballet and has performed leading parts on the major stages of the world. Since 2004, she has served as artistic director of the State Ballet of Georgia, helping to turn it into a world-class company, touring worldwide and producing numerous acclaimed productions, including, recently, Swan Lake (2012)and La Fille Mal Gardée (2013). Ananiashvili is the only ballerina awarded the four most prestigious ballet prizes: gold at the 10th International Ballet Competition, Varna, 1980; Grand Prix, 4th International Ballet Competition, Moscow, 1981; gold, 5th International Ballet Competition, Moscow, 1985; and Grand Prix, 3rd International Ballet Competition, Jackson, 1986. She was awarded the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity in 2011 and was a member of the advisory board for the Rolex Arts Initiative in 2012–2013.
Gigi Hyatt received her training in her hometown of Berlin with Tatiana Gsovsky and continued it in 1974 in Munich with Konstanze Vernon at the Heinz-Bosl-Stiftung. In 1982, Hyatt won the gold in the Junior Division of the International Ballet Competition in Jackson and in the same year joined the Hamburg Ballet, directed by John Neumeier. In 1984, she was honored with the Wilhelm Oberdorffer Award and, in 1985, was named “Best Young Dancer” by Ballett International magazine. Hyatt was fortunate to dance in many ballets choreographed by John Neumeier and created numerous roles. In 1997, she moved to the USA, where she first became ballet mistress and teacher at The Georgia Ballet and School, and in 2004 assumed the position of artistic director. Hyatt returned to Hamburg in 2013 and is pedagogical principal and deputy director of the School of the Hamburg Ballet.
Born in Nagoya, Japan, Hideo Fukagawa studied ballet at the Ochi Ballet Company (Minoru Ochi) from the age of 14. He later studied under Jean-Claude Louise, John Cranko, Nora Kids and Yurgen Schneider. In 1965, he won third prize, bronze medal, at Varna International Ballet Competition. In 1969, he won a silver medal and the Nijinsky Award from Serge Lifar at the Moscow International Ballet Competition. He became a soloist at the Komische Opera, East Berlin, and won a silver (gold was not awarded) at the 1970 Varna International Ballet Competition. In 1971, he participated in the Ballet Gala Performance in London and joined the Stuttgart Ballet, under the direction of John Cranko. In 1973, he began a seven-year contract with Munich State Opera Theater as a first soloist dancer and was invited to perform across Europe and in the USA. He returned to Japan in 1980 and performed as a guest dancer as he began choreographing up to five new works a year, including a request in 2005 by John Cranko Shule. As an active choreographer today, he also is a frequent international ballet competition juror.
Alexei Fadeechev was born in Moscow, the son of Nikolai Fadeechev, legendary ballet dancer of the Bolshoi Theatre. In 1978, Fadeechev graduated from the Moscow Academic Choreography School, where he attended the class of ballet pedagogue Alexander Prokofiev and performed his first leading role, Franz in Coppelia by Delibes. He joined the Bolshoi Theatre Ballet Company and, tutored by his father, prepared and performed all the great roles of the classic repertoire. He worked with the Royal Ballet in Great Britain in 1990-1991, performing leading roles, and he has danced at the Mariinsky Theatre, the Danish Royal Ballet, the National Ballet of the Netherlands, the National Ballet of Finland, the National Ballet of Portugal, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Boston Ballet and others. In the two years he was artistic director of the Bolshoi Theatre ballet company, the company received two Golden Masks, Russia’s prestigious national theatre award, for best performances of ballets choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky and George Balanchine. Fadeechev staged his version of Don Quixote, enjoying great success in Moscow and internationally. In November 2000, together with Nina Ananiashvili, Fadeechev formed The Alexei Fadeechev Dance Theatre, whose productions included ballets staged by Stanton Welsh and Trey McIntyre, as well as Leah (choreography by Ratmansky), which was nominated in three categories for the Golden Mask in 2002. From 2004 to 2013, he was artistic director of Rostov Musical Theatre ballet company, and he has been the artistic director of the annual “Stars of the Russian Ballet” festival, in Lahti, Finland, since 2012. He has staged numerous ballets for State Ballet of Georgia, as well as Don Quixote by Ludwig Minkus in Royal Theatre of Saint Charles of Naples. Fadeechev has been awarded the title, “The People’s Artist of Russia.”
Born in Scotland and raised in England, Ashley Wheater was trained at the Royal Ballet School. He began his professional career with the Royal Ballet, and danced at the London Festival Ballet, The Australian Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. In 1997, he became ballet master at the San Francisco Ballet, and in 2002, assistant to the artistic director. In 2007, Wheater was appointed artistic director of the Joffrey Ballet. New work is the life blood of a company, and he has introduced numerous premieres to the repertoire. In 2008, the Boeing Corporation recognized his commitment to community outreach and diversity in the world of dance, presenting him the “Game Changer” award. In 2010, Wheater, representing the Joffrey Ballet, was named Lincoln Academy Laureate, the highest honor presented by the State of Illinois.
A native of Seoul, Hae Shik Kim received her training at Ewha Woman’s University and The Royal Ballet Upper School in London. She danced with the Zurich Opera Ballet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, and as prima ballerina with the Korea National Ballet Company. Following her retirement from the stage, Kim taught at California State University at Fresno for 17 years. From 1993 to 1996, she was an artistic director of the KNBC. As a founding dean of School of Dance, the Korea National University of Arts, she taught at the KNUA for eleven years. She is a familiar presence at competitions around the world, having served on panels of competitions in Varna, Jackson, New York, Helsinki, Beijing, Lausanne and Cape Town and is also artistic director of the Seoul International Dance Competition. She is CEO of the Seoul International Dance Network and currently CEO of the Korea Youth Ballet Stars. Among her awards are the Ilmin Arts & Culture Prize and the Ock Kwan Medal from the Korean Government.
Trinidad Vives is a native of Madrid, Spain. A first prize medal winner at the Prix de Lausanne, her first professional engagement was with Hamburg Ballet. Later, as a principal dancer with Basel Ballet, Düsseldorf Ballet and English National Ballet, she performed the leading roles of the classical ballet repertoire as well as contemporary works by some of the greatest 20th century choreographers. Vives spent eight years with the Houston Ballet, where she rose from the position of ballet mistress to co-artistic director, a position she shared with Ben Stevenson. From 2002 to 2009, she served as artistic associate with Boston Ballet, during which time she oversaw the day-to-day running of the company. Vives has staged numerous full-length ballets including Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, La Sylphide, as well as contemporary works, and has been a guest teacher for companies including the American Ballet Theatre, Pittsburg Ballet, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Bayersiche Staatsballett and Compañía Nacional de Danza in Madrid. She is currently artistic director and founder of The Brookline Ballet School in Boston, Massachusetts.
Edward Villella has been recognized as the greatest male ballet dancer America has produced. A star at the New York City Ballet, he showed the world that a tough kid out of Maritime College could become a major artist and, in doing so, changed the way men danced in America as well as the way male dancers were perceived. He has lectured all over the world and received nearly every important honor given to artists in the U.S. He was appointed by President Johnson to the President’s National Council of the Arts, honored by the Kennedy Center and awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton. The Dance Heritage Coalition named him in the first 100 of America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures. He was awarded a fellowship to the Academy of Arts and Sciences and honored for Distinguished Service to the Arts by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He holds honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees from Fordham University, Boston Conservatory of Music, Long Island University, the College of Charleston, Allegheny College, Skidmore College, Florida Atlantic University, Sienna College, St. Thomas College and Florida State University, as well as the Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of North Carolina. The first American male dancer to perform with the Royal Danish Ballet and the only American asked to dance an encore at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. He danced for President Kennedy’s inauguration and for Presidents Johnson, Nixon and Ford. He was producer/director for the PBS series “Dance in America” and won an Emmy Award for his CBS television production of “Harlequinade.” He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the School of American Ballet. In 1998, the University of Pittsburgh Press reissued his 1992 autobiography, Prodigal Son: Dancing for Balanchine in a World of Pain and Magic, written with Larry Kaplan. Villella founded the Miami City Ballet, which garnered international acclaim under his 26 years of artistic direction, and was faculty chair for the Miami City Ballet School. He left in September 2012 and now resides in New York.
Jurors for Previous Competitions
2010 Bruce Marks, Chairman, USA; Alexei Ratmansky, Russia; Denise Schultze, South Africa; John Meehan, Australia; Hae Shik Kim, South Korea; Lita Beiris, Latvia; Bruce Simpson, Great Britain; Xiao Susha, China; Thomas Lund, Denmark; Hideo Fukagawa, Japan; Samantha Dunster, Canada; Doris Laine, Finland; Trinidad Vives, Spain
2006 Bruce Marks, Chairman, USA; Julia Moon, South Korea; Thomas Lund, Denmark; Konstanze Vernon, Germany; Doris Laine, Finland; Nina Novak, Venezuela; Tetsuji Adachi, Japan; Gizella Witkowsky, Canada; Denise Schultze, South Africa; Lita Beiris, Latvia; Simon Dow, Australia; Bruce Simpson, Great Britain; Zhanna Dubrovskaya, Russia
2002 Bruce Marks, Chairman, USA; Valentin Yelizariev, Belarus; Zhao Ruheng, China; Loipa Araújo, Cuba; Jana Kurová, Czech Republic; Frank Andersen, Denmark; Galina Samsova, England; Doris Laine, Finland; Dietmar Seyffert, Germany; Kenji Usui, Japan; Denise Schultze Godfrey, South Africa; Hae Shik Kim, South Korea; Nina Novak, Venezuela
1998 Bruce Marks, Chairman, USA: Gustavo Mollajoli, Argentina; Magdalena Popa, Canada; Jana Kurová, Czech Republic; Doris Laine, Finland; Hélène Trailine, France; Kenji Usui, Japan; Rudi Van Dantzig, The Netherlands; Dinna Bjørn, Norway; Huang Bohong, China; Tatyana Terekhova, Russia; Hae Shik Kim, South Korea; Anatol Yanowsky, Spain
1994 Bruce Marks, Chairman, USA; Laura Alonso, Cuba; Krassimira Koldamova, Bulgaria; Doris Laine, Finland; Andre Philippe Hersin, France; Konstanze Vernon, Germany; Alexander Grant, Great Britain; Ivan Nagy, Hungary; Chetna Jalan, India; Kenji Usui, Japan; Patricia Aulestia de Alba, Mexico; Yu Yong, China; Vladimir Vasiliev, Russia
1990 Bruce Marks, Chairman, USA; Gustavo Mollajoli, Argentina; Keith Bain, Australia; Vera Kirova, Bulgaria; Lynn Wallis, Canada; Kirsten Ralov, Denmark; Doris Laine, Finland; Dietmar Seyffert, East Germany; Alexander Grant, Great Britain; Imre Dozsa, Hungary; Jeannette Ordman, Israel; Yoko Morishita, Japan; Huang Bohong, China; Maria Krzyszkowska, Poland; Nils-Ake Haggbom, Sweden; Heinz Spoerli, Switzerland; Askold Makarov, USSR
1986 Robert Joffrey, Co-Chairman, USA; Yuri Grigorovich, Co-Chairman, USSR; Gustavo Mollajoli, Argentina; Dalal Achcar, Brazil; Vera Kirova, Bulgaria; Betty Oliphant, Canada; Ivan Nagy, Chile; Kirsten Ralov, Denmark; Konstanze Vernon, West Germany; Doris Laine, Finland; Yvette Chauvire, France; Dietmar Seyffert, East Germany; Alexander Grant, Great Britain; Imre Dozsa, Hungary; Jeannette Ordman, Israel; Tadatsugu Sasaki, Japan; Dai Ailian, China; Maria Krzyszkowska, Poland; Heinz Spoerli, Switzerland; Ana Roje, Yugoslavia
1982 Robert Joffrey, Chairman, USA; Desmond Doyle, Brazil; Vera Kirova, Bulgaria; Alexander Grant, Canada; Ivan Nagy, Chile; Hu Rongrong, China; Miroslav Kura, Czechoslovakia; Palle Jacobsen, Denmark; Enayat Azmi, Egypt; Konstanze Vernon, West Germany; Doris Laine, Finland; Egon Bischoff, East Germany; Alexis Rassine, Great Britain; Ferenc Havas, Hungary; Jeannette Ordman, Israel; Yukiko Tomoi, Japan; Maria Krzyszkowska, Poland; Magdalena Popa, Romania; Gunilla Roempke, Sweden
1979 Robert Joffrey, Co-Chairman, USA; Sophia Golovkina, Co-Chairman, USSR; Lucette Aldous, Australia; Jeanne Brabants, Belgium; Alexander Grant, Canada; Guillermo Keys Arenas, Mexico; Vera Kirova, Bulgaria; György Lörinc, Hungary; Pamela May, England; Ebbe Mørk, Denmark; Vincente Nebrada, Venezuela; Pavel Smøk, Czechoslovakia; Yukiko Tomoi, Japan