Jackson, Miss., June 15, 2018 – The first round of the 2018 USA International Ballet Competition concludes with 44 competitors advancing to Round II. “The overall quality of the dancers in the USA IBC 2018 is extremely high,” Jury Chair John Meehan said. “In fact, several of the jurors noted it is the highest quality that we have seen in recent competitions we have attended.”

Ninety-two dancers from 17 nations performed in the all-classical Round I, June 11-14. Semi-finalists will perform contemporary choreography in Round II’s three sessions, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 16, and continuing with a 2 p.m. matinee and a 7:30 evening performance Sunday, June 17. All competition performances are at Thalia Mara Hall, 255 E. Pascagoula St.

“The next week here in Jackson promises to be a very exciting one as dancers perform their contemporary choreography and reveal a new dimension of their skill and artistry,” Meehan said.

Advancing to Round II are the following semi-finalists:

Senior Males

Jorge Barani (Cuba)

Jorge Boza Cáceres (USA)

Albjon Gjorllaku (Great Britain)

Takahiro Hayashi (Japan)

Yuki Kaminaka (Japan)

Hirofumi Kitazume (Japan)

Sangmin Lee (Republic of Korea)

Ryo Munakata (USA)

David Schrenk (USA)

Keynald Vergara Soto (Cuba)

Sicong Wu (China)

Senior Females:

Veronica Atienza (Philippines)

Katherine Barkman (USA)

Rieko Hatato (Japan)

Sayaka Ishibashi (Japan)

Shin Jungyoon (Republic of Korea)

Subin Lee (Republic of Korea)

Risa Mochizuki (Japan)

Chisako Oga (USA)

Yunting Qui (China)

Junior Males:

Diego Altamirano (USA)

Dulgunn Battsengel (Mongolia)

Hyuma Kiyosawa (Japan)

Joseph Markey (USA)

Razmik Marukyan (Armenia)

Harold Mendez (USA)

Isaac Mueller (USA)

Stephen Myers (USA)

Tokuyama Rui (Japan) 

Junior Females:

Elizabeth Beyer (USA)

Nicole Klaudine Barroso (Philippines)

Vanessa Childress (USA)

Cassidy Daves (USA)

Carolyne Galvao (Brazil)

Kanon Kimura (Japan)

Mya Kresnyak (Canada)

Liliana Lizalde (USA)

Jolie Rose Lombardo (USA)

Alexandra Manuel (USA)

Julia Rust (USA)

Rheya Shano (USA)

Avery Underwood (USA)

Tia Wenkman (USA)

Park Yujin (Republic of Korea)

Mona Nicholas, executive director of the USA IBC, said that visitors from 18 nations and 31 American states are attending the competition, which concludes June 23. Finalists will be announced Monday, June 18, with Round III taking place June 19-21. Medalists and other winners will be revealed at the Awards Gala Friday, June 22, and perform favorite selections of the jurors. The two-week competition concludes June 23 with an Encore Gala of performances by medalists. For tickets, visit usaibc.tix.com