USA IBC invites 119 dancers to compete in Jackson

JACKSON, Mississippi (March 14, 2018) – USA International Ballet Competition (USA IBC) officials announced today that 119 competitors from 19 nations have been invited to compete in the 2018 USA IBC, the official international ballet competition of the United States by a Joint Resolution of Congress. Held every four years in Jackson, Mississippi, the upcoming USA IBC is slated for June 10-23, 2018.

“The USA IBC showcases artistic excellence and provides a platform for dancers to test their skills against the highest international standards,” said Mona Nicholas, USA IBC executive director. “We anticipate a thrilling competition that will be life-changing for participants and exciting for audiences. Jackson is respected as a prestigious competition that launches dance careers.”

For the 2018 event, 53 of the selected competitors are juniors, ages 14 to 18, and 66 are seniors, ages 19-28. The United States has the highest number of competitors invited (52), followed by Japan (23) and Korea (14). Other countries represented by the selected competitors are Armenia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Columbia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Mexico, Mongolia, Peru, Philippines, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. See the full list here.

More than $150,000 in cash prizes will be awarded in addition to gold, silver and bronze medals; company contracts; apprenticeships and scholarships. All finalists (dancers who advance to Round 3 of the competition) will receive a $1,500 stipend.

The 2018 USA IBC—the 11th since 1979—will honor the legacy of Robert Joffrey, jury chairman for the first three Jackson competitions, with an opening ceremony performance by dancers appearing courtesy of the Joffrey Ballet. Joffrey Ballet Artistic Director Ashley Wheater will join members of the Gerald Arpino-Robert Joffrey Foundation in a presentation on Robert Joffrey, and the foundation’s Charthel Estner will conduct a master class in Joffrey’s teaching style. Alexei Ratmansky will be a featured speaker in the competition’s Arts & Lecture Series, presenting “200 Years of Petipa” to mark the bicentennial of Marius Petipa’s birth. Ratmansky will conduct demonstrations of Petipa choreography in the USA IBC Dance School, held concurrently with the competition. Edward Villella, National Honorary Chairman, will lecture on dancing for Balanchine. Olga Guardia de Smoak, a New Orleans organizer of the landmark Ballet Russes reunion in 2000, will lecture on the history of Ballet Russes and the making of the documentary that also will be shown. Victoria Rockhill Schneider of The HARID Conservatory will conduct the 2018 Teacher Training Program, focusing on the teaching of the School of Russian Classical Dance. For tickets visit