2023 USA International Ballet Competition Announces International Jury Members, Unveils Commemorative Poster And Commissioned Sculpture & Reveals Dance School Details


Jackson, Miss. (October 31,2022) – The USA International Ballet Competition has announced the members of the International Jury for the 12th USA IBC to be held June 10 – 24, 2023 at Thalia Mara Hall.

John Meehan, former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer, will chair the 2023 jury for the third time. “The USA IBC is about more than medals,” said Meehan. “It’s a celebration of dance that reflects the highest standards of artistic excellence.” Other jurors will be Paloma Herrera, Argentina; Frank Andersen, Denmark; Hae Shik Kim, Korea; Angel Corella, Spain; Lauren Anderson, USA; Ashley Wheater, United Kingdom; Feng Ying, China; Stanton Welch, Australia; Robert Curran, Australia; and André Lewis, Canada.

  Meehan also announced the USA IBC will waive application fees for dancers from Ukraine and help with airline and other expenses if they are selected to compete in the 2023 USA IBC. “We want to help these talented young dancers who have been misplaced to advance their careers amidst the pain they are experiencing with what is happening now in their country,” said Meehan.   

The 2023 USA IBC commemorative poster features a painting by the late artist Andrew Bucci. Mr. Bucci’s work was also chosen for the poster in 2014. Mona Nicholas, USA IBC Executive Director said, “It was an obvious choice. Mr. Bucci would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year and we wanted to commemorate his centennial year by choosing him as the official artist. He loved ballet and it clearly shows through the movement displayed in his work.” The official poster is sponsored by BankPlus.

A steel sculpture, by New York artist Jack Howard – Potter titled “Dancer 12” will be a permanent fixture on the plaza of Thalia Mara Hall and commemorates the 12th time the competition will be held in Jackson, Mississippi. This commissioned public art is sponsored by Downtown Jackson Partners.

David Keary, Ballet Mississippi artistic director and a former New York City Ballet dancer, will direct the 2023 USA IBC Dance School, held concurrently with the competition. Faculty members include Tatiana Tchernova, Lawrence Jackson, Charles Askegard, Lisa Johnson – Willingham, Gretchen Newburger – Bernard, Valerie Madonia, and Lisa Hess Jones. All classes will be held in the state-of-the-art dance studios of Belhaven University. Applications open November 7, 2022.

During the second week of the 2023 competition, London’s Royal Ballet School will present its Inspire series. A six-day program for ballet teachers that explores the foundations of classical ballet technique, more advanced elements of technique and artistry and good teaching practice.

The USA IBC was founded by Thalia Mara and the first competition was held in Jackson in 1979. The USA IBC is the official international ballet competition in the United States by Joint Resolution of Congress. The 2023 USA IBC will welcome applicants ages 15 to 28, in keeping with sister competitions in Helsinki, Varna, and Moscow. Approximately 100 dancers will be invited to compete from more than 300 applicants. Applications opened on October 3, 2022, and close on February 16, 2023.

More information about the 2023 USA IBC is available at usaibc.com. ###


Outlets of Mississippi Donates Scholarships for Mississippians

JACKSON, Miss.  – The Outlets of Mississippi will provide six $1,500 scholarship awards for Mississippi ballet students enrolled in the 2018 USA International Ballet Competition Dance School, June 10-23, in Jackson.

The scholarships will help talented Mississippi youths participate in a unique and valuable summer dance experience, according to Mona Nicholas, USA IBC Executive Director.

“The USA IBC Dance School, held every four years during the competition, offers an opportunity to study with a distinguished international faculty and see top dancers from around the globe perform,” Nicholas said. “In sponsoring these scholarships The Outlets of Mississippi is demonstrating its commitment to our state’s young people and the arts.”

As the state’s largest outlet shopping destination, The Outlets of Mississippi became aware of the international ballet competition when the shopping center opened four years ago in Pearl, according to Kathy Hackshaw CSM, Director of Retail Operations/General Manager.

“The strenuous training and discipline that ballet offers to young people build both integrity and grace that last a lifetime,” Hackshaw said. “The Outlets of Mississippi is proud to be a sponsor of this prestigious event.”

Scholarship recipients will be selected in audition classes Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Mississippi Arts Center, 201 E. Pascagoula St. Audition class times are 10-11:30 a.m. for students ages 12-15 and noon-1:30 p.m. for ages 16-20. Eligibility guidelines for the USA IBC Dance School and Mississippi scholarships are available at www.usaibc.com/study. Questions may be directed to Arianna Marcell, Dance School Administrator, at 601-355-9853, ext. 3.

The 325,000 square-foot Outlets of Mississippi features a collection of more than 80 leading designer and name brands with savings of up to 65 percent off regular retail prices. Visit www.outletsofms.com for more information.

The USA IBC is the official international ballet competition for the United States, designated by a Joint Resolution of the U.S. Congress. The two-week event draws competitors and audiences from approximately 25 nations to Jackson. Approximately 160 students are expected to attend the Dance School. Visit www.usaibc.com for more information.

March 2 is deadline to apply to 2018 USA IBC Dance School

The USA IBC Dance School welcomes an eminent international faculty to Jackson June 10-23, 2018, for a two-week dance intensive running concurrently with the 11th USA International Ballet Competition.

Targeted to pre-professional ballet students between ages 12 and 20, the school will enroll from 150 to 175 students who have a minimum of four years of ballet (including one year of pointe for girls). All classes will be held in the state-of-the-art dance studios of Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center at Belhaven University.

Directing the 2018 school is David Keary, artistic director of Ballet Mississippi. Keary, who danced with New York City Ballet, has assembled a faculty with training in Russian, American, Bournonville and other ballet styles, as well as modern and jazz. The faculty members’ collective experience encompasses American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey, New York City Ballet, Kirov Ballet, St. Petersburg State Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet and Paris Opera Ballet.

Faculty members include: Charles Askegard, Petrusjka Broholm, Carlos dos Santos, Zhanna Dubrovskaya, Fabrice Herrault, Maria Konrad, Svetlana Osiyeva, Rhodie Jorgenson and Marcus Alford.

The USA IBC Dance School offers students the unique opportunity to see world-class dance performances during the three rounds of the competition. “Seeing competitors perform nightly is the crown jewel of attending,” Keary notes. “It’s enthralling. It’s uplifting, and it gives students an idea of the level of commitment it takes to dance professionally.”

Click here for more information and to apply. Deadline for application is March 2.