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

2014 USA IBC Ticket Packages On Sale; Single Performance Tickets Available April 7.

Jackson, Miss. (January 20, 2014) -Ticket packages for the 2014 USA International Ballet Competition (USA IBC), scheduled for June 14 – 29, at Thalia Mara Hall in Jackson, Mississippi, are now on sale to the public. The USA IBC is designated as the official international ballet competition in the United States by a Joint Resolution of Congress.

Packages include tickets for three rounds of competition, the June 14 Opening Ceremony and the June 28 Awards Gala – 16 performances. Complexions Contemporary Ballet will appear as the guest company for the Opening Ceremony, and the 2014 medalists will perform at the Awards Gala. Package prices are $265 for lower balcony and rear orchestra seating, $341 for loge and orchestra seating, and $405 for dress circle seating. Ticket packages are discounted 15 percent off the price of individual tickets that will be available for purchase April 7, 2014.

“USA IBC tickets are always in high demand,” said Sue Lobrano, USA IBC executive director. “Purchasing a ticket package is a great value and an excellent way to secure the best seats for the most popular nights of the event – Opening Night, Round Three and the Awards Gala.”

The USA IBC offers spectacular dance performances from the classical ballet repertoire and the new 2014 contemporary repertoire from which semi-finalists will be required to perform one contemporary solo or pas de deux. Choreographers, Trey McIntyre and Matthew Neenan, have generously contributed several of their works to the upcoming competition.

“Taking the requisite contemporary repertoire into consideration, it will be very exciting to hear about how many audience members develop a preference for their favorite dancers and cheer them on as they advance to the next round,” said Lobrano. “Receiving this kind of support from fans who attend every performance is just one of the many factors that make the USA IBC experience one of a kind.”

Ticket packages may be purchased online or by contacting the USA IBC Box Office, 601-973-9249, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (CST) Monday-Friday. The Box Office is inside the Mississippi Arts Center, 201 E. Pascagoula St., in downtown Jackson. Tickets for individual performances will be released for sale April 7, 2014.

The USA IBC is a two-week, “olympic-style” competition where tomorrow’s stars vie for medals, cash awards, company contracts and scholarships. The event is designated as the official international ballet competition in the United States by a 1982 Joint Resolution of the Congress. Presented under the auspices of the International Dance Committee, International Theatre Institute of UNESCO, the USA IBC is held every four years in Jackson in the tradition of sister competitions in Varna, Bulgaria, and Moscow, Russia.



USA International Ballet Competition invites competitors for 2014

The competition that has catapulted the careers of young dancers from Jose Carreño to Daniil Simkin, Nina Ananiashvili to Misa Kuranaga, Sarah Lamb to Marcelino Sambé—and so many more—is calling for competitors for 2014.

The USA International Ballet Competition invites dancers who aspire to follow in the footsteps of these and other renowned artists to complete Competitor Application-Part 1 online by November 8, 2013. Apply online here.

Part II of the application process requires applicants to submit a performance video/DVD using a selection from the 2014 USA IBC Round I Classical Repertoire when filming their video application.  The deadline for submitting the Competitor Application Part II is February 7, 2014.

“The excitement is contagious when we start to hear from dancers and coaches from around the world,” said Sue Lobrano, USA IBC executive director since 1986. “The USA IBC is known internationally for adhering to exceptionally high standards of professionalism, fairness and performance. It’s vital for us to continuously improve the quality of the event and the competition experience as we seek to attract the world’s most talented dancers.”

Celebrating 35 years in 2014, USA IBC will introduce a new Round II Contemporary Repertoire from which semi-finalists will be required to perform one contemporary solo or pas de deux.

“The USA IBC is interested in contemporary choreography that reflects the highest quality of dance created by contemporary or modern dance masters. Choreographers,  Trey McIntyre and Matthew Neenan, have generously contributed several of their works to the 2014 competition,” said Lobrano.

Competitors will be responsible for learning the piece of their choice prior to arriving at the USA IBC.  Neenan and a member of Trey McIntyre Project will be in Jackson to consult with competitors performing selections of their work in Round II.

“The jury and audience will be able to see how well each dancer grasps the requisite contemporary choreography, while dancers enjoy the opportunity to perform pieces by two highly acclaimed choreographers.”

Unique to the USA IBC is the festival of dance that surrounds the event. The USA IBC Dance School and Teacher Training Program run concurrently with the competition. Individually, these activities offer student and adult participants an opportunity to learn from some of the most respected professionals in dance. Other featured ancillary events for 2014 encompass dance-related exhibits and performances. Watch for details to be announced in fall and coming months.

Many U.S. and international dance company directors also attend the USA IBC to scout for new talent.

“Dancers competing in the USA IBC are keenly aware that contracts can be awarded and careers launched for non-medalists as well as those who take home a gold, silver or bronze. The opportunity to be seen on the USA IBC stage is a prize in itself,” Lobrano concluded.

Prospective applicants with questions may contact Hannah Renegar, artistic administrator, at 601-973-9247 or

Tickets for the 2014 USA IBC are available in both ticket packages and individual performance tickets. All-inclusive ticket packages go on sale to International Ballet Association members October 7, 2013, and to the public January 6, 2014. Individual performance tickets go on sale April 7, 2014.