26TH INTERNATIONAL BALLET COMPETITION - VARNA
is scheduled July 15 – 30.2014
to be held under the patronage
of the Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria Ms Margarita Popova, under
the honorary patronage of Ms Irina Bokova, General Director of
with the kind cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Varna Municipality.
INTERNATIONAL SUMMER BALLET ACADEMY
15 – 30 JULY 2014
The International Ballet Competition - Varna
was established in 1964. Its first edition was held from 2 to 13 July at the
Open-Air Theatre in the same city - the biggest sea resort of Bulgaria. It is
the first professional international ballet competition in the world.
On this occasion the world-famous French ballet master Serge Lifar said:
"The Varna Competition is a unique event in the history of ballet, an
event of huge importance…". And the great English ballet critic Mr. Arnold
Haskell added: "The Ballet Competition in Varna is a remarkable example of
co-operation and friendship, of high professional requirements. In Bulgaria a
remarkable creative atmosphere and a perfect organization have been
established. One can speak of "the spirit of Varna" with respect to
ballet on an international scale. Long live "the spirit of Varna!".
Key phrases in the numerous statements of the members of the International
Jury, for which the critics said that for the first time so many ballet stars
had been brought together at one place, were: "Bulgaria is a small country
with great initiative", "great and useful work",
"conditions are created for the complete expression of young
Already with its first edition the Competition registered an impressive success
both as organization and artistic achievements. Memorable have remained both
the highly competent members of the International Jury under the chairmanship
of the ballerina of the 20th century Mrs. Galina Ulanova and the unforgettable
dance of classical and contemporary repertoire of Vladimir Vassiliev - the only
holder of the Varna Grand Prix. Thus a principally new stage in the development
of international co-operation in the field of ballet art has been initiated - a
wide exchange for the preservation and propagation both of the classical ballet
and the artistic trends and tendencies in contemporary dance and in the first
place the noble care for discovering and promoting world ballet talents.
Years later on its analogy similar events have been established in Moscow, St.
Petersburg, Perm, Kazan and Yalta in Russia, Jackson and New York in the USA,
Osaka and Nagoya in Japan, Paris, Lausanne and Ulgat in France, in Helsinki,
Budapest, Luxembourg, Kiev, Shanghai and Prague, etc. They continuously
increase in number. In the rapid growth of these events, however, the Varna
Ballet Competition, justly called by the English ballet critic John Gregory as
a title of the book issued by him, "Varna Ballet Olympiad", has kept
not only its advantage of the founder, but also the privilege of being of the
highest prestige and popularity. In the course of 38 years, its 20 editions
have recorded the biggest number of competitors - over 2,000 dancers from 35
The indisputable authority of this exceptional cultural event is based on
several basic distinctive factors:
- wide membership of the International Jury consisting of about 15-25
emblematic world ballet figures from at least 12 countries;
- a highly professional competition programme. In complexity and volume it definitely
exceeds, in some cases many times, the requirements of similar events in other
countries. With an optimum balance and clear periodisation it comprises of
three works of classical choreography and two works of contemporary
choreography. This gives a chance for full, comprehensive and creative display
of the dancers by different stylistic and artistic tasks.
- a strict organization which recognizes the age of the participants. Seniors
and juniors are judged individually and awarded separate prizes. All activities
during the out of the competition are regulated by pre-announced regulations,
whereby the relevant schedule is strictly adhered to. Maximum efforts are
exerted to ensure adequate rehearsals in halls specially equipped for the
purpose and on the stage of the Open-Air Theatre.
- special attention is paid to the work of the International Jury. Only in
Varna, among all other competitions, full computerization of voting is
implemented. Each member of the International Jury gives the relevant mark
immediately after the performance of the dancer. By a special device the mark
is entered, with a unique code, into the Jury's computer without any
interference of an operator or mediator. A mathematical system is applied to
prevent extreme personal opinions to influence the marks of the competitors.
- the expenses of the competitors and their partners stay - hotel and
sustenance (for the forthcoming Competition after the First Round) are covered
by the organizers. For its prestige an eloquent fact is that almost all the
brightest stars of world ballet in the last three decades have received their
first international recognition as laureates of the Varna Competition. It is
sufficient to mention such brilliant names as Vladimir Vassiliev, Natalia
Makarova, Eva Evdokimova, Mikhail Barishnikov, Natalia Bessmertnova, Patrick
Dupond, Sylvie Guillem, Agnes Letestu, Yoko Morishita, Martin Van Hamel, Evelin
Hart, Loypa Araujo, Vladimir Malakhov, Fernando Bujones, Maximilliano Guerrra,
Marin Boierou, etc.
Highly popular is the definition of the French press that "any dancer
awarded in Varna has already a guaranteed prosperity in professional ballet.
Even those not awarded, on their return from Varna, are already considerably
more popular in their own countries".
The 20th, 21th and 22th edition was held under the honorary patronage of the
wife of the President of Republic of Bulgaria Mrs. Zorka Parvanova. By
tradition the Competition is held every other year in the second half of July
at the Open-Air Theatre of the city. Its romantic setting, its stage covered
with verdancy have become a symbol of the Varna Olympiad.
During the Competition concomitant events are also being held, among which the
traditional International Summer Ballet Academy with classes in classical ballet,
contemporary techniques and jazz. World-famous pedagogues from France, Great
Britain, Russia, Denmark, the USA, Holland, etc. are being invited to teach. It
is quickly gaining speed and it is expected that it will catch up with the
popularity of the Competition in the nearest future. The regular international
theoretical conferences are also of a definite significance. At these
prestigious forums different issues of classical and contemporary choreography
are widely discussed.
After 1992 the Competition is being organized, financed and carried out by
Foundation "International Ballet Competition - Varna". It raises
funds only thanks to the noble donations of contributors from Bulgaria and
abroad. The next 26th
d International ballet competition - Varna is scheduled July 15 – 30.2014.
Mr. Dimitar Dimitrov is Chairman of Foundation "International Ballet
Competition - Varna"
2012, the IBC Varna competition is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
event will be especially dedicated and a tribute to its Founder, Professor Emil
Dimitrov, who passed away a year ago. Therefore, this celebration will have particular
significance for all those who have taken part, directly or indirectly, in the
making of this event and who are
to pursuing a work that has endured for 50 years
the Varna Competition is one of the star features in classical and modern dance
as well as a unique contribution by Bulgaria to worldwide artistic culture. In spite of
the many ballet competitions created in the world, none other can rival the
Varna Competition in terms of quality and prestige, well illustrated by its discovery and
consecration of stars such as Vassilief, Makarova, Barischnikov, Dupont and
quality of the performances throughout the event, their high degree of
technical skill and the demands of the Jury are so great that the competition has been nicknamed
“The Dance Olympics”. While the entire planet has its eyes riveted on London as
World Sports Capital, it
important to note that for one moment Varna will become the World Dance Capital
and will strive to honour artists who, over the years to
will make us dream and forget the things that weigh us down.
a few weeks, Varna will become the Capital of Grace and Beauty and a symbol of World
it is a message of congratulations and hope that I am sending to those taking
part in the Competition and, of course, to those who
MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF FOUNDERS
OF FOUNDATION “INTERNATIONAL
BALLET COMPETITION - VARNA”