Ballet legend Vladimir Vasiliev has been awarded the Ordine della Stella d’Italia (Order of the Star of Italy)


Vladimir Vasiliev, titled by the world ballet community as the King of the Dance, who began his famous career from the First International Ballet Competition – Varna 1964, received yet another high acknowledgement.

A few days before at a formal ceremony at the Italian Embassy in Moscow Prof. Vassiliev has been officially awarded the Ordine della Stella d’Italia. The state prize of the Italian Republic, which is being conferred to foreign citizens on a decision by the President of the country, has been awarded for the contribution of the great choreographer to the friendship and cooperation with Italy.

The prize of Vladimir Vasiliev was presented by Ambassador Cesare Maria Ragaglini.

Ambassador Ragaglini pointed out that Prof. Vassiliev had special relationship with Italy and reminded that he danced for the first time in Giselle in Italy in 1968 with his wife the remarkable ballerina Ekaterina Maximova. Later Vassiliev often worked in Italy, warmly admired by the public was his partnership to the great Italian ballerina Carla Fracci. “For 30 years Vassiliev has been not only Premier Soloist of Bolshoi Theatre, but also an innovator of dance”, the Ambassador stated. “Nietzsche said that “one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star”. That inner chaos allowed Vassiliev to give freshness to dance.”

Vladimir Vasiliev entered his name in the history of world ballet first in 1964 when he won the Grand Prix of the First International Ballet Competition – Varna. He is still the only holder of this most prestigious award. The Russian ballet dancer has become an icon of 20th century dance with his incomparable parts in the ballets “Spartacus”, “The Nutcracker”, “The Tale of the Stone Flower”, “The Little Humpbacked Horse”, “Don Quixote”, “Zorba the Greek”. Together with his partner and wife Ekaterina Maximova he created a series of duets that became a paragon for generations of ballet artists.

In the last years Prof. Vassiliev often chaired the Varna International Ballet Competition Jury – 2008, 2014 and 2016.

Photo of the award ceremony by Elena Fetisova.

VLADIMIR VASILIEV will be the jury president of the 2016 VARNA IBC!

We are pleased to announce, the great VLADIMIR VASILIEV has accepted to be the jury president of the 2016 VARNA IBC! A legendary dancer of the XX century, named by critics and ballet lovers God of Dance. Since more than a half century, he still is the only holder of the “THE VARNA GRAND PRIX”




“For me Varna International Ballet Competition is like the first love. Notwithstanding the multitude of other existing competitions for me it is the unique and only one. First and foremost because it was the first in the world and the drawing of lots assigned to me the winning number 13 and I had the luck to get the Grand Prix. And finally, the most important thing – at this very Competition I have found friends, talented and unique, whose love has been with me throughout my life. 50 years have passed and I am happy that at this year’s jubilee we can again see those who have become pride for ballet all over the world, and that I will again have the opportunity to relive the joy of meeting with the wonderful art of dance.”



27th International Ballet Competition – Varna, 15-30 July 2016

27th International Ballet Competition – Varna, 15-30 July 2016
International  Summer Ballet Academy – Varna,15-30 July 2016


To the attention of dancers willing to compete in the 27th International Ballet Competition – Varna

The Competition Regulations of the 27th International Ballet Competition – Varna 2016 are published on the Competition website

Should you have any question or need for further information please write to us at the following e-mail address:

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The ХХVI International Ballet Competition – Varna 2014 was officially closed last night at the Summer Theatre of the sea capital of Bulgaria in the presence of the patron of the forum – Mrs. Margarita Popova, Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mayor of Varna Ivan Portnih, diplomats, official guests, representatives of the ballet community from different parts of the world.

Mrs. Irina Bokova, Director General of the UNESCO, the world organization under the patronage of which was held the Ballet Olympiad, sent a congratulatory address to the competition. Professor Valeria Uralska, Chief Editor of the “Ballet” magazine, and Head of the Association of Merited Figures in Arts of Russia, bestowed the special prize of the “Ballet” magazine to the “International Ballet Competition – Varna” Foundation via its Chairman Dimitar Dimitrov. The Chairman of the Jury, Professor Vladimir Vasiliev, wished successful ballet careers to the winners, and to all participants in the competition. Varna Mayor Ivan Portnih indicated the contribution of the competition for the candidacy of Varna for European Capital of Culture in 2019, and told the young artists Varna was expecting them to come back in 2016. The prizes were presented by Professor Vladimir Vasiliev. On behalf of the organizing Foundation, the Jury members, and the official guests at the Competition received honorary medals in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Ballet Olympiad, and in the memory of its inspirer, Maestro Emil Dimitrov.

Mrs. Margarita Popova, Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria and patron of the Competition, thanked all who support the Varna competition, the members of the Jury – titans who have written part of the history of ballet art, the family of Emil Dimitrov that carry on the implementation of the mission, the city of Varna and its Mayor, the demanding and generous audience of the competition. She officially announced the closure of the ХХVI edition of the International Ballet Competition – Varna, and the fire of the competition was put out.

In the Gala Concert that followed after the official ceremony, for the enraptured audience that filled the Summer Theatre, performed the holders of the prizes of the competition, and they were strongly applauded for their performance. Last to dance was Soo Bin Lee from Korea, holder of the “Varna 2014” Special Distinction, and of the “Emil Dimitrov” Special Prize for Young Talents.

To the great surprise of the audience, a performance on stage turned into a real historical event for the competition. In the year of the 50th Jubilee of the forum, on the scene at the Summer Theatre there danced a legend – the Prima Ballerina Absoluta of Japan – Yoko Morishita, who performed “The Song of Birds”. This historic dance had came into existence on this very stage exactly 40 years ago, after the competition in 1974, when Yoko Morishita won her gold medal in Varna. The event was watched with enormous interest by representatives of Japanese media who arrived in Varna especially for the event.

The finale of the Gala Concert was highly emotional as all laureates appeared on stage in a dance of a vortex choreographed by Eldar Aliev from the USA. The grateful audience applauded on foot their last performances, and fireworks put a sparkling end to the feast.

Yet another starry night is in store for the admirers of ballet today, when on the scene of the Summer Theatre will begin the Super Gala Concert “Where Generations Meet” dedicated to Maestro Emil Dimitrov. In it, along with the laureates of this year, will also appear holders of prizes from previous editions of the competition: Whitney Jensen from the USA, Maximiliano Guerra from Argentina, Rolando Sarabia from Cuba, Alexander Alexandrov and Nataly Bratanova from Bulgaria, Mathias Dingman from the USA, Brooklyn Mack from the USA, Denis Cherevichko from Austria, Min Jung Kim, Sung Yue Han and Meyung Kyu Kim from Korea.