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Royal Academy of Dance announces commissioned choreographer and judges for The Fonteyn 2024

Dame Darcey Bussell DBE (credit Franks), Alessandra OMRI (credit Ferri) and Kevin O'Hare CBE (credit Joe Plimmer).
Dame Darcey Bussell DBE (credit Franks), Alessandra OMRI (credit Ferri) and Kevin O'Hare CBE (credit Joe Plimmer).

The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) has announced the commissioned choreographer, faculty and judges for The Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition 2024, which returns to London from 1-8 September.

Andrew McNicol will be the commissioned choreographer for The Fonteyn and will choreograph two new solos that will have their world premieres at The Fonteyn final at His Majesty’s Theatre, London on 8 September.

Speaking of the news, McNicol says, “I’m delighted to be the commissioned choreographer for The Fonteyn 2024. The competition brings dancers from around the world together to share the joy of dance, develop their artistry and to make brilliant memories. I can’t wait to start working with the candidates on these commissioned solos.”

RAD President, Guest Principal Coach of The Royal Ballet Dame Darcey Bussell DBE and Artistic Director Designate of Wiener Staatsballett Alessandra Ferri OMRI will judge The Fonteyn semi-finals at RAD’s state-of-the-art headquarters in London, with The Royal Ballet Director Kevin O’Hare CBE joining Bussell and Ferri to judge The Fonteyn final.

Dame Monica Mason DBE, RAD Vice President and former Director of The Royal Ballet; and Ashley Page OBE, choreographer and former Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet, will judge the Musicality and Choreographic Awards. The Musicality Award is being introduced for the first time in the competition’s history. These two awards are supported by the Lynn Wallis Bursary Fund.

The competition’s faculty, who will be teaching the candidates during The Fonteyn, are RAD’s Artistic Director Alexander Campbell, Christopher Powney, Isabel McMeekan and Samira Saidi.

Alexander Campbell and Lynn Wallis OBE, Producer of The Fonteyn, said, “We are absolutely delighted that this distinguished faculty and panel of judges have taken time away from their very busy schedules to be with us for The Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition 2024. Their combined expertise and knowledge will be an invaluable resource for the participants, and we look forward to working with them to provide an exciting and rewarding experience for all involved.”

The Fonteyn (previously known as The Genée) is one of the oldest and most prestigious ballet competitions in the world, representing the pinnacle of achievement for young dancers trained in the RAD syllabus.

Beginning in 1931, the competition has toured the globe and is dedicated to promoting dance, providing educational experiences and recognising excellence in young ballet dancers internationally. A launch pad for a professional career, past winners of the competition – including Steven McRae and Celine Gittens – have become professional dancers with companies worldwide and enjoyed long-lasting careers in the arts.

The competition is hosted at the RAD’s headquarters. Coaching begins on 1 September, with semi-finals held on 4-6 September in the Aud Jebsen Studio Theatre. The semi-finals will see candidates take part in a judged class and performing a Classical Repertoire variation. Candidates will also perform a ‘Dancer’s Own’ variation choreographed by themselves, their teacher, or a peer, to a piece of music of their choice. The final will be held at His Majesty’s Theatre, London on 8 September at 7pm.

Joining the faculty are Mayumi Hotta (Benesh Choreologist), Rebecca Leshures (Pianist) and Richard Norris (Pianist).

To find out more, visit The Fonteyn website:

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