Dancers from 21 countries around the world will participate in the first BOSTON INTERNATIONAL BALLET COMPETITION (BIBC), May 12-16 in John Hancock Hall, Boston, Massachusetts. Valentina Kozlova, founder/director of BIBC, is pleased to announce the distinguished panel of judges from around the world:

Mikko Nissinen, (President of the Jury, Finland) has been Artistic Director of Boston Ballet and Boston Ballet School since 2001. A native of Helsinki, Nissinen began his dance career with the Finnish National Ballet. He subsequently won First Prize at The National Ballet Competition in Kuopio, Finland, and continued his studies at The Kirov Ballet School. He went on to dance with Dutch National Ballet, Basel Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet, where he was principal for ten years. Nissinen was director of the Marin Ballet in California from 1996-1998, and the Alberta Ballet 1999-2000.

Oleksi Bessmertni (Germany), founder/director of the International Dance Festival TANZOLYMP, began his ballet training at Odessa State Ballet School in Ukraine. After dancing with the Company, he moved to Hungary and joined the Ballet Company of State Musical Theatre in Miskoic; then the National Hungarian Ballet in Budapest, before starting his career as an arts event organizer. He currently travels worldwide as a ballet coach, guest teacher, choreographer and judge.

Andris Liepa (Russia) is an internationally renowned ballet star and a People's Artist of Russia. He graduated from the Moscow Academy of Choreography and danced with both the Bolshoi Ballet and the Kirov Ballet, as well as appearing as guest in the U.S. with American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet. Liepa and his sister Ilse created the Maris Liepa Charity Fund in memory of their father, the Bolshoi Ballet's legendary dancer. Liepa has contributed to BIBC the Liepa Prize, to be awarded to one of the dancers considered outstanding.

Maria Luisa Noronha (Brazil) studied in Rio de Janeiro and at the Royal Ballet School in London. With Dala Achcar she founded the Ballet do Rio de Janeiro and the Ballet Dalal Achcar School. In addition, Ms. Noronha is also head of the Escola Estadual de Danca Maria Olenewa, the official school of the Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro. For the past 20 years she has been in charge of ballets by Achcar as well as productions of Giselle (Peter Wright) and Coppelia (Enrique Martinez).

Hae Shik Kim (South Korea) is a founding Dean of the Korean National University of Arts School of Dance. She was educated at Ewha Women's University in Seoul and The Royal Ballet Upper School in London. Ms. Kim was prima ballerina with the Korean National Ballet Company and also danced with the Zurich Opera Ballet in Switzerland and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal. Her contributions have been recognized with many awards from the Republic of Korea.

Violette Verdy (France,) a leading ballerina of the twentieth century, was principal dancer with New York City Ballet for 20 years and a guest with major companies in America and Europe. Ms. Verdy is the former Artistic Director of the Paris Opera Ballet and Boston Ballet, and has taught and choreographed for organizations around the world, including NYCB, Royal Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, and Bolshoi Ballet. The subject of two biographies, Ms. Verdy is currently Artistic Advisor to the Rock School of Ballet, Phila; Principal Guest Teacher at SAB, NYC; and Distinguished Professor of Ballet at Indiana U.

Septime Webre (USA) was appointed Artistic Director of The Washington Ballet in 1999 after six years as Artistic Director of American Repertory Ballet in New Jersey. Much in demand as a choreographer, Webre has created works for the repertories of his own company, as well as Pacific Northwest Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Atlanta Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Colorado Ballet and others.

Alex Lapshin (Russia/US) graduated from the 8-year Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow and danced with the Bolshoi Ballet in 1986, touring throughout Europe, Japan, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. He also appeared in principal roles with the Vienna State Opera Ballet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal. In 1999 Alex became a principal dancer with Boston Ballet and is currently a guest faculty member with Boston Ballet and at Hartford University, Ct.


Boston International Ballet Competition


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