Three Lower Mainland dancers, including North Vancouver’s Emma Martino and Sophie Higgins, and Port Coquitlam’s Kyra Soo, are semi-finalists in the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD)’s Genée International Ballet Competition, being held Aug. 20-29 this year.
The Genée, one of the most prestigious ballet competitions in the world, is open to dancers aged 15-19 who are working within the RAD syllabus. Winners have gone on to dance with some of the world’s leading ballet companies around the globe. This year’s competition is back on Canadian soil for the first time since 2008 with a week-long event in Toronto.
Emma Martino started training intensively at the age of six and currently trains at the pre-professional program at the Dance Conservatory in Vancouver.
Sophie Higgins was a finalist in last year’s Genée IBC in Hong Kong, She currently trains at the Dance Conservatory West Vancouver under Tania Brossoit.
Kyra Soo studies at the Goh Ballet Academy and has been awarded the RAD Solo Seal recipient, a bronze medalist at Tanzolymp and third place at the World Ballet Competition in 2019.
Dancers spend five days in coaching sessions to perfect three different solos: a 19th or 20th century classical variation; a piece choreographed specifically for the candidate (either by their teacher, a friend or themselves); and a world-premiere piece, which will be choreographed this year by Italian-Canadian dancer and choreographer, Gioconda Barbuto. Candidates then compete for medals in two days of competitions in the semi-Finals and final (royalacademyofdance.org/the-genee/genee-2019).