Varna Ballet Competition

Varna The Oldest Ballet Competition in the World 1964-2018


If the oldest ballet competition “IBC Varna” wants to keep up with the International ballet scene, IBC Varna should connect and have  a dialoque or a debate with the rest of the ballet community ( with all the other existing Ballet Compatitions). It’s up to the organizers and policy makers in which direction the competitions has to go. The Oldest Ballet Competition in the World has the responsibility to keep connected with the fast changing ballet World. To be the First means also to lead in leadership and show the ballet community and the existing ballet competitions new directions.

It’s an obligation of the oldest ballet competition in the world  to continue the old traditions with the idea to create new ones.

In this case IBC Varna should provide to the participants modern and contemporary choreographies from the international known names. The  choreographers, should be informed and asked to join as jury members.

Valeria Uralskaya editor in chief wrote in Russian Dance Magazine
Diaghilev’s focus is the criticism of contemporary art in its stylistic development and renovation. In this respect, his attitude to art exhibitions is quite interesting.He said, There is nothing more harmful, for a piece of art, then to be exhibited in a big hall, among the hushing crowd and next to pieces of different spiritual kind and of different artistic temperament. Nothing intimate, nothing artistic.This statement is still valid for today’s mass forms of popular culture. Diaghilev’s intuition has unmistakable envisaged the forthcoming trends in art life.Now, Let’s go back to the Ballet Competitions. We often have to answer the question what we, as professional ballet people, aim at these events. We want to see in what way the dance is close, to the circus, sports, show, or as before, we consider it as a theatrical art, with all its objective laws.

The upcoming 28th Varna Ballet Competition 2018
Since Varna began its first International Ballet competition in 1964, it has been followed by serveral others, taking on more or less the same concept. Quite early, it was felt necessary to include “modern” or “contemporary” choreography in the 2nd and 3rd  round, since the organization became aware of the changing demands beside the sound classical technique. Since 1964, the ballet world, especially the art of choreography, has made tremendous development, at this very moment, we are in a world which changes almost day to day and effect on the arts is already noticeable. When an economy is unstable, the First to be impaired is the art in general, theatre dance in particular. The competitors of the last two competitions 2010 & 2012, the junior ones in particular, belong to the generation wich will take the dance into a new area and will decide about its future. The International Ballet Competitions are a splendid platform and an opportunity to meet, observe, discuss and exchange  views for the benefit of the Young professionals. In the ballet world of to day, many companies they have Balanchine, Forsythe, Kylian, van Manen, Wheeldon, Ratmanski on their repertoire. Everyone of these choreographers demands a sound classical technique, with a flexible modern twist from their dancers, but choreographers like Béjart, Mats Ek, Eifman and Bourne have developed their range of movements far beyond that. What is “Modern” and what is “Contemporary”? Is a choreography considered modern when it is  danced on bare feet? Or, it is contemporary, because it was created at a certain time? Does one consider it as contemporary, because the concept or the name is of today, or it uses a contemporary composer.

Benjamin Feliksdal