Harlequin Floors at the Prix de Lausanne 2020

10th February 2020

The Prix de Lausanne 48th International Ballet Competition took place last week at the Montreux Music & Convention Centre, Switzerland.

Male contestants perform ballet
© Rodrigo Buas

Harlequin is proud to have partnered with the competition for eleven years supplying all rehearsal and stage floors at the prestigious event.

Young ballerinas warming up at the barre during the competition
© Gregory Batardon
Ballerinas at the barre, with their competition numbers attached to their bodysuits
© Gregory Batardon

The president of the jury, Frédéric Olivieri, Ballet Director, Teatro alla Scala Milan and former Principal Dancer, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo spoke to Harlequin Floors.

Jury president Frédéric Olivieri

“The Prix de Lausanne is first and foremost about quality. Quality of the performance of the competitors, quality and diversity of the members of the jury and of course, not to be overlooked, quality of the organisation and logistics.
But above all, and this undoubtedly is the most important, it is one of the only Awards that truly opens doors.”

Detail of a young ballerina performing at the competition
© Gregory Batardon

Frédéric Olivieri continues: “The whole of the profession is here in Lausanne, so for a dancer, participating in the Prize is already being noticed. This is why there are ultimately no losers in Lausanne. Having the opportunity to attend is already winning.
Personally, I was lucky to win the Prize in 1977, when I was a very young 16-year-old dancer and Lausanne changed my life since it allowed me to enter the Opera Ballet of Paris when I was only a little dancer from Nice!

The evolution of the repertoire is most striking. Young choreographers are commissioned to create the compulsory contemporary variations. Present in Lausanne during the week of the competition, they support candidates who tackle – often for the first time – the characteristics of movement and body specific to this discipline. Suddenly, they learn to adapt to the personal language of each choreographer. Thanks to these contemporary variations specifically adapted to their age, young artists are confronted with new sensations which will help them to develop their ability to react to music with imagination and sensitivity and to reveal their personality through the expression of their emotions.”

A female contestant en pointe
© Gregory Batardon

A good dancer, according to Frédéric Olivieri, must have an irreproachable technical base: virtuosity and musicality as well as the ability to deeply appropriate a repertoire and a style make all the difference. What cannot be learned is the artistic aura and charisma. Some dancers only have to take two steps when entering the stage to catch Olivieri’s eye.

Detail of a male contestant dancing ballet
© Gregory Batardon

Olivieri concludes: “When you are on the jury, there is something magical about this expectation of seeing new talents emerge. It is truly a joy for everyone. Then, it is always necessary to estimate the margin of evolution of each of the participants because we are dealing with fairly young dancers who can therefore still progress. But I believe that all professionals have the eye sufficiently trained to identify what is in each.

I have one piece of advice and it is the one I have always given to each dancer; stay yourself! Don’t change, don’t try to imitate others. What matters is you and you alone!”

Rehearsal with male contestants
© Rodrigo Buas