/USA IBC in Jackson ‘Very exciting’ Round III ahead for 32 dancers

USA IBC in Jackson ‘Very exciting’ Round III ahead for 32 dancers

John Meehan, International Jury chairman, stated that this competition is of a high standard. “Of course that means it can be very, very thrilling when it’s concentrated to the final round,” John Meehan, International Jury chairman, said. The 32 competitors representing 10 countries will compete in the next days with contemporary and classical ballet selections. Soloists will perform two classic variations and one modern piece. Pas de deux (couple), competitors will perform one of the classical pieces and one of the contemporary pieces. Competition performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Friday morning will see the announcement of the awards. However, details about who won what will be revealed at Friday’s Awards Gala. Meehan stated that prize winners will be notified to dress appropriately and warm up. “We build up to a climax, and I think that this really makes for a dramatic finale.” Tickets are still available but selling quickly at usaibc.tix.com, Thalia Mara Hall’s IBC box office, and at usaibc.tix.com. Meehan stated Monday morning that “Last Night, we deliberated” and that the competition had its first winners. Each finalist will receive a $1500 travel stipend from the Peggy Mize Fund of The Community Foundation of Mississippi. The juniors who advanced to Round III are: Nicole Barroso (16), of the Philippines, whose bold and hypnotic pas de doi with Joshua Rey Enciso brought down a house Saturday night; Hyuma, 17 of Japan, who gave an emotional turn Saturday night; Alexandra Manuel (14), USA competitor, whose “Sinner Man” solo to Nina Simone was one of Sunday night’s highlights. For Round III, the seniors compete include: Sicong Wu, National Ballet of China, and Yunting Qiu from Yunting Qiu. They performed a powerful pas de deux to delight the audience; American Katherine Barkman with Joseph Phillips, and a witty solo called “Accent”. Great Britain’s Albjon Gjorllaku had a great solo to Nina Simone’s music. The nations/numbers count shows that the USA has 13 dancers, followed by Japan with 5, Republic of Korea, 4, Cuba, 2, China, 2 and Philippines 2; Great Britain with 1; Armenia with 1; Canada with 1; Brazil with 1. It’s nine senior males, eight senior females, five junior males, and 10 junior women in the category countdown. You can download the complete list here. Meehan is looking for contemporary ballet dancers who can show a new level of their art when judging them. Trinidad Vives, a juror, stated that each judge is responsible for evaluating the artistry of each dancer. They will be more drawn to a piece than to other pieces. But… I think that we all look for variety in the dancer, so they can perform classical and other movements.” Jurors will also consider contemporary selections to see how dancers express themselves with their movement. Meehan stated that they also consider how well-rehearsed they have been. “Some people bring an amazing piece of choreography but you can see that they haven’t rehearsed the choreography to the last eyelash. Others have. This really makes a big difference. We all love dancers and wanted to help as many people as possible. It’s a short-lived career, so people must seize every opportunity. We need to help as much possible.” The competition invites only the eliminated competitors to stay as guests. There are also additional opportunities for performance. The Round II semifinalists who did not advance to the Round II finals will be able to perform their contemporary pieces in the Edward Stierle Contemporary Showcase Monday at Belhaven University Center for the Arts. The workshop will be held with Matthew Neenan, an American choreographer. Participants can perform a piece onstage during the Awards & Encore galas on Friday and Saturday. The Round III scores of dancers will be used by the jury to select the medalists and other award recipients. There are potential awards that include gold, silver, and bronze medals for each category, as well as special awards for choreography merit and encouragement. A Grand Prix is an award given only four times in IBC’s history to dancers who have achieved the highest level of gold medal. Jurors can award more than one medal for a category depending on the scores or withhold one if the expectations are not met. Meehan stated, “It’s going be a great 3rd round.”