Asian dancers triumph at Helsinki International Ballet Competition
The eighth Helsinki International Ballet Competition was a success for the Asian dancers. The main prize, Jane Erkko Grand Prix worth 15 000 €, was received by 24-year-old Heesun Kim of South Korea. The 1st prize for senior women (20-25 years) was shared by Xinlu Zhan and Yimeng Sun, both dancers are Chinese. Senior women’s 3rd prize was awarded to Yoshiko Kamikusa from Canada.
The first prize for senior men was not awarded. The second prize was received by South Korean Byul Yun. The third prize was shared by Japanese Takatoshi Machiyama and Kengo Nishioka.
Junior women’s winner for first prize was South Korean So Jung Shin, for the second prize Chinese Fangqi Li, and for the third South Korean Yeojin Shim. Junior men’s first and second prize went to China to Zhuming Chen and Sund Yuedong, the third prize went to Portuguese Frederico Loureiro.
The best choreography prize was awarded to Jae Deok Kim for Aria, which was performed by Kim Heesun and Jeon Hojin.The only Finnish dancer Suvi Honkanen, who reached the finals of the competition, was awarded with an Attitydi Scholarship of 1 000 €. The jury awarded also Encouragement prizes to Matthew Cunningham, Magili Chadbourne and Chongzheng Guan.
Sixty-six dancers from 19 countries competed in this year's Helsinki International Ballet Competition. Founded by Professor Doris Laine-Almi in 1984, it is regarded as one of the most distinguished and qualified ballet competitions in the world.
Image: Kim Heesun. Photo: Mirka Kleemola.