Jury 2017

VIOLETTE VERDY, Honorary Chairman, In Memoriam
MIKKO NISSINEN, Honorary Chairman


Chairman of the Judges
People’s Artist of Russia, world ballet star, brilliant director-choreographer. Graduated from Moscow Academy of Choreography and was invited to the Bolshoi Ballet. Appeared in the leading parts of its numerous celebrated productions. Worked in the New York City Ballet, and in American Ballet Theatre where he played Siegfried (“Swan Lake”) in Mikhail Baryshnikov’s production; also, appeared in Kenneth McMillan’s “Romeo and Juliet” and George Balanchine’s “Violin Concerto”. Read More




An internationally acclaimed Contemporary Dance Master Teacher, award-winning choreographer and dance iconoclast, distinguished for coining cutting edge European contemporary dance idiom. For more than fifteen years Nina has enriched the avant-garde dance industry with her unconventional contemporary vocabulary – educating, choreographing and inspiring numerous students and performance artists across the globe. Read More


A former Principal Dancer of the Opéra de Paris, has been Director of the Ballet de l’Opéra de Bordeaux since September 1996. After studying at the Conservatoire de Nice under Alexandre Kalioujny, Charles Jude successfully auditioned to join the ballet company of the Opéra de Paris (1971).

Promoted to the rank of premier danseur in 1975, he won the Bronze Medal at the Tokyo International Ballet Competition with Florence Clerc. On 8th July 1977 he was named Principal Dancer after his magnificent turn in Ivan the Terrible (Yury Grigorovich). Read More


Caroline Llorca is recognized worldwide as a specialist of the Petipa´s repertoire, as well as the Vaganova method.

She was awarded a government scolarship to study in Russia and became the first French dancer to graduate the legendary Vaganova school in the classe of Natalia M.Doudinskaia.
Her unique knowledge of both French and Russian schools attracted immediately Ballet companies, and she became ballet-mistress at age 21.
Her productions of Paquita and Pas de 4 in Paris, acclaimed by the press, received immediately government support. Read More



Born in Tbilisi, Georgia. By the time she was ten, she was Georgia's junior skating champion. That same year, she started ballet training in Tbilisi. Encouraged by her teachers, she soon abandoned skating for ballet studies at the Georgian State Choreographic School. Nina's impressive progress was noted by dance authorities, who persuaded her parents to let their daughter continue her training in Moscow. Thus, when she was thirteen, she entered the Moscow Choreographic School, the school of the Bolshoi Ballet. Her first teacher in that venerable institution was Natalia Viktorovna Zolotova.

Even before she graduated from the school, Ananiashvili had already won the Gold Medal (Junior Division) at the prestigious Varna International Competition (1980), and the Grand Prix (Junior) at the Moscow International Ballet Competition (1981), with Andris Liepa as her partner. Read More


Ivan Cavallari

Born in Bolzano, Italy, in 1964, Ivan Cavallari received his initial training at the Teatro alla Scala Ballet School in Milan. His teachers recognized his talent by awarding him a scholarship to the Bolchoi Ballet School in Moscow in 1981, where he continued his training until 1983.

From 1984 to 1985, he danced with the Scala Ballet School before joining the Stuttgart Ballet in 1986, where he became a Soloist and then Principal dancer under the successive directorships of Marcia Haydée and Reid Anderson. He danced all the leading roles of John Cranko’s ballets and regularly staged the latter’s works with the Royal Ballet Covent Garden in London, La Scala in Milan, the Czech National Ballet, among many other companies. Read More

Alberto Pretto

Alberto Pretto was born in Vicenza, Italy in1985. He started formal dance training in his hometown at the age of 14 under the guidance of Maria Berica Dalla Vecchia. In 2004 he was admitted to the prestigious “Académie de Danse Classique Princesse Grace” of Monte Carlo, under the direction of Marika Besobrasova. After 4 years of study, he graduated in March 2008, obtaining the certificate of Professional Ballet Dancer. Read More


Tursynbek Nurkaliyev

Tursynbek Nurkaliyev raised an A-class ballet company including such leading dancers as Zh.Aubakirov, A.Spatayev, N.Korshunov, O.Makhambetaliyev, B.Mekimbayev, and R.Asanov, an honored artist of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Apprentices of Tursynbek Nurkaliyev – E.Sarsembayev, E.Rakhmatullayev, B.Adamzhan, T.Gatauov, - artists succeeded in international competitions and became ballet stars of Kazakhstan. Read More



AIVARS LEIMANIS is the Artistic Director of the Latvian National Ballet Company since 1993.
In 1976 he graduated from the Riga Choreography School. From 1989 until 1995 he studied at The Faculty of Ballet Masters of the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts (GITIS), specialty of choreographer. In 1995 he obtained the degree of the Master of Arts.
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A Mexican citizen today born in Quito, Ecuador, Ms. Aulestia started her professional studies as a dancer in Chile, Argentina and the United States. In New York she obtained a scholarship to study in the Martha Graham School of  Contemporary Dance and at the School of American Ballet. She also studied with the Ballet Russe of  Monte Carlo and at the American Ballet Center. Patricia Aulestia has been principal dancer in the National Ballet of Chile, in the Modern Art Ballet of Santiago de Chile (today’s Ballet de Santiago) as well as at ballet Clásico 70 of  Mexico. Ms. Aulestia as is also the founder and director of the National Ballet of Ecuador (Ballet NacionalEcuatoriano). She has worked as dance teacher, researcher and choreographer, creating “Daquilema”, “Niño Agua” and the “CholaMaría” among other choreographic works. Read More



President of the New Orleans International Ballet Conference, and Artistic Advisor to the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Panama, in the field of ballet. Studied dance under Ballets Russes and Royal Ballet masters, holds a License esLettres from Vassar College in New York, has done academic graduate work in France. Actively involved in productions and ballet exchanges for over thirty years, she pioneered courses for North American ballet pedagogues in the former Soviet Union and arranged for the first official production of a Balanchine choreography in that area through the Balanchine Trust, while bringing to North and South America distinguished dancers, teachers and choreographers. Read More



Rector of the  Vaganova Ballet Academy in Saint Petersbourg, was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 1973. Не started dancing at the age of 11, training at the Tbilisi State Choreographic School. In 1987 he was admitted to the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow (class of Professor Piotr Pestov).
Invited by Yuri Grigorovich, Nikolai joined the Bolshoi Ballet in 1992, where he studied with Galina Ulanova, Marina Semyonova and Nikolai Fadeyechev. Read More


Born in Moscow, Russia, Serguei Soloviev joins the corps of Bolshoi Ballet at age 19, before becoming first soloist in 1981. He was taught by such professors as GalinaUlanova, AssafMesserer and Marina Semionova. Among other roles, Soloviev danced Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, the Prince and Rothbart in Swan Lake, Don Juan in Amour d'Amour with such prestigious dancers as Maya Plissetskaya, EkaterinaMaximova, Vladimir Vassiliev, among others.
From 1989 on, he starts teaching, first at the Bolshoi then abroad, with the idea to transmit and participate in the evolution of Russian Ballet teaching. Mr. Soloviev has taught at Cincinnati Ballet, Universal Ballet Company (South Korea), Vienna StaatsOper (Austria) and La Scala School of Dance (Italy). Since 1997, he has been teaching classical dance at Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (France). Read More



Professor, Korea National University of Arts, School of Dance. As a dance educator, scholar, artistic director, and choreographer, Kim Sun-Hee has established herself as one of the prominent figures in the history of Korean ballet. Starting Ballet at 9 years old, graduated Department of Dance at the Ewha Womans University in Korea and she moved to New York to study at the Tisch School of the Arts in New York University, working with numerous dance companies as a dancer and choreographer. After earning her MFA degree Kim went back to Korea, where she worked as a dancer and teacher at various institutions until the early 1990s. Read More


As an internationally recognized choreographer and dance educator of Korea, Mi Sook Jeon taught, performed and choreographed in numerous international festivals including Seoul Dance festival, SPAF 2008, White Bird Festival, and Jacob's Pillow Dance.Read More

United Kingdom


Studied ballet under Ana Roje, Nadine Nicolaeva Legat, Kathleen Crofton, Tamara Karsavina and worked with choreograhphers Leonid Massine, Vladimir Bourmeister, Frederick Ashton, Serge Lifar, Bronislava Nijinska. He appeared with Margot Fonteyn in the BBC-TV production of “Sleeping Beauty” (1959), was The Principal Dancer of The English National Ballet (previously London Festival Ballet) and danced Principal roles with British Royal Ballet. studied ballet under Ana Roje, Nadine Nicolaeva Legat, Kathleen Crofton, Tamara Karsavina and worked with choreograhphers Leonid Massine, Vladimir Bourmeister, Frederick Ashton, Serge Lifar, Bronislava Nijinska. Read More



Now Dance Theatre of Harlem Artistic Director, was a founding member and principal dancer with the company for more than twenty years. Born in Washington, DC, she graduated from the Academy of the Washington School of Ballet and briefly attended the School of the Arts at New York University as a University Scholar before joining DTH in 1969. During her years with the company, she performed most of the repertoire, with principal roles in Concerto Barocco, Allegro Brillante, Agon, A Streetcar Named Desire, Fall River Legend, Swan Lake, Giselle, Voluntaries, and Les Biches, among others, several of which were recorded for broadcast on PBS, network television and cable. Read More


Over the past 20 years, Cincinnati Ballet has experienced tremendous growth and critical success under the leadership of Artistic Director & CEO Victoria Morgan, including its landmark 50th Anniversary year, which saw its company debut at The Joyce Theater in New York. Today she is one of only five female Artistic Directors of U.S. ballet companies with an annual operating budget of $5 million or more. When she took on executive leadership in addition to artistic responsibilities the company grew from an operating budget of $5.8 million in 2008 to $8.5 million today, and has established an $11.5 million endowment fund. Read More


Born in Sarajevo, former Yugoslavia. His potential as a dancer was recognized at age eight by the Sarajevo Opera Ballet School. Radenko was selected to receive his advanced training at the famed Vagonova Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia. In his final year, he accepted a full scholarship to London's Royal Ballet School, where he was the only foreign student to be made a member of the elite Graduation Class. He has danced as a soloist with the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb and with the Atlanta Ballet. Read More


International choreographer/director, a Texan, began her professional career dancing with the Joffrey Ballet in New York at the age of 17, and her choreographic career at age 21 with OH! CALCUTTA! in which she also performed in NY/LA, London and the film. Read More


An Associate Director, Boston Ballet II, and Head of Men's Program, Boston Ballet School. Mr. Stark began his performing career with New York City Ballet and Boston Ballet and went on to be a leading dancer with The Washington Ballet. He was featured in a PBS telecast of Washington Opera's La Rondine staring Jose Carras. Peter Stark trained at the School of American Ballet. He danced works by George Balanchine, Marius Petipa, and Ralph Lemmon. Read More