Helsinki International Ballet Competition honours the memory of its founder, Doris Laine

The 9th Helsinki International Ballet Competition to date will take place on the Finnish National Opera and Ballet stage from the 1st to the 8th of June, 2020. The competition was founded in 1984 by professor Doris Laine (1931–2018), whose extensive tenure as the prima ballerina of the Finnish National Ballet was followed by a career as a cultural politician and an advocate of dance. The 31st of October, 2019 would have been Laine’s 88th birthday.

Photo: Roni Rekomaa

Doris Laine first had the idea to establish an international ballet competition in Helsinki while working as a jury member for ballet competitions in Moscow, Jackson and Varna. Thanks to her tenacity, Laine gained the necessary backing from the City of Helsinki as well as various cultural funds and businesses. The 2020 ballet competition honours the heritage of its founder with the new Doris Laine Award, which will be given to a future ballet star with exceptional artistic talent. The winner will be chosen by the competition jury. The 12 000 euro award will be donated by the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation. Read more about the awards. 

Over the years, the Helsinki International Ballet Competition has grown into one of the most prestigious ballet competitions in the world. Jorma Uotinen, Dinna Björn, Kenneth Greve and Madeleine Onne, Laine’s successors as Artistic Director of the Finnish National Ballet, have each developed the competition further. With its jury of leading international ballet professionals, the well-organised event provides young talents with a week-long learning path towards the top of their genre. Recognition in the Helsinki International Ballet Competition has catapulted several young ballet stars to international fame. These include, for example, Yimeng Sun, Maria Baranova, Iana Salenko and Marian Walter. Read more about the winners of HIBC. 

The dancers accepted into the 2020 competition will be announced in February.

The Chair of the Board of the Helsinki International Ballet Competition is professor Jorma Uotinen, with dancer and choreographer Minna Tervamäki as the Vice Chair. Read more about the association.