Preparations for the competition in 2022 are in full swing. I hope that we will be able to witness an unprecedentedly fine competition for young ballet dancers at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet from 30 May to 6 June 2022. It will be a chance to see future stars of ballet right here in Helsinki.
The coronavirus pandemic has restricted teaching, practising and performing in many ways all over the world. The Helsinki International Ballet Competition is a showcase for young dancers to show their talent and diversity. When a young ballet dancer decides to enter a competition, the decision always increases their motivation to practise and their ambition. A ballet competition is always full of surprises in addition to the expected successes.
What kind of competition may we expect?
In previous years, the Helsinki International Ballet Competition has been commended for the high quality of its organisation and its inspiring spirit. Many have described the competition as a study trip where one can win in many ways. The competitors learn much from each other, and they can also rely on a thorough and many-sided evaluation of their skills and their choreography.
The competition is held in the wonderful premises of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet. Competitors perform on stage to supportive audiences. The rehearsal rooms are also at the Opera House. There are numerous training and coaching sessions in the course of the competition.
The fresh green of nature in early summer surrounds the energy and joy manifested by the young ballet dancers, aged 15 to 25. The vicinity of Töölönlahti bay is a uniquely beautiful and inspiring place to train, to compete, to relax, to network, to learn and to make friends. Helsinki has numerous cafés with summer terraces on the streets, in the parks and on the waterfront. The really fun thing is that everywhere can be accessed by bike.
All the venues and hotels of the Helsinki International Ballet Competition are within easy reach of each other. Thus, it is simple and safe for the competitors, jury members, support groups, audiences and the entire organisation.
Helsinki is a fascinating cultural city, and the Helsinki International Ballet Competition will be one of its most prominent world-class events in 2022. I believe that there will be a quite extraordinarily creative vibe at the 2022 competition.
What is the post-pandemic future of ballet?
Ballet dancers have shown their strength during the coronavirus pandemic. They are passionate and disciplined enough to have kept on training at home, in the garden and in parks. Ballet dancers are incredibly creative at coming up with ways to stay in shape. Many have held virtual training sessions together and shared them on social media, which is a wonderful thing to inspire others to ballet training too!
I am a great admirer of the tenacity of all young ballet dancers amidst the challenges of the pandemic. Ballet has provided people around the world with liberating moments of enjoyment. Ballet has a robust classical tradition while also nurturing innovative and rejuvenating trends. Ballet is one of the most universally inspiring art forms of our time.
When will the application round begin?
The current plan is that in November 2021 we will start accepting applications for the Helsinki International Ballet Competition which will take place from 30 May to 6 June 2022. We will be posting updated information on our website and in our newsletter.
When will ticket sales begin?
Tickets for all events of the Helsinki International Ballet Competition and the Gala will go on sale in November 2021. We will be announcing the detailed timetable in all our channels and in our newsletter. We would like to welcome everyone to come to see and support the young competitors.
Text: Marja-Liisa Pollari
Photo: Minna Hatinen