A look back at the first edition of the Young Creation Award



In the midst of the second wave of the Covid19 pandemic in Switzerland, the Fondation en faveur de l’Art Chorégraphique’s (Fondation) Like its main competition, the new partner school and company project 2021, the Young Creation Award, was submitted exclusively by video. “When I saw the talent and richness of the candidates’ choreographies, I knew that this new choreographic competition had to take place, even if it was a video edition” Artistic and Executive Director of the Prix de Lausanne, Kathryn Bradney.

Dancers: Gabriel Barbosa, Choreography: Samuel Winkler

In fact, the video edition has proven to be very promising with 54 applicants from North America to Europe and countries such as China, Cuba and Down Under with Australia and New Zealand. All participants showed a wonderful choreographic talent with different styles. “It was really moving to see the inspiration and the diversity of the choreographies, especially in these difficult times for dancers and artists. It gave me hope for a better future! “ Kathryn Bradney.

The aim of this new competition is to seek and promote young choreographic talents from partner schools and companies of the Prix de Lausanne. In addition to winning the title, the two winning choreographers see that their contemporary solo variations will become part of the contemporary variation repertoire of the Prix de Lausanne. The choreographers are then invited to the Prix de Lausanne the following year to coach candidates who have chosen their variations. This is a complete program. Not only does it provide the creative space to explore one’s choreographic potential and language, it also offers the opportunity to develop coaching skills while transferring one’s creative vision to a dancer. Creating and communicating are separate but equal aspects that are essential to the role of the choreographer.

The process and focus of the Young Creation Award fit perfectly with one of the focus areas of our school. Under the direction of the choreographer John Neumeier, the School of the Hamburg Ballet strives to develop technically safe, classically trained dancers who can use their instrument and its abilities to promote and encourage their own creativity. The time in the studio for our young choreographers and their dancers was certainly rich in precious moments. ” Gigi Hyatt, Pedagogical Director and Deputy Director of the Hamburg Ballet School

Dancers: Ewan Hartman, Choreography: Maya Smallwood

Dancers: Ewan Hartman, Choreography: Maya Smallwood

After the first round of video selections, which took place last autumn 2020, a jury was invited to narrow the list to 5 finalists. Then it was the turn of the jury of the Prix de Lausanne 2021 to mark the videos of the finalists during the competition week in February 2021 to finally reveal this year’s winners of the Young Creation Award 2021: Maya Smallwood of the National Ballet School of Canada with her dancer Ewan Hartman and Samuel Winkler from the School of Hamburg Ballet with his dancer Gabriel Barbosa.

From the first time Vincent Isler’s Euphoria passionately moved me to bring together the final choreographic elements of the solo, I am so grateful that the process was completed with my solo on the global platform of the Prix de Lausanne. This journey helped me bring myself to discover innovative movements that convey the deeper meaning of the solo. I am so grateful for the support I received at Canada’s National Ballet School and I am proud to be one of the earliest winners of the Young Creation Award. I will always cherish the opportunity I had to expand the depth and breadth of my choreography with Ewan and look forward to taking on new choreographic challenges in the future. “Maya Kleinwald

“I really enjoyed being able to work on my choreographic skills while developing the solo and found it very satisfying as it began to take shape towards the end of the process. I couldn’t talk about my experience of participating in the Young Creation Awards without mentioning an incredibly talented person, Gabriel Barbosa … [We] were able to share a wonderful working relationship that made rehearsing and the entire creative process productive, exciting and inspiring for me as a choreographer … The first challenge for me was to create movement for one person that both filled and lived up to three Minutes from Vincent Isler’s beautiful composition “Aurora”. With our basic concept in mind, I’ve always tried to use music as a springboard for new movements. Although the ability to create new and interesting choreographies is more of a journey than a destination, I feel that the Young Creation Award has helped me a lot along the way“Samuel Winkler. Both Samuel Winkler and Gabriel Barbosa competed in the Prix de Lausanne in previous years and then joined the School of Hamburg Ballet via the Networking Forum.

Dancers: Gabriel Barbosa, Choreography: Samuel Winkler

Dancers: Gabriel Barbosa, Choreography: Samuel Winkler

As a result of the pandemic, most of the performing arts world was put on hold and many are still concerned. Dancers are eager to get back on stage and choreographers wait patiently to see their work performed. Hence it felt for that Fondation To hold on to its mission to provide opportunities for young talent in the hope that the Young Creation Award will stimulate these young artists’ creativity when it is needed most. We knew that being an artist, especially a dancer, in times of Corona meant more than just taking steps and learning, it meant that our generation had a future, our generation was not lost in a time of uncertainty and lost hope. We have learned to surpass ourselves and every fight we have had “, Gabriel Barbosa. One thing is certain: the bar for the next edition of the Young Creation Awards is high and that Fondation is excited to see what choreographic talent the future will bring.

“As the international partner school of the Prix de Lausanne, the Canadian National Ballet School (NBS) was proud to be part of this celebration of young talent and global collaboration. The innovative addition to the Young Creation Award, which focuses on choreographic talent, reflects the Prix’s commitment to continuously developing the way the competition supports future dance artists. ” Mavis Staines, Artist and CEO of Canada’s National Ballet School.


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