Houston Ballet II Dancer Joel Woellner Wins Two Prizes at Prix De Lausanne Ballet Competition
Houston Ballet II Dancer Joel Woellner was awarded two prizes at the 41st Prix de Lausanne Dance Competition, the prestigious international contest held annually in Lausanne, Switzerland between January 27 and February 2, 2013. Mr. Woellner placed sixth overall out of 78 international contestants and won the Contemporary Dance Prize. Mr. Woellner was the only student from an American ballet school to be awarded a prize.
Eighteen-year-old Joel Woellner was prepared by -- and accompanied to the competition in Switzerland by -- Houston Ballet II Ballet Master Claudio Munoz and Houston Ballet's Academy Director Shelly Power.
The Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition is open to young dancers ages 15 - 18 who are not yet professionals. The jury is composed of nine internationally renowned dance personalities, representing different countries and a broad palette of ballet styles. Young dancers from around the world send a video to Lausanne. Over 250 candidates submitted DVD's initially. The Artistic Committee selects candidates to take part in the competition. During the week in Lausanne, candidates are judged both during a dance class and individually on stage. Twenty competitors progress to the final round, a live performance attended by key figures from the ballet world. Between 6 and 8 young dancers receive a scholarship.
Since 2009, Houston Ballet's Academy has had five academy students win prizes at the prestigious international ballet competition the Prix de Lausanne, with one student winning the overall competition in 2010.
This year, Houston Ballet II, Houston Ballet's Second Company of young dancers, made their first appearance in Switzerland, performing Stanton Welch's neoclassical work, A Dance in the Garden of Mirth, at the Théâtre de Beaulieu in Lausanne, Switzerland as part of the climax of the prestigious 41st annual Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition and to follow were the awards ceremony. The performance was televised in Switzerland and viewers could also watch via live stream broadcast across the world.