Central School of Ballet Student Harris Beattie Wins RAD's Genee International Ballet Competition 2017
Harris Beattie, student at Central School of Ballet in London, is the first ever competitor to win all three top awards at the prestigious Genée International Ballet Competition 2017. The competition, run by the Royal Academy of Dance, took place in Lisbon and concluded on 16th September at the city's Teatro Camões.
Harris, aged 18, won the Gold Medal, the Margot Fonteyn Audience Choice Award and the Choreographic Award for his Dancer's Own variation Torn. He is the first dancer in the 86 year history of the competition to achieve all three.
The competition attracted 52 of the world's finest young dancers from 14 countries, aged between 15 to 19 years old; six boys took part and 46 girls. The 10 day competition culminated in a demanding final that was judged by former Director of The Royal Ballet Dame Monica Mason, former Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Dance Lynn Wallis OBE and CEO/Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet Christopher Hampson.
"Harris Beattie demonstrates all the qualities that are needed to succeed in the international dance world. He is very talented but also determined, disciplined and has an enquiring mind," says Central School of Ballet Director Heidi Hall, "Harris approaches his training at Central like an elite athlete, but he can also communicate with an audience through dance, and this is what makes him stand out amongst other young dancers. This is the calibre of graduate dancer that Central continues to achieve through the partnership of our students and my dedicated and nurturing team."
Harris is in the final year of a three year BA (Hons) degree in Professional Dance and Performance at Central School of Ballet in London. The degree is validated by the University of Kent and offers students the chance to join the organisation's touring company Ballet Central in the final year. Harris will perform across the UK in the coming months in venues from Exeter to Leeds. This touring experience, for ticket-buying audiences, is unique to the degree course at Central. Graduates go on to join top ballet companies across the world and leading musical theatre productions.
His passion for dance and early talent potential was identified by Karen Berry, founder of Danscentre in Harris's home town of Aberdeen, who is still supportive and involved in his achievements.
"I am thrilled to have taken part in the competition," says Harris, "I have to thank all at Central and Resmi Malko my ballet tutor in particular for his enthusiasm, passion and support; and to Karen Berry at Danscentre for her continued assistance in my development as a dancer. I am looking forward to performing across the country with Ballet Central and aiming to join an international classical ballet company when I graduate next summer"
Founded 35 years ago by Ann Stannard and the late Christopher Gable CBE, Central School of Ballet is one of Europe's leading centres for dance training. The school is an affiliate of the Conservatoire for Dance & Drama. Heidi Hall, Director of Central School of Ballet. She is an alumni of Central School of Ballet herself, and enjoyed a long professional dance career.
Students train for three years aiming for a BA (Hons) in Professional Dance and Performance (validated by the University of Kent). Central's ethos is the belief that talented, dedicated young people should have access to the highest quality of training, whatever their economic, social or cultural background.
Central School of Ballet has particularly high rates of employment for graduating students; 80% are employed in professional contracts or apprenticeships in dance within six months of graduating.
Central is in the process of fundraising for a move to a new purpose-built home in Paris Gardens in Southwark in the South Bank community in London's SE1. £6m is needed to complete the building and the move is planned for the 2018/2019 academic year.