When she was 12 years old, Warner Robins homeschooler Mackenzie Richter ranked in the Top 12 in the worlds largest international youth ballet competition, the Grand Prix.
Now at 15, she is on her way to Lausanne, Switzerland, in January to dance competitively in the prestigious Prix de Lausanne. She has been recognized along the way for her talent, including winning silver in the World Ballet international competition this past June in Orlando, Fla.
The Prix de Lausanne is for young dancers whose talents excel for pursuing a professional career in classical ballet. In fact, many past prize winners are leading stars today in major ballet companies throughout the world.
The competition opens the door to a professional career by offering the opportunity to spend a year at one of the Prixs partnering schools to improve dance skills with professional dancers and coaches, or to spend a year as an apprentice with one of the international professional dance companies that partners with the Prix.
The Prix de Lausanne offers the opportunity to see if a dancer is ready for a company environment, says Georrne Aucoin, International City School of Ballet artistic director and coach to Mackenzie. Mackenzie is extra talented and has lots of potential.
The process to go to Prix de Lausanne begins through a DVD selection that leads to ballet and modern classes on stage. A jury evaluates the performances considering artistry, physical suitability, courage and individuality, imagination and response to music, clear understanding communicating different movement and technical control and coordination.
Up to six winners will be selected for tuition, scholarships and apprenticeships in such companies as the Paris Opera Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet and the English National Ballet.
This is how principal dancers prepare for a career, Aucoin said. Interestingly enough, Mackenzie was recently selected through a model search to represent Grishko point ballet shoes.
Mackenzie will perform in the upcoming International City School of Ballet production of The Little Drummer Boy at 7 p.m. Dec. 21. The location is the landmark Douglass Theatre, 355 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Macon. All tickets are $18 general admission and are available by calling 478-742-2000. Special guest artists will also perform.
The Little Drummer Boy, originally known as Carol of the Drum, is the lyrical story of a poor young boy summoned by the Magi to the nativity. The story describes how he played his drum with the Virgin Marys approval for the infant Jesus because he had no gift to give. I played my best for him and He smiled at me are inspired from a traditional Czech carol from which the lyrics are based for the popular Christmas carol and performance.
For more performance information and to learn more about the International City School of Ballet visit www.icsballet.org.
Marsha Priest Buzzell is executive director of the Warner Robins Convention & Visitors Bureau. Contact her at 478-922-5100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.