Bring on the ballet

Updated: Nov 30, 2019, 09:34 IST | Prachi Sibal | Mumbai

In its second edition, The Great Indian Ballet competition will see 61 students from across the country in a dance off, for awards and scholarships.

Dancer Sufia Lambrou at GIBC 2018
Dancer Sufia Lambrou at GIBC 2018

The Great Indian Ballet Competition is back in the city, and this time it's expanded its reach with 61 students from across all corners of India in the age group of four and 25 who will perform in two styles —classical and modern. What's more, both semi-finals and the finals of the competition will be open to public. So, stopping by is all it takes to get a sneak peek into the emerging ballet dance scene in the country.

The competition follows a no-audition format, where it is open for any enthusiast to apply. Elimination takes place through the first round tomorrow and will be judged by Singapore-based dance teacher Kimberely Martin, Japanese dancer Chiiho Sano who is studying the therapeutic effects of ballet and Goa-based Tino Sanchez who has worked with the likes of performance company, Cirque du Soleil.

"A seminar on the future of ballet in India is also part of the programme," says Apeksha Bhattacharya, director, Great Indian Ballet Competition. She goes on to reveal that the 61 students, half of whom will make it to the final round will compete for not only awards, but scholarships this time. The winners will be presented with 14 such scholarships to renowned ballet schools such as Russian school of Ballet in Johannesburg, Armiani Baletki School in Belgrade, Antoinette Pylarinu in Vienna and International Ballet Competition in Nuremberg. Here's a look at three promising talents who will compete today:

Esme Norona

Esme Norona, 5

Mumbai (Kids category 4 to 6 years)
Noronha started training in both classical and modern ballet at the early age of four and bagged the second place in the same competition last year, just a year into training. "I always looked at her frame (petite) and imagined her doing ballet. After enrolling in a class, she began loving it," says Lavina Yohannan, her mother. "She trains twice a week now and can't wait to perform," she adds. At the competition, she will be seen performing a classical Fairy Doll and a modern version to Rihanna's Diamonds.

Sunepsangla Jamir

Sunepsangla Jamir, 13

Nagaland (Youth category 11 to 14 years)
Based in Nagaland, Jamir relies on short intensive courses in Mumbai twice a year for her ballet training, practising on her own at other times. She started ballet at the age of four but only took to it in earnest when she turned nine. "I didn't quite understand what I was doing back then. But, now it's both fun and challenging," she admits. Jamir will perform a modern variation of Aurora.

Balyogeshwar Prajapati

Balyogeshwar Prajapati, 23

New Delhi (Senior category 15 to 25 years)
A street dancer who took to ballet early on, Prajapati is one of the few Indian male ballet dancers who was intrigued by the form. "I found it very graceful," he says talking about his six-year-long journey training in it. He now runs a ballet school in his home city and is striving to train more boys in ballet and put together the first Indian male ballet group. At the competition, he will perform a classical solo with Flame of Paris and a modern ballet version of Rude Magic.

On November 30, 2.30 pm to 6 pm and December 1, 4 pm to 6.30 pm.
At Russian Centre for Science and Culture, Peddar Road
Free

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