3 November 2023 12:55

The winners of The Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition 2023

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition 2023, one of the world’s most prestigious dance events, staged at His Majesty’s Theatre in London.

Photo:Martin Bell.

After a week of intensive coaching and semi-finals, Dame Darcey Bussell, President of the RAD, awarded a total of four medals to the deserving winners:

  • Jakob Wheway Hughes (Gold). Age: 16. Nationality: British. Taught by: Dance Faculty of Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.
  • Lucia Moore (Silver). Age: 15 Nationality: New Zealander. Taught by: Annette Roselli, Shane Wuerthner and Miranda Zeller.
  • Zai Calliste (Bronze). Age: 18. Nationality: Australian/British/Caribbean. Taught by: Annette Roselli, Michael Berkin, David Yow and Jane Pirani.
  • Ed Cooley (Bronze). Age: 17. Nationality: Australian. Taught by: Daniella Crismani, Daniel Gaudiello, Karen Donovan and Wim Broeckx

Zai Calliste was also the recipient of the Dame Margot Fonteyn Audience Choice Award, and Alfie-Lee Hall took home the Dancer’s Own Choreographic Award.

Hosted by a different nation each year, The Fonteyn 2023 (previously known as the Genée) returned to London for the first in-person event since the pandemic. This week-long competition attracted 79 candidates from 15 countries, who each took part in coaching sessions by Endalyn Taylor, David Nixon and Sarah Wildor. The semi-finals at RAD’s Aud Jebsen Studio Theatre were judged by a panel comprising Dame Darcey Bussell, Aaron Watkin, Artistic Director of English National Ballet, and Amanda Britton, Chief Executive, Principal and Artistic Director of Rambert School.

The finalists then competed for a chance to win the coveted gold, silver and bronze medals and for the Dame Margot Fonteyn Audience Choice Award.

At the event, all candidates performed a newly choreographed piece, Jeunesse, created by The Fonteyn’s guest choreographer, Valentino Zucchetti, First Soloist with The Royal Ballet.

In addition to the medals and cash prizes – and for the first time – all candidates have been considered for a variety of tuition scholarship opportunities from renowned dance schools across the globe.

Tim Arthur, Chief Executive of the RAD, said: “On behalf of the RAD, congratulations to all the candidates who took part in The Fonteyn. The Fonteyn is always such a special event for the candidates, their families and teachers, our staff and RAD members right across the globe, and this year was no exception. I would also like to thank The Fonteyn coaches, David Nixon, Endalyn Taylor and Sarah Wildor, for imparting such valuable advice to all our candidates this week. Also a special thanks to our judges Dame Darcey Bussell, Amanda Britton and Aaron Watkin and our wonderful producer Lynn Wallis.”

Lynn Wallis Producer of The Fonteyn said: “Congratulations to all the candidates. It’s been a pleasure to welcome so many dancers from around the world. I do hope that they have made memories that they will cherish forever.”

Dame Darcey Bussell, President of the RAD said: “Congratulations to everyone that took part in The Fonteyn 2023 competition. What a joy it was to watch some of the best young ballet dancers trained in the RAD syllabus from around the world come together for such a wonderful week of dance. Special congratulations go to the medalists for winning the coveted Fonteyn medals.”

Amanda Britton Chief Executive, Principal and Artistic Director of Rambert School said: “It’s been a true honour to be a judge of this year’s competition. Congratulations to the medalists and all the candidates who took part in what was an outstanding showcase of ballet.”