Nurturing tomorrow’s talents
Swiss Performing Arts Award 2021
A unique dance school and young dancers’ company, Ballet Junior in Geneva has been around for over 50 years, and is recognised internationally for its excellent grounding in the discipline. It offers a wide range of dance styles and creative teaching. Its origins can be traced back to the celebrated choreographer George Balanchine, who founded the École de Danse de Genève at the Grand Théâtre de Genève in 1969. The school was privatised in 1975 under its director Beatriz Consuelo. Patrice Delay and Jean Wood took over in 1999, and in 2007 they moved to “L’Imprimerie” in the city centre. In 2010 the Geneva Council of State incorporated the school into the Confédération des Ecoles Genevoises de musique, rythmique Jaques-Dalcroze, danse et théâtre (CEGM).
Patrice Delay himself studied at the École de Danse de Genève, has been a member of Ballet Junior since 1980, and mediates its repertoire. Sean Wood studied at the Central School of Ballet in London and choreographs, inter alia, for Ballet Junior. The company and its young talents maintain close contacts with the professional dance world. Working with Ballet Junior is an important part of the two- to three-year training, which covers a broad spectrum from classical to contemporary dance. Here, students learn well-known repertoire pieces and experience working on contemporary creations. A number of choreographies are prepared each season, and presented in Switzerland and abroad. Most recently, when venues reopened in June 2021, Ballet Junior presented “THE DOG DAYS ARE OVER” by Jan Martens and “Tenir le temps” by Rachid Ouramdane.
Geneva’s Ballet Junior, under the dual direction of Patrice Delay and Sean Wood, offers a training for young dancers starting out on a professional career that’s renowned both in Switzerland and internationally. The close attention they receive is an ideal and varied preparation that covers both the individual and the collective. Constantly in contact with the creators and repertoires of today, the young artists produce under professional conditions, allowing them to test their fitness for their chosen career. The artistic ease, technical soundness and cool heads they display on stage underscore the exemplary nature of this training.
Simona Travaglianti & Isabelle Fuchs, jury members