Brand Snapshot | Royal Academy of Dance, Genée International Ballet Competition

Walpole member The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) has announced Hong Kong Ballet Principal dancer, and Genée Alumni, Ye Feifei as the Genée 2018 Ambassador. Over 50 of the finest young dancers working to the RAD syllabus from around the world have been selected to take part in this year’s Genée International Ballet Competition, one of the world’s most prestigious ballet competitions. The week-long event will be held at Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and Hong Kong City Hall from the 3-12 August 2018. Genée 2018 is held in partnership with Hong Kong Ballet.

Known simply as ‘the Genée’, it is one of the most prestigious ballet competitions in the world, attracting the finest young dancers trained in the RAD syllabus, from around the globe. Candidates receive a unique opportunity to work with renowned choreographers and teachers for five days before performing at the semi-finals, and then the final, where they compete for a range of medals. The competition started in 1931, when the Adeline Genée Gold Medal was awarded to Felicity Garratt. Other medals were later added: the silver (1934), bronze (1956), and gold and silver for male dancers (1938). The Genée has taken place almost every year since, and is now a truly global event. In 2002 the RAD took the decision to hold the competition outside London for the first time, taking it to Australia where Sydney Opera House played host to a record number of candidates. Following that success, the Genée is now hosted in a different country each year.

Representing thirteen nationalities, from Australian to British, Canadian to Indonesian, the dancers aged 15-19 will take part in an intensive week of coaching from world-renowned teachers and choreographers. This year’s Commissioned Choreographer, Carlo Pacis will create two variations which will receive their world-premiere at the Final on Sunday 12 August. Audiences at the Final will also be treated to an excerpt from Alice, performed by selected artists from Hong Kong Ballet.

Of the successful candidates, Canaan Wung Hay Chan and Jordan Yeuk Hay Chan from Hong Kong will be the first set of twins recorded to participate in the competition’s 86 year history. Both trained by RAD Registered Teacher Yui Man Cheung at the Jean M. Wong School of Ballet. Joining them will be a further four dancers from Hong Kong, as well as dancers from Australia, the UK, New Zealand, USA, Canada, France, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Mexico, South Africa and Taiwan.

Since its inception in 1931, the Genée has awarded 73 gold medals, with winners going on to dance with some of the world’s leading ballet companies including The Royal Ballet, Australian Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet and National Ballet of Canada. The most recent Gold medallist (2017) Harris Beattie from Aberdeen, also broke Genée history by taking home the Choreographic Award and Audience Choice Award as well. He will join Northern Ballet later this month.

The Genée was first held in Hong Kong in 2006. The RAD has a long-standing association with Hong Kong, with over 20,000 candidates entering RAD exams each year. Notable past winners of the Genée from the region include Hong Kong-born choreographer, Yuri Ng, who won the gold medal in London (1983) and went on to become Commissioned Choreographer at the 2006 iteration. In the same year, Ye Feifei, current Principal dancer with the Hong Kong Ballet, was a silver medallist (and Audience Choice Award winner). Jinhao Zhang was awarded a silver medal in Cape Town (2011), and subsequently went on to win a scholarship at the Prix de Lausanne in 2013, before going on to win English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer competition in 2015.

The public are invited to attend elements of the competition with tickets now on sale for both the Semi-finals at Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts (HKAPA), the Final on the 12 August at Hong Kong City Hall (HKCH) and Genée Fringe events, including a pop-up performance of the Semi-finalist’s own classical and contemporary choreography during Afternoon Tea at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong on 11 and 12 August. To find out more, and to book tickets visit 

The RAD is proud to be working with a number of partners to make this year’s Genée happen. These include Hong Kong Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet Group, Avanton, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong and The Excelsior, Hong Kong, Harlequin Floors, Phillips (auctioneers since 1796) and the Dame Margot Fonteyn Scholarship Fund. You can see more details about our full list of sponsors and supporters here.

© Bruno Simao, courtesy of the Royal Academy of Dance.