Answers to candidates by Emma Sandall
Emma Sandall, journalist, choreographer, dancer and Prix de Lausanne Prize Winner (1994), answers your questions about the video selection process for the Prix de Lausanne 2021.
Serena Reed: How much does the jury take into consideration the difficulty of the steps the dancer presents in their video? Also, would the jury prefer to see different strengths/movement qualities demonstrated by the dancer or is it sufficient to highlight the same strengths as in the classical section but using a contemporary vocabulary?
Thank you for those excellent questions!
The jury watching the video pre-selection is primarily looking for potential. We can’t emphasise that strongly enough! The difficulty of the steps should therefore not be any harder than what a dancer can master to show themselves as best as possible. During the video pre-selection the jury is looking for the same qualities as during the competition week. These qualities include:
• Physical suitability
• Courage and individuality
• An imaginative and sensitive response to music
• A clear grasp in communicating different movement dynamics
• Technical facility, control and coordination
When it comes to the contemporary variation, the jury is particularly interested in seeing a different quality of movement to their classical work. While contemporary variations might call on degrees of ballet technique, the movement intentions and esthetics are very different, and the jury is looking to see how well the dancer has embraced and understood those differences.
All the best!
Linnet Stembridge: My daughter has singing on the musical track for her contemporary solo for the video pre-selections. In your opinion is this not a good idea ? Do you think the music would be better as an instrumental version or music that’s not a vocal song ?
This is a really interesting question.
From the jury’s perspective, it really doesn’t matter whether the track has singing or not. That won’t affect their decision. The contemporary solo is for their eyes only so there are no rights issues with the use of songs and other music.
Something that’s interesting to consider when choreographing and dancing to songs is that because there are words which carry a message and a singer delivering that message the dancer has an additional layer to respond to and play with in their interpretation.
Unique, nuanced interpretation and artistry is what the jury is looking for here. So, if your daughter feels strongly connected to a piece of music, song or not, it’s a good indication that she will find a personal way to express it.
All the very best!