13 October 2020 12:39

WA Festival of Dance 2020 Winners Announced

In a year that has seen the Academy postpone almost all of its national student events programme, we are pleased to bring you news of a very successful Festival of Dance in Western Australia. The event which usually takes place over the long weekend in June was postponed until 27-29 September and took place under strict COVID-19 safety plans and robust hygiene protocols.

The decision to move forward with the event was a difficult one but after consultation with the venues, faculty and studios it was decided that dance students in the region should not be denied the opportunity to develop their skills and shine, whilst performing on a professional stage in front of leading industry professionals. The decision was made all the more compelling in a challenging year with the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown isolating students from their passion for dance. The Festival was a chance to bring students together once more to celebrate their dedication and commitment to excellence in their chosen artform. Whilst a somewhat adapted version of the usual format, the Festival still attracted 275 participants who competed in 435 dance items for a wide range of prestigious scholarships and awards.

The adjudicators who dedicated their time this year to inspire, encourage and show support for the young dancers in the region were Sandy Delasalle-Scannella (Principal Ballet Mistress and Artistic Associate, West Australian Ballet), Brooke Jacobs (former Principal Dancer and current Access Coordinator, West Australian Ballet), Melissa McCabe ((Demi-Soloist with West Australian Ballet and former dancer with The Australian Ballet and Alberta Ballet), Reika Sato (former dancer and now Assistant Ballet Mistress, West Australian Ballet), Danielle Hunt (former dancer with The Australian Ballet) and Andries Weidemann (Principal dancer, Educator and Choreographer). Students also had the opportunity to learn choreography by special guest Rachel Arianne Ogle.

And the winners are…

We are pleased to announce the major scholarship winners were:

Evelyn Hodgkinson Scholarship (10-12yrs) Recipient Madison Curtis trained by Suzanne Arrigo with the Annalisa Diekmann as runner up trained by The West Australian School of Dance.

Gay Cruickshank Scholarship (13-14yrs) Recipient Isabella Lockyer trained by The Graduate College of Dance with Charley Travia from Perth Classical and Contemporary Coaching as runner up.

Joan Stacy Scholarship (15-16yrs) Recipient Aimee Yong from Perth Classical and Contemporary Coaching with Isabella Smith from The Graduate College of Dance as runner up.

Linley Wilson Scholarship (17+yrs) Recipient Madeline Gill and runner up Isabella Knight both from Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts

Seen as the launchpad for many dancers’ careers, this year’s Festival Pre-Professional Award (18+yrs) went to Holly Inglis from The Graduate College of Dance with the runner up Chloe Hinton from Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

Other notable highlights include the Grishko Award which went to Sonja Braunl from The Perth School of Ballet and the Claire Marshall Trophy for National Dance which was awarded to Charley Travia from Perth Classical and Contemporary Coaching. The annual David McAllister Cup, named for its benefactor who trained in Perth before becoming a professional dancer and later the Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, went to an ensemble from The Graduate College of Dance.

The Festival culminated on Tuesday 29 September with a Gala evening including a performance from guest artists Alexa Tuzil (Demi Soloist) and Ludovico Di Ubaldo (Corps de Ballet) from West Australian Ballet. The duo performed a moving excerpt from CoVid Lab reflecting on their time of isolation during COVID-19 lockdown.

A full list of the winners can be downloaded here.

Special thanks to the incredible team from the WA Regional Advisory Panel and all the faculty and those who volunteered to ensure this event could run as safely and smoothly as possible. Thanks also to our generous sponsors and donors who have stepped up to support the event in a year which is tough for everyone.

The Festival hopes to return to its usual calendar dates in May/June 2021.

With thanks to all our generous sponsors and donors including

Download a full list of Sponsors and Donors here.