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School of Dance students head off to New York

NZ School of Dance students head off to New York

In the New York state of mind

Two second year students at the New Zealand School of Dance, Alexandra Lawler and Christopher Rickert, leave next week to compete at the prestigious New York International Ballet Competition.

This unique event is something of an Olympics in dance as it occurs only once every three years and competitors are invited to participate. With no previous representation from New Zealand in the competition's 20 year history this is a very special opportunity for two of our young dancers.

The format for the competition differs from any other and is based on a learning, growing artistic experience. The competing couples arrive in Manhatten not knowing what they will be dancing, except for one prepared solo. Each couple learns the same pieces - two classical pas de deux and a modern duet, thus allowing everyone to begin on an equal playing field. After two weeks of coaching in each work, the competition is narrowed to the finalists.

The competition takes place from June 7 - 29 with the finals, open to the public, held at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Former Kirov ballerina Natalia Markarova is this year's president of the jury.

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