The International
Competition for
The Erik Bruhn Prize

The International
Competition for
The Erik Bruhn Prize


First held in 1988, The International Competition for The Erik Bruhn Prize brings together some of the finest young dancers and choreographers in the world, with each competitor performing a classical pas de deux and a new contemporary work created specifically for the occasion. Erik Bruhn, who held the Artistic Directorship of The National Ballet of Canada from 1983 until his death in 1986, established the competition to uphold a high standard of excellence for future generations of dancers and the winners often go on to high profile careers. A thrilling and celebratory showcase for ballet’s bright future.

Five Things to Know
  1. 1Dancers must be aged 18 to 23 to compete. Each participating ballet company sends two dancers who perform together but compete individually, with one male and one female dancer each winning a prize.
  2. 2The Choreographic Prize was added in 2009. Each ballet company commissions a new solo or pas de deux for the contemporary portion of the competition, which is then entered for the prize.
  3. 3The National Ballet of Canada has hosted the competition in Toronto since its inception in 1988 to honour Bruhn’s wishes and his legacy with the company.
  4. 4The competition is adjudicated by an international group of artistic directors and dance leaders. Past judges include Kevin McKenzie of American Ballet Theatre, Kevin O’Hare of The Royal Ballet and Karen Kain, Artistic Director Emerita of The National Ballet of Canada.
  5. 5The competition was last held in 2019, when Principal Dancer Siphesihle November won the prize for best male dancer. Other past winners from the National Ballet include Principal Dancer Tina Pereira and Matjash Mrozewski, who won the first Choreographic Prize.

Bruhn View Gallery

The Competitors

The National Ballet of Canada
Second Soloist Noah Parets (age 23)
Corps de Ballet Member Emerson Dayton (age 22)
Choreographer Ethan Colangelo

American Ballet Theatre
Chloe Misseldine (age 21)
Tristan Brosnan (age 21)
Choreographer Lauren Lovette

The Royal Ballet
Viola Pantuso (age 20)
Daichi Ikarashi (age 21)
Choreographer Joshua Junker

Stuttgart Ballet
Mackenzie Brown (age 20)
Adhonay Soares da Silva Non-Competing Performer
Choreographer Roman Novitzky

Judging the competition will be Artistic Directors Hope Muir, Susan Jaffe (American Ballet Theatre), Kevin O’Hare (The Royal Ballet) and Tamas Detrich (Stuttgart Ballet).

The evening will be hosted by Rex Harrington, Rehearsal Director, Principal Coach and former Principal Dancer of The National Ballet of Canada.

Past Winners

2019Catherine Hurlin, American Ballet Theatre
Siphesihle November, The National Ballet of Canada
2016Natasha Sheehan, San Francisco Ballet
Angelo Greco, San Francisco Ballet
2015Hannah Fischer, The National Ballet of Canada
Carlo Di Lanno, San Francisco Ballet
2012Ida Praetorius, The Royal Danish Ballet
Andreas Kaas, The Royal Danish Ballet
2011Maria Baranova, The Hamburg Ballet
Joseph Gorak, American Ballet Theatre
2009Elena Lobsanova, The National Ballet of Canada
Corey Stearns, American Ballet Theatre
2007Tina Pereira, The National Ballet of Canada
Ulrik Birkkjær, The Royal Danish Ballet
2002Michele Wiles, American Ballet Theatre
Friedemann Vogel, Stuttgart Ballet
1999Vanessa Zahorian, San Francisco Ballet
Jhe Russell, The National Ballet of Canada
Guennadi Nedviguine, San Francisco Ballet
1995Jaimie Tapper, The National Ballet of Canada
Johan Persson, The National Ballet of Canada
1993Julie Kent, American Ballet Theatre
Johan Kobborg, The Royal Danish Ballet
1989Silja Wendrup-Schandorff, The Royal Danish Ballet
Stephen Legate, The National Ballet of Canada
1988Rose Gad Poulsen,The Royal Danish Ballet
Errol Pickford, The Royal Ballet

Choreographic Prize Winners

2019Kristian Lever, An intimate distance, The Hamburg Ballet
2016Marc Jubete, Remember, The Hamburg Ballet
2015Yury Yanowsky, District, Boston Ballet
2012Alessandro Sousa Pereira, Traditional, The Royal Danish Ballet
2011 Demis Volpi, Little Monsters, Stuttgart Ballet
2009Matjash Mrozewski, Dénouement, The National Ballet of Canada



The International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize is sponsored by John and Claudine Bailey.

The National Ballet’s Digital Projects are generously supported by The Azrieli Foundation.

The National Ballet of Canada is grateful to the members of the Honourary Board who collectively and generously contributed to the 2020 Digital Infrastructure Project to provide capital funding for equipment for digital capture and distribution. 

The National Ballet of Canada gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the following:

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