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Media Contact: Marla Carpenter, 336-770-3337,



WINSTON-SALEM – Benjamin Rudisin, a high school senior studying ballet in the School of Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), is competing at the Prix de Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland, this week.

The Prix de Lausanne is one of the premier dance competitions in the world. The 2011 competition is Feb. 1-6.

Rudisin, from Springfield, Va., was one of 82 dancers selected from video applicants from around the world. The selected dancers will be presented to the competition jury from today to Friday; they will be observed and marked as they take classical ballet and contemporary classes. A maximum of 20 candidates will be selected to go on to the finals on Saturday.

For the competition, candidates must prepare two solos, a classical variation and a contemporary variation. With his coach, School of Dance faculty member Warren Conover, Rudisin has been preparing Prince Albrecht’s variation from the second act of Giselle, and Christopher Wheeldon’s Commedia.

Photo by Rosalie O'Connor

Benjamin Rudisin

Conover, who has accompanied Rudisin to the Prix, said they have been rehearsing for the Prix since prior to the holiday break, and every day in January.

The last time Conover took a student to the Prix de Lausanne was in 2008, when Kyle Davis of Green Bay, Wisc., won a Grand Prize. Davis is presently dancing with Pacific Northwest Ballet.

This is Benjamin Rudisin’s fourth year of study at UNCSA. He was seen most recently as the Sugar Plum Fairy’s Cavalier in the UNC-TV presentation of UNCSA’s production of The Nutcracker. He also danced in the Snow Pas de Deux.

Rudisin is in rehearsals now for the lead in George Balanchine’s Symphonie Concertante, which is part of UNCSA’s upcoming Winter Dance Concert, Feb. 17-20 at the Stevens Center in downtown Winston-Salem. Symphonie Concertante is being restaged for UNCSA by Victoria Simon, ballet mistress for The George Balanchine Trust.

Created in 1973, the Prix de Lausanne is an international competition for young dancers ages 15-18 who are not yet professionals. It is one of a kind, and its prime objective is to discover, promote, and support talents among the world’s finest young dancers. The University of North Carolina School of the Arts School of Dance is a partner school of the Prix de Lausanne.

UNCSA School of Dance Dean Ethan Stiefel won a 1989 Silver Medal at the Prix, where he has since served as a juror.

For more information, including multimedia offerings, visit www.prixdelausanne.org.

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.