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GRAND PRIX KYIV 2020: Master Classes from the World Ballet Stars with an Unexpected Winner

Date: March 9-11, 2020

The day before the quarantine was announced in Kyiv, there were three days of the international ballet competition GRAND PRIX KYIV 2020 at National Opera of Ukraine. On March 9-11, the capital hosted the sixth international classical dance competition and festival that is held annually with the support of United World Cultures Foundation. In order to compete for the title of the most talented person, young artists came from 11 countries of the world… But first things first!


GRAND PRIX KYIV – is an international ballet competition that has been held annually in Kyiv since 2014. It was initiated by Nobuhiro Terada, the People’s Artist of Ukraine and Artistic Director of Kyiv State Ballet School (KSBS). Since the foundation of the competition, our fund has become the regular partner and sponsor of the event, because the purpose of the competition correlates with the fund’s goals. We contribute to the development of art as well, especially among children and at the international level. With the help of GRAND PRIX, we manage to support, motivate talented youth and help them develop in the professional field.


In 2020, 55 participants took part in the competition. Among them were students from Japan (6 participants), United States (10 participants), Turkey (3 participants), Egypt (2 participants), France, Germany, Serbia, Moldova, Belarus and Austria (1 participant each) and, of course, Ukraine (28 participants, 19 of whom are students of KSBS).


Among the members of this year’s jury, there were famous artists and ballet stars, as well as partners and sponsors:

• Vladimir Malakhov (head of jury, world-famous choreographer and teacher, winner of V. Nijinsky Prize),

• Toshihiko Takahashi (main sponsor of the competition),

• Leonid Sarafanov (star of the world ballet),

• Anna Svitlichenko (teacher of the State Ballet Academy, Berlin, Germany),

• Olena Filipieva (People’s Artist of Ukraine, teacher at National Opera of Ukraine),

• Serhii Bondur (People’s Artist of Ukraine, teacher at National Opera of Ukraine),

• Viktor Yelokhin (International Ballet Academy, Lancaster, Pennsylvania),

• Minh Pham (Maître de Ballet – Ballet du Capitole (Toulouse, France),

• Serhii Lakhtionov (methodist of Department of Specialized Disciplines at Kyiv State Ballet School),

• Zou Zhirui (director and professor of the Ballet Department of Beijing Dance Academy),

• Masahiko Yamamoto (president of “Koransha” company).


The GRAND PRIX KYIV program consisted of two competition days and a final gala concert. In order to win, the participants had to show their skills, talents and technique. They were evaluated during:

• master class on women’s classics by Minh Pham

• master class on men’s classics by Serhii Bondura

• performances with classic ballet choreography

• performances with contemporary ballet choreography

On the final third day one of the most successful world ballet dancers, Leonid Sarafanov, gave his master class to all the participants. And after that, the winners began preparing for the gala concert.

In the first act, the winners of prizes and personal awards gave performance in front of the Opera House audience. It turned to be interesting: the jury selected the most interesting and exciting performances, so the guests had the opportunity to see a broad range of various choreographies performed by talented young artists.


According to the results of the competition, the winners are:

Koki Toda (Japan), Nida Maria Aydinoglu (Turkey) and Yevheniia Nikitina (Ukraine, KSBS) – III place;

Pierrick Jacquart (France) and Daria Manoilo (Ukraine, KSBS) – II place;

Anna Ksenyk (Ukraine, KSBS) and Matheus Barboza de Jesus (Germany) – I place.

But the winner of the main prize was a surprise. The Grand Prix 2020 was awarded not to a participant, as usual, but to Kyiv State Ballet School. Thus, the jury congratulated the institution on its 70th anniversary and thanked for the many years of training of professional artists and choreographers.

The participants who took the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places received the LAUREATE Certificate of the Grand Prix Kyiv 2020 and were awarded a cash prize: first place – 800$, second – 600$, third – 400$, Grand Prix – 1000€ (the prize from Vladimir Malakhov).

In addition, jury members and partners presented personal awards and gifts to another 18 participants.

Prizes from Dino Carano, director of Grand Prix de La Danse, were awarded to Diana Zinchenko (Austria), Olija Aleksic (Serbia), Remin Yilmaz (Turkey) and Sofiia Yevtushenko (Ukraine);

Awards from the Dresden Ballet Academy were presented to Sofiia Danilovska (Ukraine) and Nida Maria Aydinoglu (Turkey);

Prizes from Nonny Ballet were presented to Abigail Swift (USA), Liliana Watson (USA), Sweet Echo (USA), Zoe Holland (USA), Hala Eissa and Hana Eissa (Egypt), and Hana Hirabayashi (Japan);

Peng Liu, Chairman of the Board of the “Center of Culture and Arts of China”, Ambassador for the Promotion of the Performing Arts of Hunan Province, Honored Artist of Entertaining Art of Ukraine, commended the performance of Diana Ivanchenko (Ukraine). He also presented cute teddy bears to all the participating girls;

Anna Muromtseva, the first soloist of the Ukrainian National Opera and Ballet Theater, presented Anaya Weiss-Jones (USA) a tiara;

Prizes from Olga Morozenko, founder of the Balerush School, were presented to Dariia Manoilo and Anna Ksenyk;

Olena Filipieva, People’s Artist of Ukraine and teacher at National Opera of Ukraine, commended the performance of Anaya Weiss-Jones (USA) and Hana Hirabayashi (Japan);

Serhii Bondur, People’s Artist of Ukraine and teacher at National Opera of Ukraine, awarded Olija Aleksic (Serbia), Serhii Pozniak, Oleksii Hohidze and Oleksandr Kondratenko (Ukraine);

Prizes from the Grand Prix trading house were presented to Avalon Kirby (USA) and Matheus Barboza de Jesus (Germany);

Anaya Weiss-Jones (USA) received the award from Koransha company;

Our friends and partners Tesla Batteries commended the performance of Serhii Pozniak, Oleksii Hohidze and Oleksandr Kondratenko (Ukraine);

Michiko Terada, owner of the Terada Ballet Art School in Kyoto, highly commended the performance of Daria Manoilo (Ukraine) and presented her with the prize;

Awards from the chief sponsor Toshihiko Takahashi were presented to Diana Ivanchenko (Ukraine) and Sofiia Yevtushenko (Ukraine).



The second act of the concert became a cherry on the cake. KSBS students prepared a performance of Paquita by Vladimir Malakhov. The main role – the role of Paquita – was performed by Oleksandra Hryhorieva, the owner of the last year’s Gran Prix Prize. Oleksandra is a graduate student at Kyiv State Ballet School.

Paquita, short for Francis, is the name of the ballet heroine – an orphan gypsy. As a result of melodramatic intrigues and bizarre criminal turns of event, Paquita learns of her noble birth and becomes a bride to officer Lucien. This is a beautiful love story in dance with a good, romantic ending. (UWCF’s team recommends to get familiarized)



Every year Chary Fund UWCF helps the international competition GRAND PRIX KYIV to implement its main mission: to popularize ballet art, develop and support young artists and choreographers both from Ukraine and around the world!

In our turn, we want to thank the people who make it possible to support the competition, and – most importantly – its participants! We express special gratitude to our partners from OLYMP who have been helping us to implement our charity programs, including the Grand Prix, for almost five years now.

We also thank our partners and sponsors: Tesla Batteries and business magazine Image.ua.