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Dance International
Written by: Joanna Savage
22/3/2013

Sixteen-year-old Briton Daniel Harrison has won the Phyllis Bedells Bursary ballet competition, held on Sunday 17 March 2013 at Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) headquarters.

Named after Miss Phyllis Bedells, founding member and Vice-President of the RAD, this year's internationally-recognised competition attracted 34 candidates, including three from Japan, competing for the bursary of £1,000 to be used to further the winner’s training. Past winners of the prestigious competition have gone on to dance with international ballet companies including The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet and the Dutch National Ballet.

Following an introduction by RAD Artistic Director Lynn Wallis, candidates were judged in a class taught by former professional dancer Matthew Paluch, with piano accompaniment by pianist Martin Cleave. Each candidate then performed a Set Variation and Classical Repertoire Variation, accompanied by pianists Stefano Curina, Richard Norriss and Ian Richards.

Chair of the panel of judges, Valerie Aitken ARAD, spoke of the winner’s achievements: ‘Daniel stood out for his clean technique, lovely batterie and has the potential for further development.’

Fellow judges were Ricardo Cervera, a professional dancer with The Royal Ballet who has performed in famous ballets including Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty and Giselle, and Elaine Holland, Director of Dance at Bede’s Legat School of Dance.

An addition to the main bursary competition was a performance by the seven regional winners of the Genée Dance Challenge 2012 – a competition for aspiring young dancers in association with the famous Genée International Ballet Competition. The 2013 Genée International Ballet Competition will be held in Glasgow, Scotland from 20-29 September.

(* Winner Daniel Harrison with judges (l-r) Valerie Aitken, Ricardo Cervera and Elaine Holland. Photographer: Mark Lees.)

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