Contracts announced after success at Prix de Lausanne finals

Contracts announced after success at Prix de Lausanne finals

Queensland Ballet Academy rising stars Jenson Blight and Ruby Day have announced their next moves after strong results at the Prix de Lausanne.

The pair were the only finalists from Australia at the prestigious Prix de Lausanne 2024 competition in Switzerland, with Blight honoured with the Bourse Astarte Scholarship Award, and Day receiving the Rudolph Nureyev Foundation's Best Young Talent Award.

Blight has accepted a position with the Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company, while Ruby will stay on home soil and has accepted a Company position with Queensland Ballet, commencing in November 2024. 

“I’m very excited to expand my horizons and go out and experience the world, to keep soaking up all the information from amazing teachers and coaches. I’ll get to tour the Netherlands with the Junior Company, perform in works with the Main company! There’s a lot to look forward too,” Blight said 

He also reflected on the people he wanted to thank.  

“All of my teachers at Queensland Ballet Academy; I’m so lucky to have had your guidance in my training, there’s absolutely nothing like it. Paul Boyd, who gave me such valuable training for much of my time in the Academy - he’s an expert in the field and I really hit the jackpot having the honour to train under him. Premier Dance Academy for getting me into ballet as a little boy. Mr Tàtchev, who spent endless hours with Ruby and I before the Prix, training us up and keeping us calm. All of my friends for their endless support. And of course, to my Mum and Dad for paving the way for this to happen, I’m the luckiest.” 

Ruby Day, Christian Tàtchev - Queensland Ballet Academy Director & Jenson Blight

And Ruby will join Queensland Ballet as a Company Artist. 

“I had a little bit of a pinch me moment when I received my letter of offer coincidently on my birthday, you can’t really ask for a better birthday gift.  I’m looking forward to many things but some big ones are definitely growing as an artist, as well as working alongside and learning from the inspiring dancers here at the Queensland Ballet,” she said 

“I’m incredibly lucky to have had the support of so many people on my journey so far. I want to say a big thank you to Mr Tàtchev and all the Queensland Ballet Academy faculty who have nurtured and supported me over the past few years, entrusting me with many opportunities that have allowed me to grow as a dancer. As well as my past teachers who still offer their ongoing guidance and support, and of course a big thank you to my family for always being there for me and allowing me to chase my dreams.” 

The Prix de Lausanne, established in 1973, is a globally recognised international ballet competition dedicated to young dancers aged 15-18. This esteemed event aims to discover, promote, and support the most exceptional talents worldwide. 

Out of the 87 initially selected candidates, Ruby and Jenson represented Australia as the only finalists from the country. The competition concluded with 20 finalists participating in the Finals held in Lausanne, and our talented dancers showcased their extraordinary skills and dedication. 

Queensland Ballet Academy Director, Christian Tàtchev, extended his heartfelt congratulations to both Day and Blight for their remarkable success at the Prix de Lausanne.  

“I couldn’t be prouder of their success at the world’s most prestigious ballet competition,” he said. 

“Their achievements mark their outstanding dedication and passion for the artform, whilst underscoring our Academy’s commitment to nurturing and fostering world-class ballet talent. 

“I would also like to acknowledge the Academy’s teaching faculty and all members of our team for their invaluable contribution to the development of our young dancers.”  

Queensland Ballet Academy’s Pre-Professional Program is a full-time, final year training program providing young dancers with the preparation they require before joining a professional ballet or dance company. Based at Queensland Ballet’s home in West End, the next generation of dancers thrive in this studio-to-stage, industry-aligned training program. 

The pair will take part in Aspire ’24, as the Pre-Professional Program dancers take to the stage for their annual showcase on 24 – 25 May, at the Talbot Theatre, Thomas Dixon Centre. 

The program will include excerpts from Ben Stevenson OBE’s popular production The Nutcracker, along with works by our two Resident Choreographers Paul Boyd (Academy Ballet Master) and Louise Deleur (Head of Contemporary Dance), as well as a selection of pieces highlighting the emerging choreographic talent from within the cohort.   

Learn more about Queensland Ballet Academy upcoming performances.

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We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and perform. Long before we performed on this land, it played host to the dance expression of our First Peoples. We pay our respects to their Elders — past, present and emerging — and acknowledge the valuable contribution they have made and continue to make to the cultural landscape of this country.

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