Prague: Eurovision Young Dancers 2017 finale

Dec 15, 2017

On Saturday, 16 December the TVP Kultura channel will broadcast the finale of the 15th edition of prestigious dance competition Eurovision Young Dancers, hosted in Prague, Czech Republic. TVP Kultura will be the only Polish channel offering live coverage of the finals. Poland will be represented by Paulina Bidzińska, winner of the Polish Young Dancer of the Year eliminations, organized in May by TVP Kultura, the Institute of Music and Dance, and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Eurovision Young Dancers is a regularly held dance competition which was first organised in 1985 by the European Broadcasting Union. This year’s finale will feature representatives of 8 European countries: Michal Vach (Czech Republic), Denise Buttigieg (Malta), Danila Kapustin (Germany), Anna Louise Amundsen (Norway), Raquel Fidalgo (Portugal), Patricija Crnkovič (Slovenia), Christoffer Collins (Sweden), and Paulina Bidzińska (Poland), who won this year’s Polish edition of Young Dancer of the Year.

The finalists were selected in the course of domestic eliminations. They are between 16 and 21 years of age and are not professional dancers. Together, they will perform a set developed by the main choreographer of this year’s edition of Eurovision Young Dancers, Petr Zuska. The two best dancers will advance to the final round in which they will present individual choreographies which they prepared for this occasion. O The winner will be decided by the panel of three jurors, Daria Klimentová, Ambra Succi and Itzik Galili.

Daria Klimentová is one of the most famous Czech prima ballerinas, having danced for companies around the world, including the National Theatre Ballet Company in Prague and the English National Ballet in London. She has also guested as far a eld as Taiwan, South Africa, the US, Vietnam, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and Shanghai, as well as at home in the Czech Republic. Daria, born in Prague, started doing gymnastics when she was five years old. She was spotted as a future Olympic talent and placed under the guidance of the country’s top trainers. At the age of 10, she entered the Prague State Conservatory of Music and Dance, where once again her teachers picked her out as a great natural talent and placed her in a programme designed for future principal dancers. Daria has entered numerous international ballet competitions, including the Prix de Lausanne and the International Ballet Competition in Pretoria, where she won a gold medal. After graduating, Daria travelled the world and worked in Cape Town and London. In 2003, Daria founded the Prague International Ballet Masterclasses, which she directs at the magni cent studios of the National Theatre Company in Prague. She brings together friends such as Tamara Rojo, Nicholas Le Riche and Julio Bocca to spend intensive time in the studio with the next generation of ballet stars. In 2011, the BBC, having followed English National Ballet for a year, broadcast a series of three documentaries entitled The Agony and the Ecstasy, which featured Daria. In that same year, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Dame Beryl Grey, for the Dance Critics’ Circle in London. In 2014, Daria announced her retirement from the English National Ballet after more than 18 years of performing.

Ambra Succi is a Swedish dancer and choreographer. She has worked on several high-pro le television shows including The X Factor and Melodifestivalen. Ambra was the choreographer for Loreen, who won the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden with Euphoria. She will be on the panel of judges for the 2017 Eurovision Young Musicians in Prague. Ambra trained as a dancer in Finland, Sweden and the United States. She teaches dance workshops in hip-hop, jazz, contemporary dance, heels, ragga, and experimental hip-hop. She has also taught choreography around the world. As Ambra herself says, she was a relative latecomer to dance. "I may have started off late with dance, but it was the best way to express myself. I had so much within me that just needed to get out. I was developing emotionally. The odds were stacked against me both physically and economically," she says. "I went out into the world, I followed my own path, a very different path. And now I am HERE!" She has been granted six scholarships in her time. As a member of the dance group Bounce Streetdance Company (1998–2010), Ambra participated in a number of productions attracting a lot of attention in both Sweden and across the world. She has founded and become well established with her own dance company, Crazy Artist Movement, aka C.A.M., her own agency and management team, and her own Diambra Dance Education and Diambra Youth Programme. She has also started to study music production to broaden her creative mind.

Itzik Galili has choreographed for and worked with many international dance companies, establishing himself as an important choreographic voice. His work combines expressive movements with powerful or poetic images, often created by his own lighting designs, and transforms his experience and perception of the world into a performance that is universal and human. Born in Israel, Itzik started choreographing at the Batsheva Dance Company. Robert Cohan encouraged him to attend the Gulbenkian International Course for Professional Composers and Choreographers in the UK. In 1990, Old Cartoon won the originality prize in the Gvanim Choreographic Competition. In 1991, Itzik moved to the Netherlands to form his own project-based company in Amsterdam. His controversial The Butterfly Effect won the Public Prize in the International Competition for Choreographers in Groningen and became the breakthrough piece earning him an international recognition. In 1997, the Ministry of Culture appointed him the artistic director of NND/Galili Dance, a newly founded dance company in Groningen which, under more than 11 years of his guidance, made a name for itself and put not only the city, but also the region of Groningen, Drenthe and Friesland, on the dance map. In 1998 and 2001, Galili directed the Groningen International Competition for Choreographers. In 2009, Itzik returned to Amsterdam as the co-founder and artistic director of the contemporary dance company Dansgroep Amsterdam. Since 2011, Galili has been a guest choreographer on the international dance scene.

The Polish finalist Paulina Bidzińska is 19 years old and currently studies at the Ludomir Różycki Ballet School in Bytom. She has participated in a number of dance presentations, competitions, and  workshops. In 2017, she won the National Wojciech Wiesiołłowski Dance Competition in Gdańsk, where she also came second in 2015. In 2016, she won an honourable mention at the 9th International Choreographic Competition for Ballet School Students in Bytom. Paulina finds dance as a source of fulfilment; whenever she takes to the stage, she finds great joy in the uniqueness of the performing experience. She feels at her best as a neoclassical dancer.

Known as the “dancing diamond,” Paulina Bidzińska will be the eleventh representative of Poland in the Eurovision Young Dancers competition. She will perform a set titled La Certaz to the music of Antonio Vivaldi. The choreography was developed by Jacek Przybyłowicz, who in 2015 worked with another Eurovision Young Dancers finalist, Viktoria Nowak. Commenting on her 2015 win, Nowak admitted that “participation in the competition enabled me to meet and collaborate with a number of outstanding individuals. It also helped me become more recognizable. I keep being invited for various photo shoots. On top of that, Eurovision Young Dancers taught me the value of team work.” So far Polish dancers have won the competition twice. In 2001, David and Marcin Kupiński danced their way to victory in London, while 2015 saw Viktoria Nowak triumph in Plzeň. Polish Television hosted the competition three times: in 1997 in Gdynia, followed by the 2005 competition in Warsaw, and the 2013 edition in Gdańsk. The Polish eliminations are , następnie w 2005 roku w Warszawie i w 2013 w Gdańsku. Telewizją odpowiedzialną za ogólnopolski konkurs jest TVP Kultura.


The Eurovision Young Dancers finale will be broadcast by TVP Kultura on 16 December at 8 pm.

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Photo: TVP Kultura.