Emily Sprout Awarded Winner of the 2022 Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship!

Emily Sprout Awarded Winner of the 2022 Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship!

Emily Sprout of McDowall, QLD, has been awarded this year’s winner of the prestigious Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship.

This year’s Ballet Scholarship attracted almost 200 talented ballet dancers aged 16-20 from across Australia; with young dancers representing regional and metro areas from NSW, QLD, VIC, ACT and WA, making it one of Sydney Eisteddfod’s most significant events. This scholarship is widely regarded as the most valuable award in the southern hemisphere, with a total prize value of $32,000 to be won.

On Sunday 28 August, at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, 8 of the most promising young Australian ballet dancers competed in the 2022 Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship Final. After an array of superb talent, impeccable technique and spectacular performances by the eight finalists Emily Sprout was awarded the winner.

Emily performed an outstanding rendition of her classical piece, Aurora Variation Act 3, Sleeping Beauty, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky as well as a free variation piece entitled The Shadow.

Emily was awarded a total prize of $18,000, consisting of a $15,000 Scholarship as well as $3,000 to further her studies in classical ballet. This scholarship is generously sponsored by The Estate of the Late Leslie Andrews, and the opportunity of a short secondment with The Royal Danish Ballet.

Emily studies at the Prima Youth Classical Ballet Academy in Brisbane and started her training when she moved from South Africa when she was 5. She has trained with the Australian Ballet School ITP since age ten as well as the Queensland Ballet Academy Junior associate program and was selected as a Prix de Lausanne candidate for 2022

Emily says, “This year is my first time participating at The Sydney Eisteddfod and I have thoroughly enjoyed the learning and performing experience. I think competitions like this are helpful for young dancers to develop confidence under pressure and be inspired by other students as well as receiving such valuable critiques from the highly esteem judges.”

The Second Scholarship for the best dancer of a different gender to the winner was awarded to Noah Cosgriff, of Highett, VIC after a beautiful performance of Basilio’s Variation, Act 3, Don Quixote, Ludwig Minkus and his free variation piece, Human Spirit. Noah received of total prize of $10,000, consisting of a $8,000 Scholarship and as well as $2,000, sponsored by Sydney Eisteddfod Jubilee Fund

Noah studies at the Jane Moore Ballet Company full time and started at age 4. He has attended the Australian Ballet School after school program for several years and during this time has performed as an extra with the Australian Ballet Company in The Dream, Coppélia, Graeme Murphy’s Nutcracker, and the Houston Ballet Company in Romeo and Juliet.

When asked about how he felt before the finals, Noah said, “Coming from Victoria to participate in the Sydney Eisteddfod is an exciting opportunity for me. I am looking forward to learning from the other dancers and honoured by the chance to dance for such esteemed Adjudicators.”

Sydney Eisteddfod congratulates the remaining finalists, Tahlia Kirke, Chelsea Potter, Ben Moss, LilySophia Dashwood, Amelia Soh and Joseph Dufty on their spectacular performances. From almost 200 entrants, making it to perform in the Final is an incredible achievement and only those with exceptional training and skill progress to the Final stage. Each Finalist, excluding placegetters, received a cash prize of $1000, sponsored by Sydney Eisteddfod Jubilee Fund.

The accomplished adjudicators, Christian Tátchev, of Queensland Ballet School and Lisa Pavane, Director of The Australian Ballet School, were joined by Li Cunxin AO, Artistic Director of Queensland Ballet and Aurélien Scannella, Artistic Director of the West Australian Ballet for the Final event.

Lisa Pavane said, “It was so pleasing to see the standard of entrants in this years’ Scholarship, particularly when so many have been affected by limited studio and stage opportunities over the last two years.”

Christian Tatchev, said, “It is always a pleasure to be a part of Sydney Eisteddfod and have the opportunity to see the work of the next generation of artists. As educators we have the responsibility to identify and nurture talent as well as to seek further opportunities for its development. When you see the opportunities provided, and the positive impact Sydney EIsteddfod has had on so many young artists over the years, it is clear this is the very philosophy followed by its passionate organisers.”

Bloch for Dancers generously provides gift cards for all finalists. $500 for the Outright Winner, $300 for the 2nd Scholarship Winner and $150 each for the remaining Finalists.

Both Winners will have the opportunity to attend classes and observe rehearsals, at the discretion of the Artistic Directors, with: The Australian Ballet; Birmingham Royal Ballet, UK Houston Ballet and Houston Ballet Academy, USA.

Both Winners will also receive a photographic portfolio to the value of $100 of performance photos taken during the Festival courtesy of WinkiPoP Media.

Artistic Director Li Cunxin, awarded 2 lucky finalists the opportunity to attend classes and observe rehearsals with Queensland Ballet Company and/or Academy for one week in 2022. These were awarded to LilySophia Dashwood and Ben Moss.

Selected by the West Australian Ballet Artistic Director, Aurelien Scannella , two finalists, LilySophia Dashwood and Emily Sprout were awarded the opportunity to attend classes and observe rehearsals with the Company one week in 2023.

The Australian Ballet and Australian Ballet School also awarded two finalists, Amelia Soh and Emily Sprout the opportunity to attend classes and observe rehearsals with the Company and School for one week in 2022 or 2023.

The Tanya Pearson Artistry Award is presented to the Finalist who displays the highest level of artistry and stagecraft in keeping with the teachings of Tanya Pearson OAM. The recipient receives an original bronze sculpture, by renowned artist Linda Klarfeld that has been specially designed and forged in honour of Mrs Pearson. This year this prize was awarded to Tahlia Kirke.

The Australian Conservatoire of Ballet Performance Award gives the opportunity to perform, with a full orchestra and international guest artists, in two or three performances of the ACB’s December full-length classical ballet production at the Arts Centre, Melbourne. The prize includes a performance fee of $1,000 and return airfares and accommodation (up to 10 days) for recipients living outside Victoria. This year, The Australian Conservatoire of Ballet awarded this opportunity to Noah Cosgriff.

The Jazz groups who were all vying for a winning place in their own final did not fail to delight the audience who saw 6 outstanding performances.

The adjudicators, Kristina Wallbank- Hutton, Mark Hodge & Ian Knowles awarded the winning place to Ablaze Dance Academy of Adamstown, NSW, with second and third place going to National College of Dance from Lambton, NSW and TJS Dance Academy of Wollongong respectively.

The other Jazz Dance Group (any age) finalists were Dance North Academy, Narraweena, NSW, Plie Groove n’ Shuffle from Cromer NSW and CDC Studios of Dulwich Hill.

The guest artists for 2022 did not fail to disappoint as Sydney Eisteddfod welcomed newly formed National Youth Ballet Company to the stage. Under artistic direction of Brett Morgan OAM, this company seeks to perform in, and offer opportunities to regional dancers from all over Australia to perform with world-class choreographers and professional musicians, composers and directors.

The National Youth Ballet Company performed sections on their recent production including works from Au Reviou Mon Ami, featuring live violin performed by Cryus Meurant and two pieces from Berlin Songs featuring live vocals by iOTA.

Each year, Sydney Eisteddfod awards The Most Promising Young Dancer Award at the Ballet Finals. This award was initiated to recognize a young dancer that showed outstanding promise. This year, Capezio generously came on board to offer the winner a $500 Capezio voucher.

This dancer was selected by a distinguished panel that included adjudicators, teachers, and Sydney Eisteddfod. She displayed grace and beautiful technique, being awarded Fist-place in The Wenkart Foundation Ballet Championship (14 and under) and her Contemporary Dance Event. Rounding out the year by achieving a place as a Reserve Finalist in the prestigious, Robert & Elizabeth Albert Junior Ballet Scholarship.

The winner of the Most Promising Young Dancer Award for 2022 is 14-year-old Pelagia Karakontis of Kingsford, NSW.

Sydney Eisteddfod applauds Emily Spout, Noah Cosgriff, all the other awardees for their achievement and wishes all finalists the best as they continue to pursue their dreams.

To echo the words of the adjudicators and talented host for the afternoon, Nicole Chettle, a big thank you needs to go out to the families, friends, teachers and support network for all these dancers. Without you, they could simply not continue to pursue their dreams.

For more information please go to Sydney Eisteddfod’s website www.sydneyeisteddfod.com.au.