Chinese star leaps to the top

Central Station | 31 Jul 2018

Chinese dancer Sinuo Chang and Canadian ballerina Yuan Zhe Zi Xuan, also known as Jessica Xuan, won the top prizes at the recently concluded Varna International Ballet Competition, the oldest ballet contest in the world.

More than 120 top dancers from 34 countries aimed for glory at the event, held every two years since 1964 in Bulgaria's "seaside capital."

The acclaimed Chang, gold prize winner of the 2017 Vienna International Competition, grabbed the top spot in the senior category for men.

China-born Xuan, a dancer with the Dutch National Ballet, won the women's senior division with American Katherine Barkman finishing as runner-up.

Also known as the Ballet Olympiade, the Varna competition is among the most prestigious ballet events alongside the competitions in Moscow, Helsinki and Jackson.

Past winners include Russians Mikhail Baryshnikov, Natalia Makarova and Vladimir Malakhov, Canadian-trained ballerinas Evelyn Hart and Martine van Hamel, as well as French dancers Sylvie Guillem and Patrick Dupond.

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