The fifth international ballet competition Vaganova-Prix opened yesterday in the Museum of the Vaganova Russian Ballet Academy to continue until June 26. Founded in 1988 as a competition between ballet colleges of the former USSR, Vaganova-Prix received the status of an international competition in 1995. Many of its graduates have become famous dancers, including Irina Zhelonina, Igor Markov, Anna Polikarpova, Ulyana Lopatina, Maya Dumchenko, Andrian Fadyeyev, Svetlana Zakharova and Igor Kolb.
At this year's competition, participants include ballet school senior year students from various Russian cities, namely Moscow, St. Petersburg, Perm, Novosibirsk, Voronezh, Krasnoyarsk, Kazan, Saratov, and Ufa, and also from Armenia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Estonia, Brazil, Hungary, Italy, Poland, the US, South Korea, and Japan.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969