Yuka Masumoto competed in the women's senior category. She performed together with Clark Eselgroth. Photo: Roosa Oksaharju


The ninth Helsinki International Ballet Competition held at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet has come to an end on Monday night 6 June 2022. The top prize of the high-level competition, the Jane Erkko Grand Prix, was awarded to Yuka Masumoto, a competitor of the women's senior category. The Doris Laine prize, awarded for the first time, was awarded to Giulio Diligente, a competitor of the boys' junior category. Over 200 performances by young talented dancers were performed in the first, second and final rounds of the competition from 31 May to 5 June 2022.

The competitors were divided into a junior category for dancers aged 15 to 19 and a senior category for dancers aged 20 to 25. Altogether 62 dancers from 16 countries took part in the competition. In the final rounds on Sat 4 June and Sun 5 June the 21 dancers selected for the finals performed both classical ballet repertoire and contemporary dance pieces.

The Jane Erkko Grand Prix of € 20 000 was awarded to Yuka Masumoto (Japan, b. 2001) of the women's senior category. The Doris Laine prize of € 12 000 was awarded to Giulio Diligente (Italy, b. 2003) of the boy's junior category. The first prize was not awarded in the women's senior category. In the men's senior category, the first prize of € 10 000 was awarded to Keita Fujishima (Japan, b. 2001). In the junior category, the first prizes of € 5 000 were awarded to Maya Schonbrun (United States, b. 2004) and Clark Eselgroth (United States, b. 2002).

"In the final round of the competition, we could feel that the competitors' nerves had found a new confidence and they offered us performances of the highest level. We truly enjoyed the broad variety from the very classical to the more contemporary repertoire. The creativity and artistry shared by the dancers was inspiring. We in the jury are very happy with the final results," says the President of the International Jury Madeleine Onne, Artistic Director of the Finnish National Ballet.

Jane Erkko Grand Prix € 20 000

Yuka Masumoto, Japan

Doris Laine Prize € 12 000

Giulio Diligente, Italy

Female Seniors:

1. Prize € 10 000

2. Prize € 7 000

Hui-Wen Peng, Taiwan

3. Prize € 5 000

Viola Länsivuori, Finland

Male Seniors:

1. Prize € 10 000

Keita Fujishima, Japan

2. Prize € 7 000

Luciano Ghidoli, Italy

3. Prize € 5 000

Joshua Kiesel, USA

Female Juniors:

1. Prize € 5 000

Maya Schonbrun, USA

2. Prize € 3 500

Matoi Kawamoto, Japan

3. Prize € 2 000

Alexis Workowski, USA

Male Juniors:

1. Prize € 5 000

Clark Eselgroth, USA

2. Prize € 3 500

Alexei Orohovsky, USA

3. Prize € 2 000

Vasco Yu Belo Prazeres Pereira, Portugal

Choreography Award € 5 000

Attitydi Award € 1 000

Pinja Rissanen, Finland

Encouragement Award from the Jury € 1 000

Alexei Orohovsky, USA

Special partnership prize: Pas de Deux € 5 000

Yuka Masumoto, Japan, & Clark Eselgroth, USA

The competition, founded by the prima ballerina and professor Doris Laine-Almi in 1984 is one of the most highly regarded and largest ballet competitions in the world. The previous time the competition was held was in 2016. The event is organised by the Helsinki International Ballet Competition Association, the Chair of the Board of which is the lead principal dancer and choreographer Minna Tervamäki.

Source: Helsinki International Ballet Competition Association