Performing at Tanzolymp 2015

Though February might be the shortest month, it really has been the most eventful for me so far this year.  Last week I spent five days in Berlin, taking part in the Tanzolymp classical ballet competition.  It was an absolutely unparalleled experience; I thoroughly enjoyed myself and only wish it could have lasted longer.  This was, infact, my first ever competition and I feel very accomplished having done it.  I was the only UK competitor and was one of the youngest in my category in which there were many amazing dancers who I found really inspirational to watch.

Tala Lee-Turton Tanzolymp 2015 Bolshoi Ballet Academy

Outside the Russian House of Science and Culture where the competition was held.

I arrived in Berlin the morning of Tuesday 18th February all ready for a masterclass that very day with Valentina Savina from Bolshoi, Stuttgart and Berlin Ballet, whose class was most like my training at the Academy because of her Bolshoi background. There were a series of masterclasses by dancers and teachers from prestigious schools,  including Samira Saidi from English National Ballet School, Clairemarie Osta from Paris Opera Ballet, Valentina Kozlova from New York City Ballet and Polina Semionova from American Ballet Theater.

All the masterclasses were held in different theatres which was great as we got to see lots of Berlin en route, plus it felt great to be dancing on flat floors since all the floors at the Academy are raked.

At the competition itself, I could not have wished for my variations to go any better; I was really proud of the way I danced both the Gulnare variation from Le Corsaire and the Fairy of the Woodland Glade from Sleeping Beauty and had a fantastic time up on the stage.  Taking part in the competition felt like a welcome breath of fresh air, enabling me to view the international standard and reminding me that all the hard work, training in the studio ultimately leads to performance on the stage.  I found it a really invaluable experience and it has encouraged me to do more competitions in the future.

Tala Lee-Turton Tanzolymp 2015 Bolshoi Ballet Academy

After performing outside the theatre on Friedrichstrasse!

As I’ve mentioned before, I not only enjoyed the competition itself but the process leading up to it and am very grateful for the beautiful tutus and tiaras that were made specially for me and to my teacher, Revich, who spent much time and effort preparing me so that my  variations reached the level of quality required.

Tala Lee-Turton Tanzolymp 2015 Bolshoi Ballet Academy

Collecting my made-to-measure tutu from Grishko.

Tala Lee-Turton Tanzolymp 2015 Bolshoi Ballet Academy

One of my beautiful tiaras!

The whole competition ended with a gala where I was able to see winners from across the different categories.  The highlight of the gala, however, was seeing the guest professionals perform; though I’ve seen Semyon Chudin and Ekaterina Krysanova dance before in the Bolshoi Theatre, it was an extremely privileged experience to see them dancing the Sleeping Beauty pas de deux in such an intimate setting.  In addition to that, I was lucky enough to finally see Giuliana Bottino and Rishat Yulbarisov from Staatsballett Berlin dancing Nacho Duato’s Bach; a performance I’ve always dreamed of seeing.

To see the photos of my performances, click here and here.  I’ve also written a separate post (cos this one was getting very long!) about seeing the wonderful Staatsballett’s production of Sleeping Beauty and some of the sightseeing and foodie stuff that I did, which you can find here.



  1. […] competing at Tanzolymp 2015 (see my post here), in Berlin, I also had the chance to appreciate Staatsballett’s production of Sleeping […]

  2. pamt1 01/03/2015 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    So pleased you enjoyed your amazing experiences 🐱🐱🐱

    • Tala Lee-Turton 01/03/2015 at 7:38 pm - Reply

      Thanks Gra! Can’t wait for you to see the videos that’ll be coming over the next couple of weeks or so😺😺😺

  3. tutusbymonica 01/03/2015 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    Congratulations – only competitor from UK – outstanding achievement. Such an interesting read – dont know how you find the time – but I am sure many others appreciate the read to.

    • Tala Lee-Turton 02/03/2015 at 4:32 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Monica – that’s really kind. I so enjoyed the competition, I hope to do more now so watch out for updates!

  4. […] Here are the professional photos taken during my performance of Gulnare from Le Corsaire at Tanzolymp 2015 which I wrote about here. […]

  5. […] Here are the professional photos taken during my performance of Fairy of the Woodland Glade from Sleeping Beauty at Tanzolymp 2015 which I wrote about here. […]

  6. […] To see how I got on at Tanzolymp, click here. […]

  7. […] 5. Get lots of performance experience – that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day! The Academy puts on shows in our theatre twice a year as well as an annual full ballet production.  There are also ad hoc shows and festivals throughout the year and a graduation show at the end of the year – all provide opportunities to craft our performance qualities.  I’ve also entered competitions which are a fabulous opportunity to showcase your talent – see my experience at Tanzolymp here. […]

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