Valentina Kozlova has covered a lot of ground in the ballet world: She’s a former principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet and New York City Ballet, and she has coached some of the industry’s top names, including Boston Ballet second soloist Whitney Jensen. In 2003, she opened the Vaganova-based Valentina Kozlova’s Dance Conservatory of New York. Now, she has embarked on a new venture as the founder of the Boston International Ballet Competition.
The inaugural event, which will be held in May at the John Hancock Hall in Boston, MA, isn’t your average competition. Participants from more than 20 countries will be required to choose variations from a list designed to break them out of their comfort zones. The competition also welcomes dancers as young as 13 in its student division. With an impressive judging panel (including Boston Ballet artistic director Mikko Nissinen and Washington Ballet artistic director Septime Webre) and a hefty cash prize ($9,000 for the senior gold medalist!), the competition is sure to be exciting.