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Poised to perform

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-11 07:39

The Beijing International Ballet and Choreography Competition, featuring top-class dancers and choreographers as judges, will be closed by two performances over Aug 12-13 at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Born in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, Bocca started learning ballet at 4. His talent was recognized at 18 when he won the gold medal at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow. He was then invited to join the American Ballet Theatre. He later began to combine ballet with tango after meeting Ana Maria Stekelman, one of Argentina's leading choreographers and known for her fusion of tango and modern dance.

Regarded as one of the most important Argentine dancers of the late 20th century, Bocca has been visiting China since the 1990s. As part of the jury panel since the second competition in 2013, Bocca says he has been very impressed by the development of ballet in China.

"I've seen the growth of Chinese dancers and choreographers since I became a jury member of IBCC... It's not just about competing but also about presenting yourself," says Bocca.

Zhang Dandan, the former ballerina of the National Ballet of China and the director and artistic director of the Guangzhou Ballet since 1944, says that the audience is also crucial for the development of China's dance scene.

"When I was a dancer, I went abroad to participate in international competitions. Such a high-level competition is now held in China. It not just proves that China's dance scene is vibrant, attracting international attention, it also shows that audiences want to see more new dancers," says Zhang. "So we want to discover new talent as well as show audiences something they haven't seen before."

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