Dance Professor Named Adjudicator for Hong Kong Ballet Competition

September 29, 2023 (Jackson, Miss) - Professor of Dance and Director of Ballet Ravenna Wagnon served as an adjudicator for the Hong Kong Ballet Group Stars Award on September 6-11. This prestigious competition is a major ballet event in Hong Kong and provides an opportunity for local ballet schools to compete together. The competitors performed solo and group works in ballet and contemporary styles for both junior and senior age groups.

The Hong Kong Ballet Group, formed in 1964 by a group of local ballet teachers, has been dedicated to providing an impartial platform for local ballet students to work together to perform full length works, and to participate in master classes and seminars. 

This honor has a special significance to Wagnon who grew up in Hong Kong. From the age of seven to sixteen, she was trained in ballet while there.

Wagnon said, "As a young ballet student in Hong Kong during the 1970s, my summer holidays were spent participating with other students from other ballet schools, working with one guest artist from overseas at the invitation of the Hong Kong Ballet Group. I remember those events were impressionable and inspiring to me.”

Her most recent performance with The Hong Kong Ballet Group was in 2004 when she was invited to play the role of The Queen Mother in Swan Lake.

During this year’s competition, Wagnon had the chance to reconnect with other ballet colleagues and meet with her fellow adjudicators Artistic Director and Professor of the Hong Kong Ballet Septime Webre and Head of Ballet at Hong Kong’s Academy of Performing Arts Ou Lu. She also had the chance to study how other countries are teaching dance. Wagnon added, “I was excited to revisit Hong Kong again after 19 years (and 45 years since my study there) and to see an emerging generation of dancers and reflect on the progress and development of the art form over the past 45 years.”

Wagnon plans on sharing her experiences with her Belhaven dance students. She saw “examples of how ballet is being studied and performed in other countries, illustrating the sovereignty of God who orchestrates the beauty of dance in other countries through Asian ballet students,” She also experienced dance by students who might show differences in styles that reflect their culture and background.