Ballet Intensive International (BII) was launched in Malta in 2014. Founded by Sandrina Spiteri Gonzi (English National Ballet School, Elmhurst Ballet School), it is now in its 4th year and remains Malta’s leading annual Ballet event. Sandrina, who is now a passionate teacher, remains focused on identifying and developing local and international talent, and hopes to give ballet dancers in Malta new exciting opportunities, to expand the standards of excellence in classical ballet in Malta. The goal of BII is to connect young aspiring dancers in Malta, with professional ballet dancers who are in the prime of their career, and dance with the most famous ballet companies worldwide.
Over the years BII has invited the following guest teachers:
- Principal dancer, English National Ballet, Laurretta Summerscales
- First soloist, The Royal Ballet, Tierney Heap
- Principal, Dutch National Ballet, Sasha Mukhamedov
- Artist at Staatsballett Berlin, Mari Kawanishi
- First Soloist at The Royal Ballet, Yasmine Naghdi
- First Artist at the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Ruth Brill
This year BII (2017) is proud to welcome Luiza Lopes, soloist at the Royal Swedish Balletand Artist, Maria Andres Betoret from Stuttgart Ballet, Germany.
The intensive is a pre-professional 2-week programme that is open to both Maltese and international dancers. Over the past four years BII has built a steady network of student members who benefit from dance exposure and opportunities in the international ballet community. The programme is tailor-made to expose dancers to pre-professional ballet training and provides hands-on skills and one-to-one training to learn from the world’s best ballet dancers. Classes include classical ballet technique, repertoire, solo variations, performance skills, contemporary dance, body conditioning/ stretching, pointe work, tutorials in health nutrition and audition techniques. All dance classes are accompanied by a live pianist.
The programme aims at nurturing and motivating classical dance students in an encouraging and fun environment while developing the dancer’s appreciation for the classical art form. The programme also offers all students a great performance opportunity at the end of the course. Every year BII awards an international vocational scholarship to attend an international short course at a ballet school of international repute. Last year’s most promising dancer was awarded a place at the summer programme of Elmhurst Ballet School, which is one of the UK’s leading vocational ballet schools.
Ballet Intensive International connects the reputable international dance community to Malta, which helps build a strong cultural exchange and puts Malta on the map as a high quality platform for classical ballet.
This project is endorsed by the Valletta 2018 Foundation.