Teen ballerina brings home prize


Teenage dancer Madoka Sugai returned to Japan early Monday after winning the top prize at the prestigious Prix de Lausanne ballet competition in Switzerland last week.

“I want to become a dancer who can move audiences,” the 17-year-old from Kanagawa Prefecture told reporters at Narita airport, expressing gratitude to her supporters.

The contest, viewed as a gateway to success for young dancers, included 19 Japanese, five of whom were among the 21 finalists.

Sugai, who belongs to the Sasaki Ballet Academy in Yamato, Kanagawa Prefecture, has her eyes set on the Birmingham Royal Ballet in Britain.