SOFIA (Reuters) - The 29th edition of the Varna International Ballet Competition, the oldest ballet competition in the world, has been postponed due to insufficient financial support, organisers said on Thursday.
A new date for the outdoor event, known in the ballet community as the Ballet Olympiade, has not yet been set. The competition was scheduled to be held between July 15-30.
"Financing of the oldest and the most prestigious ballet competition in the world would not be possible due to insufficient sponsorship and donations," organisers said.
Many of the biggest names in ballet gained their first international recognition at the competition, held every two years since 1964 in the Black Sea city of Varna. About 3,150 aspiring dancers from 38 countries have participated in the previous 28 editions.
Past winners include Russians Mikhail Baryshnikov, Natalia Makarova and Vladimir Malakhov, Canadian-trained ballerinas Evelyn Hart and Martine van Hamel and French dancers Sylvie Guillem and Patrick Dupond.
The competition in Varna is among the most prestigious ballet events alongside those held in Moscow, Helsinki and Jackson, Mississippi.
(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov, editing by Ed Osmond)