* * * RENATO ZANELLA * * *

President of the Jury

Renato Zanella is a native of Verona, Italy and Artistic Director of the Slovenian National Ballet. Renato is also the director of the Choreo Center Europe since February 2018 based in St Pölten. He received his first training in Verona before moving on to Rosella Hightower’s “Centre de Danse International” in Cannes where he completed his studies.

He joined in 1982 the Basler Ballet directed by Heinz Spoerli before the engagement in Stuttgart that followed in 1985.
In 1993 Marcia Haydée appointed him as Choreographer in residence after a series of creations as “Die andere seite”,“Triptychon”, “Stati d’animo”, “Empty Place”, “Black Angels”,“Man im Schatten” and Mata Hari, created for Marcia Haydé.

This was the beginning of an international career that brought further choreographies for several renowned companies as the Istanbul National Ballet, Les Ballet de Monte-Carlo, the Royal Swedish Ballet, the Vienna State Opera Ballet, Berlin Ballet, Hungarian National Ballet, Kroatian National Ballet, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, San Francisco Ballet.

In 1995, was appointed as Ballet Director at the Vienna State Opera, a position he held till 2005. During his ten-year terms he presented close to forty own choreographies ranging from short pieces to full-length evening programmes, as Wolfgang Amadée, Nutcracker, Strauss’ Cinderella, Spartacus, and one act works as Alles Walzer, Le Sacre de printemps, Bolero, Renard and Perushka.

During his ten years Zanella has transformed the Vienna Ballet Company into a self-reliant ensemble capable of filling even the great roles by their own dancers and meeting the challenges of the greatest choreographers.
Works from Kylian to van Manen, from Forsythe to Neumeier were presented, as well works from G.Balanchine, Sir Kenneth McMillan, Peter Right and Sir Federick Ashton. Traditional choreographies by Petipa and many treatments by Nurejew were also seen. The ballet’s lovers appreciated the fact that the main focus of Zanella’s was to balance great classical repertory with his creations and the neo classical repertory.

Zanella gave young choreographers from within his corps de ballet a chance of expressing themselves and paid close attention to the training of the next generation of ballet dancers that were nurtured carefully in a ballet school part of the State Opera, he directed from 2001 till 2005.

Since 2021, Zanella is the Artistic Director of the Slovenian National Opera.