While American athletes are vying for gold medals in London, a local dancer has won a gold of his own at what has been called the Olympics of ballet. The Washington Ballet’s Brooklyn Mack, 25, won first prize Sunday at the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria, the company announced Monday.
Mack shared the senior men’s gold medal with Ukrainian dancer Denys Cherevychko of the Vienna State Ballet. As he advanced through the three rounds of competition, Mack performed excerpts from “Le Corsaire,” “Flames of Paris,” “La Bayadere” and “Diana and Acteon,” in addition to a contemporary solo by Dai Jian.
The win puts Mack in rare company, as few Americans have won gold medals at the venerable competition. Mack is likely also the first African American to win in Varna. Established in 1964, the Varna event is the oldest and arguably the most prestigious of ballet contests. Patterned on the Olympics, it awards gold, silver and bronze medals to men and women in various categories.