Mirpuri Foundation is pleased to announce a Prize in the areas of Dance, Music and Theater, under the names of figures of national reputation in each of these respective cultural areas. The Prize intends to promote and recognize cultural activities at the highest international levels of excellence, as well as to epitomize its role as a model for younger generations by stimulating the quality of artistic production in these fields of cultural expression. The prize will be awarded by a jury selected by Mirpuri Foundation, qualified in accordance with the respective performing area of the competition. Mirpuri Foundation will attribute its first award in the year 2018, in a special ceremony devoted to honor the works and authors laureate, but also to promote greater dissemination of its cultural enterprises and philanthropic activities. 

The Dance, Music and Theater Awards recognize outstanding work and excellence in:




This award will promote excellence in the Dance area. The prize is named after Anna Mascolo, a prominent figure of the Classical Dance panorama. 

“A versatile dancer, of strong and dramatic personality”, Anna Mascolo is a prominent figure in the Classical Dance panorama. Originally from Naples, Italy, she moved to Lisbon, Portugal, with her family early on. It was in her new adopted country that she earned the Diploma in Classical Dance from the National Conservatory of Lisbon and received the award “New Generation”. Belonging to a group of dance pioneers, Anna Mascolo had a decisive action in the development of the first Portuguese Group of Classical Dance (Circle of Choreographic Initiation), by participating actively in its performances and events, until she was invited to join the international ballet company “The Grand Ballet of Marquis de Cuevas”. It was in this company, and more specifically at the “Teatro alla Scala” in Milan, with Esmée Bulnes, that her personal artistic vision of Dance began to take shape. Motivated by the urgent need for a training of international scope for young Portuguese dancers, Anna Mascolo undertook, in Lisbon, in 1958, an important pedagogical and cultural venture, the founding her private dance school (“Estúdio Escola de Dança Clássica de Anna Mascolo”), where she developed her method of teaching classical dance. This accomplishment earned her, in 1969, the award “Press Prize”, and in 1974, the “Diploma of Excellence in Teaching”, awarded by the Portuguese Ministry of Education. In addition to the founding of her school, Anna Mascolo has had a distinguished career with notable achievements and official functions, such as: Artistic Direction of the “Ballet Experimental Group” (later becoming the “Ballet Gulbenkian”); Founder and Director of the “Anna Mascolo Ballet Group”; Presidency of the “Portuguese Ballet Center” (the first cultural association dedicated to classical dance in Portugal); Faculty Member of the “National Conservatory” and of the “Technical University of Lisbon” (in the Department of Human Motricity); Choreographer of several operas for the S. Carlos and Trindade Theatre seasons; Choreographer and Performer in numerous ballet, opera, theater and television shows; Guest Teacher of Dance Courses, Master Classes and Seminars worldwide; Writer of dance reviews and articles for newspapers and magazines; Organizer and Participant in dance conferences worldwide. Anna Mascolo held membership in various national and international working commissions, with particular relevance to the following: Official Appointment by the Portuguese Ministry of Education to draft a plan for the Restructuring of Portuguese Artistic Education; Active Member of the “International Dance Council (CID)-UNESCO”; Appointed by CID-UNESCO to found and preside the “Portuguese Dance Council (CPDD)-UNESCO”; Active Member and Master Teacher of the “National Italian Dance Council (CNID -UNESCO “; Effective Member of the “Brazilian Dance Council (CBDD)-UNESCO”. Her adjudications as Member of the Jury in renowned national and international ballet competitions include: III and IV International Ballet Competitions of the Bolshoi Theatre – Moscow (Russia); 33rd and 34th International Dance Competitions “G.B.Viotti” -Vercelli (Italy); 4th and 5th Japan World Ballet Competition – Osaka (Japan); 2nd Latin American Ballet Children’s Contest – Lima (Peru); 1st Exhibition of Arts and Ideas and 1st National Encounter of Dance – Portugal. Anna Mascolo attributes her artistic and pedagogical development to the teachings of Olga Preobraijenska, Bianca Gallizia, Lubov Egorova, R. Rousanne, Bronislava Nijinska, Leonide Massine, Felia Doubrovska, George Skibine, Alan Lander, George Balanchine, Esmée Bulnes, Stanislas Idzikowsky, Victor Gsowsky, Edward Caton, Melusine Wood, Rene Bon, Serge Lifar, and Anton Dolin.


Pedro Carneiro

Started his dance studies at the school of Gulbenkian Ballet, in Lisbon, and received a scholarship to study at the John Cranko School in Stuttgart. Danced at the Stadttheater Hagen and at the Oper Bonn in Germany as well as at The National Ballet in Lisbon. Pedro Carneiro did the teacher’s course at the Vaganova Academy, in St. Petersburg, where he received his methodology diploma. He has been a teacher for classical and character dance at the National Conservatory Dance School in Lisbon, since 1996, and he was in the Direction of the school from 2003 until 2017, as a Vice-President (2003-2007), President (2007-2008) and Director (2008-2017). During his tenure, the school became very successful and developed an international reputation. He has served as a Jury of several International Ballet competition and he taught master classes worldwide.

Vasco Wellemkamp

In 1968 he joined the Gulbenkian Ballet as a dancer. From 1973 to 1975 he held a scholarship from the Ministry of Education for a training period in New York, at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. Still in New York he attended a course of choreographic composition with Merce Cunningham and worked with Valentine Pereyaslavec in the American Ballet Theatre. In 1978, he was awarded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, to attend a course for choreographers and composers at the University, Guildford, Surrey. From 1977 until 1996, he was the principal resident choreographer of the Gulbenkian Ballet. From 1986 until 1996 he was Teacher/Co-ordinator of performance’s department at the Lisbon High School of Dance. Having been twice awarded with the Press Prize of (1974 and 1981) he also received awards from the weekly newspaper “SETE” (1982) and the magazine “Nova Gente” (1985 and 1987). Vasco Wellenkamp received the Special Choreography Award from the 2nd Japan International Ballet & Modern Dance Competition(1996). In 1998 he created the “Companhia Portuguesa de Bailado Contemporâneo” with which presented its work around the world. Between 2004 and 2007, he was Director of the National Ballet Company of Portugal. His piece, “Fado/Ritual e Sombras”, won the first prize for the best production presented in Netherlands, in 2014. Vasco Wellenkamp has created choreographies in Portugal, England, EUA, Croation, Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands, Austrian, EUA, Argentina and Brasil. His works were presented all over the world, namely: Germany, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, South Korea, Spain, USA, France, Hollande, Hungary, UK, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, Uruguay and Venezuela. In 1995, Vasco Wellenkamp was distinguished with the decoration”Comendador da Ordem do Infante D. Henrique”, by His Excellency the President of the Republic.

Mirpuri Foundation Jury