Six star performers and important figures of the international world of dance received prizes at the 20th annual Benois de la Danse Award ceremony in the Historic Bolshoi Theatre tonight.
The prizes were given for the best work of classical balllet or other genres of dance in 2011. The winners are:
- For choreography: Lar Lubovich, founder and director of the Lubovitch Dance Company of New York, for “Crisis Variations.”
- For the best performance by a ballerina: Alina Cojocaru for the role of Julie in “Liliom” at the Hamburg Ballet.
- For the best performances by male dancers, the jury awarded two prize, one to Mathias Heymann of the Paris Opera for dancing Zaël in “La Source” and Carsten Jung of the Hamburg Ballet for the title role in Liliom.
- For the best composition, Michel Legrand for the music for Liliom at the Hamburg Ballet.
A special lifetime achievement in choreography was given to Pierre Lacotte, a French choreographer who celebrated his 80th birthday last month. He did most of his work for the Paris Opera but also choreographed productions at most of the famous ballet and opera houses of the world, inclouding the Historic Bolshoi Theatre and the Marinsky in St. Petersburg.
The jury that made the decisions was composed of: Co-chairs, Yuri Grigorovich, choreographer of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, and John Neumeier, director of the Hamburg Ballet (Germany).
Other members were: Altynai Asylmuratova, artistic director of the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg; Laurent Hilaire, ballet master and deputy director of the Paris Opera Ballet; Kim Joo-won, prima ballerina of the Korea National Ballet of Seoul; Manuel Legris, artistic director of the Vienna State Ballet; Alessandra Ferri, director of the ballet program of Festival dei 2 Mondi in Spoleto (Italy), and Jorma Elo, resident choreographer of the Boston Ballet (USA).
All of the jurors were themselves previous Benois de la Danse laurates.
After the ceremony some of the winners and nominees for the prize danced in a gala performance. Another gala tomorrow night will feature laureates of the Benois prize from previous years.
© 2012 Danza Ballet