Benois de la Danse to Hold 20th Anniversary

 

Benois de la Danse to Hold 20th Anniversary Awards Ceremony and Gala

The 20th annual Benois de la Danse award ceremony and galas will be held at the historic Bolshoi Theater of Russia on May 22 and 23.  The awards will be given to an international list of laureates for performing the best work of 2011 in dance throughout the world.

Award nominees include performers, choreographers, composers, stage designers and librettists.There is also an award for lifetime achievement.

The May 22 gala, which will take place after the award ceremony, will include prizewinners and nominees from this year.  The second gala, to take place the next night, will include laureates from throughout the 20-year history of the prize.

An international jury who then meet in Moscow to select the year’s winners makes nominations.  The jury membership changes from year to year. This jubilee year the jury has been composed entirely of the laureates of the Prize. The co-presidents of 2012 jury are Yuri N. Grigorovich, Russian choreographer and the head of the Benois de la Danse project, and American choreographer John Neumeier,  Benois de la Danse first laureate, the director of the Hamburg  Ballet (Germany).

The other jurors this year are Altynay Asylmuratova, artistic director of the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg, which was founded in 1738 as the Imperial Ballet School; Jorma Elo, permanent choreographer of the Boston Ballet (USA); Alessandra Ferri,  international star, director of dance at the Festival dei 2 Mondi, in Spoleto (Italy); Laurent Hilaire, maître de ballet and associate director of the Paris Opera Ballet; Joo-won Kim, prima ballerina of the Korean National Ballet, and Manuel Legris, artistic director of the Vienna State Ballet.

According to Grigorovich:  “The task of Benois de la Danse is to honor the extraordinary events in the colorful world of dance, merging classical ballet with contemporary and modern productions.  Of all the theater arts, this timeless harmony is possible only in ballet.”

At this writing the year’s nominees have not yet been disclosed.  They will be revealed at a news conference in Moscow in mid-April.

Among previous winners, in addition to this year jurors, have been:

CHOREOGRAPHERS: David Dawson of Great Britain, Nacho Duato of Spain, Jiři Kylian of The Netherlands, Roland Petit of France, Boris Eifman of Russia and Jorma Elo of the United States.

BALLERINAS: Svetlana Zakharova of Russia, Lucia Lacarra of Germany, Alina Cojocaru of Great Britain, Julie Kent of the United States, Elisabeth Platel of France and Zhu Yan of China.

MALE DANCERS:  Carlos Acosta of Great Britain, Julio Bocca of Argentina, Vladimir Malakhov of Germany, David Hallberg of the United States, Nicolas Le Riche of France, Ivan Vassiliev of Russia, Wang Di of China  and Fernando Romero of Spain.
COMPOSER:  George Kouroupos of Greece.

LIFE ACHIEVEMENT:  Alicia Alonso of Cuba, Marina Semenova of Russia, Maurice Bejart of France, William Forsythe of Germany, Rudy van Dantzig of The Netherlands, Ohad Naharin of Israel, and Mikhail Baryshnikov of the United States.

Benois de la Dance was founded by the International Dance Association in Moscow in 1991, which established the Centre Benois.  The chairman is Yuri Grigorovich.  The general director is Regina Nikiforova and the artistic director Nina Kudriavtseva-Loory.  Some of the revenues of the galas each year go for the support of needy veterans of dance in Russia.

The project is a partnership of the Russian Ministry of Culture, the Bolshoi Theater and Centre Benois and has been also supported by a number of sponsors including the charitable fund Systema, Exxon Mobil, Air China, the hotel Petr I  and several Russian media organizations. MOSCOW, RUSSIA

  © 2012 Danza Ballet

00016