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2006 Benois De La Danse Nominees Incl. Yesina, Kondaurova, Sarafanov


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#1 Natalia

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 12:55 PM

Some huge - maybe even a bit odd -- surprises here, folks!

According to the following article in the Moscow-based newspaper Gazeta (or 'Newspaper'...very original title)...

http://www.gzt.ru/cu.../30/210444.html


....the nominees for the 2006 Benois de la Danse -- the 'Oscars of Ballet' -- have been announced by jury chairman Yuri Grigorovich. Awards will be given during the two-day Benois de la Danse Festival at the Bolshoi, on April 25/26.

Best Male Dancer of 2005 Nominees -

Nicholas LeRiche of POB - for his role in 'Caligula'; Grigorovich also commended LeRiche for being the first non-Russian Spartacus...but the nominationis for 'Caligula'

Benjamin Pech of POB - for Romeo in the Nureyev production of Romeo & Juliet

Leonid Sarafanov of the Kirov - Albert in Giselle

Joseph Gatti of Cincinnati Ballet (!!!!) for 'Le Corsaire pdd' as performed at the 2005 Moscow Int'l Ballet Competition

Kim Hen-Un of Korea, also for Le Corsaire (not sure if this is also from the Moscow IBC...odd...

Wan Di of China - soloist of the Guanchou People's Army Ensemble (first time that a 'folk' dancer is so honored)

Best Female Dancer of 2005 Nominees -

Tamako Akiyyama of Japan for the contemporary ballet 'Aluminium"

Kim Chzhu-Wong of Korea - Medora in "Corsair" (???Moscow IBC???)

Janessa Touchet, of Cincinnati Ballet - leading role in Cinderella (a possible Cincinnati sweep???!!!)

Olga Yesina of the Kirov - Odette-Odile in "Swan Lake"

Ekaterina Kondaurova of Kirov - Zarema in "Fountains of Bakhshiserai"


Congrats to all of the nominees. What a huge honor for Cincinnati Ballet, my goodness, its soloists considered on par with Paris Opera Ballet and the Kirov-Mariinsky! Good for Cincinnati & the USA!

p.s. - The article noted that, following the disclosure of the nominations, almost all questions dealt NOT with the Benois Prize, but with the rumors of Vishneva's new contract with the Bolshoi.

#2 Mashinka

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 01:23 AM

I'm puzzled as to the nomination of Nicholas LeRiche as Caligula as I wasn't aware he actually danced the role. Jérémie Bélingard and Mathieu Ganio were the only two casts announced as far as I am aware (I saw Ganio in the role). LeRiche was actually the choreographer, or am I missing something here?

#3 Estelle

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 02:10 AM

Mashinka, you're right: as far as I know (and as announced on the POB web site), the only dancers in the role of Caligula were Ganio and Bélingard:

http://www.operadepa...tion.asp?Id=834

#4 Natalia

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 10:23 AM

Now that you mention it - I am also puzzled as to Yesina's nomination as Odette-Odile. I know that she was scheduled to debut the dual-role in early December, at the Mariinsky, then pulled out. Did she ever dance the role??? Perhaps on tour, in Berlin?

Did Sarafanov really dance Albrecht, for that matter? Sorry - I'm too lazy to pore through my cast lists for 2005.

Maybe Grigorovich saw all of these dancers in those roles, in his dreams? :)

#5 rg

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 11:16 AM

and speaking of grigorovich, don't miss the STAGE review of the bolshoi in england where a bolshoi SWAN LAKE performance led by alexandrova/filin/belogolovtsev is said to have been choreographed by grigoriev.

#6 bart

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 01:12 PM

I mean no disrespect, but this seems a very odd mixture of nominees, considering the thousands and thousands of performances that occur around the world in various forms of dance each year.

Comparing apples and oranges (and anchovies, for that matter) would be quite easy compared to voting on this list. Esepcially since several of the dancers may actually have not performed the pieces for which they are nominated!

Natalia has kindly explained many of the procedures of this award on the thread concerning the nomination of the two Cinncinnati dancers. For those who have not read that thread, here's the quote:

QUOTE: "Dancers are nominated by a committee that is headed by Yuri Grigorovich. I have no idea how the committee cast its net, worldwide, to select the ultimate nominees but they are an interesting mix!

"There have been ABT (and maybe NYCB?) dancers nominated recently....Angel Corella & Jose-Manuel Carreno, for example.

"There is no competition after this, as far as I know. Much like the Oscars and Emmys, the nominees assemble in Moscow for a ceremony & somebody says "The envelope, please..." Winners' names are read. Perhaps the nominees will dance excerpts from their nominated role(s)? There is a gala of some sort each year, I know. Last year, it featured Vishneva & Malakhov. Sorry - I've never experienced this event, except for seeing occasional TV reports every April/May!

#7 Natalia

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 01:44 PM

Good point, Bart. Like you, I don't mean disrespect. I'm genuinely delighted that some lesser-known dancers, such as the two Cincinnati soloists, have 'snuck in.' However -- I'll speak only for those who I've seen and...ahum....the nomination of Ms. Kondaurova's Zarema raised my eyebrows. Just read my recent review of her Don Q Street Dancer, in the 2006 Maiinsky Festival thread, to get an inkling of my suspicions. (wink-wink)

Had Kondaurova been nominated for her role as the 'tall girl' in 'In the Middle, somewhat Elevated...' (Forsythe), then I'd be the first one placing a gold medal around her neck.

Did Grigorovich et al consider, for example, from among all ballet performances, all over the world, in 2005:

* Part's 'Swan Lake' at ABT?
* H. Cornejo's 'Spectre de la Rose' at ABT?
* Bouder's 'Firebird' or 'Ballo' at NYCB?
* Cojocaru or Kobborg in ANYTHING, with the Royal Ballet...or for their amazing Don Q in the 2005 Mariinsky Festival?
* Gudrun Bojesen or Thomas Lund or Kristoffer Sakurai...or any of the other Royal Danish dancers' performances during the big Bournonville Festival?
* Sonja Rodriguez in the historic reconstruction of Balanchine's 'Don Q' by the Farrell Ballet?
* Obraztsova's Juliet & Kolb's Romeo, with the Kirov at Covent Garden?
* Sarafanov's Ali, at the Kennedy Center?
...to name but a few that instantly come to mind?

How can an isolated solo or pdd in a competition -- no matter how prestigious that competition & deserving that medal -- be deemed worthier than a full performance, in regular repertoire? And if we are to consider competitions -- then how could they name Gatti (wonderful as he was) but ignore Dennis Matvienko, the guy who won top honors at the Moscow IBC?

Sheesh...why didn't they ask me (or you!) to be on the bloody committee??? :)

#8 rita

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 04:21 PM

Did Sarafanov really dance Albrecht, for that matter? Sorry - I'm too lazy to pore through my cast lists for 2005.



Sarafanov danced Giselle last June with Osmolkina.

#9 Marga

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 08:02 PM

bart quoting Natalia:

Natalia has kindly explained many of the procedures of this award on the thread concerning the nomination of the two Cinncinnati dancers. For those who have not read that thread, here's the quote:

QUOTE: "Dancers are nominated by a committee that is headed by Yuri Grigorovich. I have no idea how the committee cast its net, worldwide, to select the ultimate nominees but they are an interesting mix!

When Nadia Veselova-Tencer (Artistic Director of the Stars of the 21st Century Ballet Galas) was a judge for the Benois Prize a few years ago, she nominated Lucia Lacarra (who went on to win it) for the award. So that might explain some of the seeming randomness of the selected nominees. You have to have someone in your corner!

This reminds me of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" which they run every January. I know that one of this year's gifted "25" was chosen because she happened to dance in the right place at the right time and was seen by the right person who nominated her for the list. Sure, there are many others of like caliber who would have been chosen had the planets lined up right for them. I'm afraid that the Benois is run a bit similarly.

#10 Helene

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 09:36 PM

I know that one of this year's gifted "25" was chosen because she happened to dance in the right place at the right time and was seen by the right person who nominated her for the list. Sure, there are many others of like caliber who would have been chosen had the planets lined up right for them.

It's sad and frustrating when talented dancers are rendered invisible by geography.

#11 Marga

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 11:09 PM

Did Grigorovich et al consider, for example, from among all ballet performances, all over the world, in 2005:

* H. Cornejo's 'Spectre de la Rose' at ABT?

* Cojocaru or Kobborg in ANYTHING, with the Royal Ballet...or for their amazing Don Q in the 2005 Mariinsky Festival?

And if we are to consider competitions -- then how could they name Gatti (wonderful as he was) but ignore Dennis Matvienko, the guy who won top honors at the Moscow IBC?

Cornejo was nominated for Spectre de la Rose for last year's Prize. I suppose he could have been considered again, but it doesn't seem a likely thing to do, and not for the same piece, since the governing rules state that the nominations are for a "first-time" performance in a role.
See:
Herman Cornejo

Alina Cojocaru won the Benois de la Danse Prize as best female dancer in 2004 for "Cinderella". I don't know if a dancer can win the Benois twice. No one has yet.

Actually, Joseph Gatti did not compete at the Moscow IBC. This was a mistake in reporting. He won the gold medal at the NYIBC last June. His performance of Le Corsaire with the Cincinnati Ballet must be the one that is up for the prize. CB's AD Victoria Morgan is on the jury.

#12 Natalia

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 04:56 AM

Marga - A huge 'thank you' for all of these explanations. They certainly clarify the situation. I rarely follow Benois de la Danse and was hoping that someone like yourself would enlighten us!

STILL - Regardless of circumstances & who-knows-who, I am very happy for the positive exposure of two talented American dancers. How can anybody quibble with that?

Rita - Thanks for the tidbit on Sarafanov's Albrecht. I completely forgot. Lots was happening last June & that one fell through the cracks of my memory.

Hopefully, someone can enlighten us on Yesina's Odette-Odile. Perhaps she danced it in December in Germany? I know that her originally-scheduled debut at the Mariinsky was postponed.

#13 Marga

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 04:16 PM

I hope I can offer a more lucid explanation of the chain of events leading up to the 2-day Benois Prize gala in Moscow. Because of all the supposings (my own included, though not posted) I phoned Nadia Veselova-Tencer (Benois Prize jury member in 2003) and asked about the procedure.

This is the play-by-play (unfortunately, this is not published anywhere accessible to the general public):

1) Members of the jury present their nominees via videotape to all other jury members through the mail (Nadia nominated Lucia Lacarra (who won), José Martinez and a choreographer in 2003.) Jury members review the tapes in the comfort of their own homes in their own countries.

2) All taped nominees are definite contenders. It remains for the jury to pretty much sequester themselves (it took 2 days in 2003) in Moscow prior to the gala so the individual jury members can present arguments for their choices in person to the other members of the jury.

3) After the hours and hours of deliberations, the winners are decided and proceedings continue to the "envelope, please" stage.

4) Prior to the gala in Moscow, certain nominees and past winners or past nominees have been asked to come to Moscow to perform at the gala.

Those nominated for the year's prize do not have to come to Moscow, but are very welcome if they are able to make the trip. Not all nominees have been invited to perform at the gala. Some of the present nominees may have been asked to perform, but it is up to them whether they go to Moscow. Their presence or non-presence in Moscow will not affect the outcome.

So, after the winners are announced on the first day, the invited-to-perform dancers dance on the second, some of them having just won the Benois Prize the previous night, some who are going home with the honour of having been nominated, some from past years (both winners and past nominees).

5) To sum up, the jury members decide on the winners on the basis of the videos they've seen and the arguments they've heard by the presenters (the jury members) of each nominee.

The Artistic Director of the Benois de la Danse 2006 is Nina Kudriantseva-Loory and the General Manager is Regina Nikiforova.

#14 bart

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 07:38 PM

Thanks, Marga, for that detailed explanation. It's complicated, but it now makes sense.

#15 Natalia

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 06:14 AM

Thanks so much for this explanation, Marga. Sounds like quite a tough job for the jurors!


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