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


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#16 Marga

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 08:10 AM

You're welcome, bart and Natalia!
Yes, it sounds tough -- like a regular jury trial! What an interesting way to do things in ballet.

#17 Mashinka

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 01:49 AM

I'd still like to know how the jury came by a video of Nicholas LeRiche dancing Caligula though.

#18 Natalia

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 07:17 AM

I'd still like to know how the jury came by a video of Nicholas LeRiche dancing Caligula though.



I would bet that he is nominated in the 'best new choreography' category & not as a dancer.

I'm still wondering when, in 2005, did Yesina debut as Odette/Odile? Her scheduled debut at the Mariinsky, in the first week of December 2005, did not happen. She was subsequently scheduled to dance only the Black Swan pdd at the end-of-year gala in Baden-Baden but was not to have danced the full ballet on that tour (rather, Lopatkina, Nioradze & Tereshkina were listed). I am guessing that Yesina in fact was able debut the full role as a substitute to either Lopatkina or Nioradze or Tereshkina. Can any of our German Kirov-watchers confirm? I can't imagine that the Benois nomination came on the basis of Yesina dancing only the Black Swan pdd at a gala -- but crazier things have happened!

#19 KarinR

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 01:58 PM


I'd still like to know how the jury came by a video of Nicholas LeRiche dancing Caligula though.



I would bet that he is nominated in the 'best new choreography' category & not as a dancer.

I'm still wondering when, in 2005, did Yesina debut as Odette/Odile? Her scheduled debut at the Mariinsky, in the first week of December 2005, did not happen. She was subsequently scheduled to dance only the Black Swan pdd at the end-of-year gala in Baden-Baden but was not to have danced the full ballet on that tour (rather, Lopatkina, Nioradze & Tereshkina were listed). I am guessing that Yesina in fact was able debut the full role as a substitute to either Lopatkina or Nioradze or Tereshkina. Can any of our German Kirov-watchers confirm? I can't imagine that the Benois nomination came on the basis of Yesina dancing only the Black Swan pdd at a gala -- but crazier things have happened!



I checked my program from Baden-Baden. Olga (Y)Esina danced Odette/Odile with Danila Korsuntsev on december 27th, 2005 instead of Irma Nioredse.

#20 chauffeur

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 04:58 AM

I'm sorry, but this whole thing doesn't sound like it's worth the bandwidth being spent to figure it out. It really strikes me as being no different than the various honors that Hollywood types bestow on themselves each year. I'm sure these are all excellent dancers but it's clearly not a true competition and, more likely, is little more than a glorified publicity tool for those involved. Better to spend our time and money helping companies stay afloat in their day-to-day operations.

#21 Natalia

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 07:29 AM

I checked my program from Baden-Baden. Olga (Y)Esina danced Odette/Odile with Danila Korsuntsev on december 27th, 2005 instead of Irma Nioredse.


Thanks, KarinR. This certainly explains the nomination. Happy to hear that Yesina actually danced the role. She is one of the loveliest & most elegant of the recent graduates (2004). I was impressed by her Dryad Queen at 2005 Mariinsky Fest and by her Lilac Fairy on the recent Detroit tour. With the possible exception of her 2004 classmate, Yulia Bolshakova, I consider Yesina the most talented lady to come out of the Vaganova Academy since the divine Obraztsova in 2002.

Of course, in a month or so we'll have the graduation of Marina Chugai and Maria Adkhamova, either of which could be the Vishnevas of the next decade, so we'll see... The 'factory' never ceases to produce potential ballerinas or premier danseurs.

#22 Marga

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 11:44 AM

I'm sorry, but this whole thing doesn't sound like it's worth the bandwidth being spent to figure it out. It really strikes me as being no different than the various honors that Hollywood types bestow on themselves each year. I'm sure these are all excellent dancers but it's clearly not a true competition and, more likely, is little more than a glorified publicity tool for those involved. Better to spend our time and money helping companies stay afloat in their day-to-day operations.

The Benois de la Danse is not referred to as the "Ballet Oscars" for nothing! While very different from the usual ballet competition, where the assembled competitors have the added elements of urgency and "can-I-top-the-previous-competitor" angst, the Benois is still a valid award. It concentrates on finding (by having ballet directors present) first-time danced performances of extraordinary merit. The dictionary definition of "extraordinary" is "going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary". On this basis, dancers and choreographers, established or just beginning their careers, are brought forward (nominated) to be considered as prize-worthy. That is just like the Oscars, which bases its awards on the past year's performance achievements.

While many of us may have had enough of the Oscars and the movie industry patting itself on the back in front of the world via television and enormous media attention, I, for one, would be in seventh heaven if the Benois de la Danse was televised worldwide and received more than a jot of North American media attention. :clapping:

Here is some background info on how the Prize came into being:

The idea for the Benois de la Danse was initiated in Moscow and the founders succeeded in obtaining the patronage of UNESCO in the autumn of 1992.

The Benois de la Danse is always held at the end of April, as close to April 29th as possible, since that is the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), already celebrated as International Dance Day.

The Benois de la Danse recognizes with monetary awards exceptional events occurring during the previous year on stages around the world. These include dancing roles of all kinds as well as choreographic accomplishments.

There are three goals to be met:
1) to show the audience the best performances, regardless if they were by famous choreographers, ballerinas, dancers or their younger colleagues
2) to bring the best representatives of different dance styles and schools together and, aided by this event, allow them to continue this creative interaction
3) to support veterans of ballet financially with funds from gala concerts

The Prix Benois de la Danse was named after Alexandre Benois (1870-1960), whose work combined all kinds of art in one: music, theatre, stage design, art sciences. Benois was one of the most prominent figures of the ballet world during the Diaghilev years. His lineage includes a long list of various artists: at least 45 actors, architects, composers, sculptors, and poets. The painter Nicolas Benois (1901-1988) is his son. French sculptor Igor Ustinov (one of the artistic representatives of the younger Benois generation) created the statuette of the Benois de la Danse award in 1992. He is the son of the famous actor/playwright Peter Ustinov (who is the great-nephew of Alexandre Benois).

As for wasted bandwidth, I don't see it. BT is meant for critical discussion of all events in ballet from an audience perspective, which we are engaged in here on this thread. With so few contributors compared to other threads, we make but a mere dent in the bandwidth. The Benois is a spectator event after all, a big deal, full-house show in Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre every spring, complete with gorgeous program books. That alone makes it worthy of our attention and our research in order to comprehend it fully. And, as far as I know, none of our money is being directed to the Benois. The interest of a few BT members in discussing the Benois Prize doesn't take any money away from the day-to-day operations of any ballet company.

#23 bart

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 12:49 PM

Thanks, Marga, for the history and reasoning behind the Prix Benois.

I didn't know about the Ustinov connection. Anything tied to Peter Ustinov, however indirectly, is great in my book.

I agree that in a fairer, juster world events like this would get huge play in the US. Perhaps an American win (or wins) will jolt some of our mass media to pay a little attention. :clapping:

#24 Natalia

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 12:56 PM

Very well stated, Marga! I've learned more about this event from you that I have in 15 years of hearing about it on Russian TV reports, where news is delivered in vague loosy-goosy style....where emphasis is more on VIPs in the audience ("Vishneva has arrived!") than "What's this all about?"

Isn't it nice that the mere nomination to this prize allows us the chance to discuss (mostly) little-known, promising dancers? How else would we focus on some of these dancers, unless one of our forum's members happens to see one of them and write a report?

#25 mouse

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 02:40 PM

Hi!
I am new to BT. I am actually kind of new to ballet. My child dances, not me! Of course, I had never heard of this award. Yes, our media would not likely have informed me. So, thank you Marga for telling me so much about it. I will now, more eagerly, look forward to hearing the results!
mouse

#26 Helene

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 03:02 PM

It concentrates on finding (by having ballet directors present) first-time danced performances of extraordinary merit. The dictionary definition of "extraordinary" is "going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary". On this basis, dancers and choreographers, established or just beginning their careers, are brought forward (nominated) to be considered as prize-worthy.

What a worthy goal, especially considering that unlike film, which can be viewed again and again, the vast majority of ballet performances go unrecorded for public viewing. How else, except by the local press and occasionally national or international journals, can we hear about great debuts?

Sadly, Ballet Talkers can't see everything and report it here.

#27 carbro

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 03:27 PM

Sadly, Ballet Talkers can't see everything and report it here.

Individually, no we can't. But collectively, it's a worthy -- if ambitious -- goal! :D

#28 Marga

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 06:15 PM

Thanks bart, Natalia, and mouse. I always enjoy knowing more about things and doing the necessary research to find accurate info.

bart, I've known about the Peter Ustinov "connection" since I first heard of the Benois Prize, and, like you, that meant something to me. I remember seeing Ustinov on some filmed presentation (was it one of the Benois galas??), seated in the balcony, and being identified as to his relative affiliation. I've always admired and respected him.

mouse, I know who your prize-winning son is. :D
I've yet to see him dance and eagerly await the opportunity. I hope he gets a Benois nomination one day, too. It seems like a distinct possibility, since he is making waves already at such a young age!

carbro, I love your attitude. It is indeed a goal worth pursuing. Who knows where BT will be 5, 10 years from now?!

#29 chauffeur

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 06:17 PM

Well, I still have my doubts. I've seen some of the nominated dancers perform in the past year and I just have a very hard time believing this is the best of the new best. It seems like connections have a lot to do with the nominations and that makes it suspect in my books.

#30 Natalia

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 06:57 AM

This just in from my sister -- and confirmed on http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/:

The Kirov wins BOTH Benois de la Danse trophies for performers:

Leonid SARAFANOV for Albrecht in Giselle (lucky DC balletomanes!)

Ekaterina KONDAUROVA for Zarema in Fountains of Bakhshiserai


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