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YAGP Gala 2007

65 posts in this topic

I will trust the person didn't like those two dancers, or their pieces, but the dancers both in my opinion are exquisite, and their pieces were wonderful. Whitney is unbelievably amazing and fascinating and extremely elegant, and Sara Michelle (a new one on the scene) is also sublime. Many there found both of them equally extraordinary and hope to see more of them in the future.

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In one breath, you're calling them all winnners;

Thanks its the mom for your words.

I believe pj was the one who brought up Boris's quote if you look back at my posts you will see that it was not me.

I think you are just pulling one comment out of my post and making an issue out of it. I had my likes and dislikes about the performance and about the competition in general. It is just my opinion.

If we cannot express opinions then there is no discussion. I think this forum is different to BT for dancers and It would be a shame to see this thread closed because of this.

All dancers who perform in public are open to critique it comes with the territory.

I certainly did not post to begin a controversy.

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Thanks, memo, for your informative and well-balanced contributions. And also to Dale and Helene for expressing BT policy -- and the reasons behind it -- so clearly, and for acknowledging the ambiguities and mixed feelings that inevitably come into play when we see, think about, and even find ourselves reporting on the efforts of young dance students. This kind of fair and kind-hearted balance certainly deserves a :yucky:

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Have added a few more to my post that I had originally forgotten. As I got some sleep after the week there and regained consiousness I remember a couple of other performances that were in there. My she packed alot into that first half didnt she! :)

Moderator's note: Edited to link to Memo's previous list of who danced what.

Edited by carbro

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I was just wondering, What did they say about the title given : "Honorary Grand Prix Winner"? Is that higher than 1st place winners? Did they mention the reason for this honor?

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Well I think that ABT decided to offer another dancer a contract and wanted to do it publically. This young man was entered in the Senior division and was in the final round. They also wanted the Grand Prix winner to be only one person but found another dancer they wanted to offer a contract to.

Last year ABT caused much controversy, because they awarded an honorary grand prix to someone who was not entered in the Senior solo division. This year it was awarded to a competitor who did not necessarily come in with the highest score (this is me speculating now) but was a dancer who had the qualities that ABT is looking for, for Studio Company. They also awarded him a scholarship to the JKO school. My assumption is that he had the qualities they were looking for and want him at the school till Sept and then he will join the Studio Company when it resumes. (the Studio Company had their final perf during YAGP week). The level of the men in the senior final was extremely high anyone could have walked away with that contract I think it just depended on what type of dancer style wise, height wise, quality wise, they happened to be looking for that fit well with their current troupe.

Since the rules clearly state that the ABT can offer the contract to any dancer that they want (as opposed to the highest scoring competitor) this seems fair and legitimate to me.

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I was just wondering, What did they say about the title given : "Honorary Grand Prix Winner"? Is that higher than 1st place winners? Did they mention the reason for this honor?

Don't know about that. My only question is : why, if it was a ballet competition, did one of the prizes go to that troupe of Brazilian Irish dancers?

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Irish dancers who dont do Ballet at all.

It seems odd to me that these huge groups come in to do Grand Prix, they are not ballet dancers they obviously pay the fees but do not take a class all week (I hope they enjoy NY and have time to Party) and then come in and do an Irish or a cabaret dance at the competition and win.

All the ballet dancers however dance ALL WEEK deal with jet lag, classes, sore feet, blisters, pointe shoes, tired muscles, scholarship classes with 100 people on stage at 9am and compete till 10pm and then do the ensemble competition on the last day> (Which their teachers have also been rehearsing them all week for, while in NY) and then these novelty groups get to walk in and take away one of the prizes.

I know life is not fair but :speechless-smiley-003: Makes all the hard work seem...............ughhhhh........I dont know.

I wonder why as non ballet dancers you would fly a huge group into to NY to perform. One of the YAGP teachers mentioned to us that the YAGP set up classes but there were about 150 ensemble members who never showed to a class and those that did do not dance ballet. So there sat a teacher, pianist, and studio space with noone to take class. I have heard that Brazil is a poor country and I wonder how all those dancers afford to fly in for it when it is not their style of dance. You would think they would be spending their money to take them to an international clogging competition to take related classes and compete against their peers?

There are some fantastic Ballet dancers who participate in the competition who are from Brazil there are obviously some very strong schools down there. I wonder if these dancers are from the same schools commercial dance division or from schools that specialize in this type of style of dance.

They are very very big and very good there is no denying that, but seem out of place in this environment and is hard on the ballet dancers. (If that is relevant.)

Edited by Memo

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The photographer Gene Schiavone has posted about 150 photos of the young dancers and has requested viewers to help identify them. Please help him out, and simultaneously you'll be helping the dancers gain some recognition too!

http://www.geneschiavone.com/gallery/

You'll also find photo sets of the phenomenal Nunez/Soares (look at her arms whilst she's airborne!), and of Dupont/Legris.

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Good news for some YAGP winners. Men's Gold winner, the sensational Jim Nowakowski, has joined the corps at Houston ballet, as has Aria Alekzander, a finalist from the previous year (by way of ABT's Studio Company).

http://www.myspace.com/houstonballet

(By the way, if you Google his full name, you will find a link to a YT video of what seems to be a high school solo of a martial-arts influenced, yet still somewhat classical, piece. Very well received by the enthusiastic student audience!)

Under the Royal Ballet's Ansanelli...Promotions thread, you'll find a link that lists two more YAGPers as new Artists: This year's GP winner Melissa Hamilton and last year's, Sergiy Polunin.

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Thank you for sharing that link! I see a dancer we know from Canada is listed as an apprentice!!

m2

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Was this young man Jim Nowakowski from Rochester City Ballet? He is a fantastic performer and a very nice person who truly deserved the accolades he received.

With the MC garbling a multisyllable name and his voice being covered by hysterical screams and cheers...

So I googled that name and found articles including photos. That's the guy!

Yes, indeed, that was Jim Nowakowski - he was trained here at the Timothy Draper Center for Dance Education in Rochester, NY and was a member of the Rochester City Ballet for the past several years while attending high school. He has received a contract to dance with the corps of the Houston Ballet and is looking forward to a bright career. He is amazingly talented, yet quite humble and extremely dedicated to his art form. I am privileged to have seen him dance often, and will miss him now that he's off in Texas. He also danced with Brittany Shinay (duet Symbion) in Spoleto, Italy at that dance festival there this summer!

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Anyone have any insight as to why ABT is all of sudden seems to be being turned down by the YAGP winners. Does ABT need to be offering a company contract. Has the standard become that high? Seems that neither winner took up the ABT studio company this year. :blink:

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I believe that a young dancer, when faced with the choice to be a full company member in one great company as opposed to being a second company member in another great company will opt for the guaranteed job. This appears to be what has happened.

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Good news for some YAGP winners. Men's Gold winner, the sensational Jim Nowakowski, has joined the corps at Houston ballet, as has Aria Alekzander, a finalist from the previous year (by way of ABT's Studio Company).

http://www.myspace.com/houstonballet

(By the way, if you Google his full name, you will find a link to a YT video of what seems to be a high school solo of a martial-arts influenced, yet still somewhat classical, piece. Very well received by the enthusiastic student audience!)

Under the Royal Ballet's Ansanelli...Promotions thread, you'll find a link that lists two more YAGPers as new Artists: This year's GP winner Melissa Hamilton and last year's, Sergiy Polunin.

:blink: I wanted to let everyone know that the YouTube video of Jim is NOT a high school performance. It was taped by a friend during a performance at the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts in Miami this past January. You can find info on the program (which is for high school seniors in ANY art form) at http://www.nfaa.org/. The video is a private piece, therefore it is a legal posting.

Enjoy!

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