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YAGP Gala 2007


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#46 cierra19

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 04:56 AM

In one breath, you're calling them all winnners; in the next, you are putting down the girl from the Rock who did her contemporary. Whatever. She was beautiful. And I am sure Larissa put her there for exactly that reason. Please refrain from such comments about a child who dances in such an amazing event. It took a lot of bravery for any of them up there. If you don't have something nice to say about someone, then talk about someone else about whom you have something nice to say.


The person writing the original post likely did not intend it this way, but the post itself simply implies that only the top 3 would be the "winners." The question raised was about how it was possible for someone in the top 12 to perform in gala if all dancers from the top 3 in every category was not able to perform. The post I left was merely to say that it appears that yagp labeled the "winners" as those in top 12. Afterall, some use of labels seems logical, particularly since it was a "competition." So I hope that my reply to that specific aspect of the post did not start the process of changing the topic to semantics and/or the use of the word "winner," as I did not mean to lead into this topic at all.

It our shared sentiment and loyalty about all dancers which allows use to view them as all being the winners in our minds, if not in ceremony.



Well if you are refering to my post. I was trying to report and who I saw, what they danced and a bit of editorial comment on my opinion on the performances all in one. I think there were people at the gala who had not sat at the competition with a program and was trying to make it easier for them to figure out who was who.
I felt that the young ladies contemporary was not anything out of the ordinary and seemed out of place in the line up. I felt the same way about Whitney Jenson and her partner doing the pas de deux I would like to have seen the first or second place pas de deux winners which I did not see at the competition. I heard that they were really excellent.
I have seen Larissa put up pieces that did not even make the final round that were interesting and different and worked really well. Obviously Larissa thought differently and it is her show. She always does an awesome job I just felt it was out of place in the line-up.



#47 cierra19

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 05:01 AM

one last note, it was not all about flash and tricks. Larissa seemed to pick some pieces for the purity and beaity and some for the flash. So please appreciate the variety. That contemporary piece was certainly worthy of appreciation for its purity and beauty. This is true art. The same dancer did a tricky classical, in the sense that it required lots of piourettes and she executed them very, very well! So, you have to know the artistry aspect of dance in order to also appreciate pieces that are artistic and pure. The piece deserved to be in the line up very much.

#48 Dale

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 05:16 AM

Thank you all for your reports. I sense we might have some people posting who are close to the participants or the events. Remember, this board is to discuss ballet performances. That means we're going to get positive and negative posts (all expressed in a polite fashion). Yes, some of the performances here were by young people. We should be careful on how we treat that. However, Yagp chose to put them on stage in a public performance (at very high prices, I might add). If there are moms and dads and friends out there who might be sensitive to this thread, I suggest avoiding it. Thank you.

#49 Helene

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 07:54 AM

If anyone finds a post that they believe does not meet Ballet Talk's Rules and Policies, please click the "Report!" button at the bottom left of each post, and the Moderating team will review the post.

Please remember that our policy is,

"While we ask you to keep in mind that the objects of your criticism and their fans may very well read the site, as long as the post follows our Courtesy Policy, your opinions may be expressed on the board. No one need apologize for or justify courteous, well-reasoned criticism. You may disagree with the content, but please don't criticize the act of criticism."

and if you find that this will be hurtful, Dale has given great advice.

#50 its the mom

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 07:55 AM

cierra19 - I just want to make a comment because you are new to the boards. Memo was just trying to give all of us who could not be there at YAGP this year some information about the YAGP Gala. If you will look at Memo's posts in the past, you will realize that she is not only a ballet teacher, but has a very talented son in the ballet world. She is very sensitive to the fact that many of us are the parents of children involved at YAGP or who have been involved at YAGP. She is one of the opinions we respect here on BT. I know that she means no harm to anyone and she is just stating an opinion. She has a high regard for YAGP, Larissa and other dancers.

So, welcome to BT. You should take some time and look around. You'll get to know the people here and you'll know that most of the members here are just looking for a place for information, for help, to share their love of ballet, and to have a safe dialogue about ballet issues.

#51 cierra19

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 09:26 AM

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.

#52 Memo

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 10:23 AM

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.

#53 bart

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 10:34 AM

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:

#54 Memo

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 06:54 PM

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! :)




[size=1]Moderator's note: Edited to link to Memo's previous list of who danced what.[/size]

Edited by carbro, 05 May 2007 - 11:50 PM.


#55 balletmor

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 09:29 PM

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?

#56 Memo

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 06:01 PM

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.

#57 archaeo

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 04:25 AM

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?

#58 Memo

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 07:03 AM

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, 10 May 2007 - 08:42 AM.


#59 drb

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 04:06 PM

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.

#60 drb

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 02:41 PM

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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