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JKOS receives Prix Rome Jia Ruskaja 2012

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JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS SCHOOL RECEIVES

PRIX ROME JIA RUSKAJA 2012

AWARD TO INCLUDE EXCHANGE PROGRAM BETWEEN JKO SCHOOL AND

DANCE SCHOOL AT THE ROME OPERA HOUSE

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre,

directed by Principal Franco De Vita, was awarded the 2012 Prix Rome Jia Ruskaja

by the Foundation of the National Academy of Dance, the official dance institution of

the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research. The award will be

bestowed December 13 at a gala presentation given at the Teatro Comunale in

Florence, Italy.

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (JKO) School at American Ballet Theatre

received the award from the Foundation of the National Academy of Dance in

recognition of its significant contributions to the training of classical dance. The

2012 Prix Rome Jia Ruskaja will comprise a cultural exchange between the JKO

School and the Dance School at the Rome Opera House and combined master classes

with both schools. JKO School students will travel to Rome to participate in the

exchange and perform at the awards gala at the Teatro Comunale. The gala

performance by the JKO School students will include George Balanchine’s Tarantella

and Raymond Lukens’ La Plus Que Lente and Jerusalem Divertissement.

“I am personally honored to have the JKO School receive this award,” said

Franco De Vita, Principal of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American

Ballet Theatre. “Raymond Lukens and I directed the Scuola di Danza Hamlyn in

Florence from 1983 to 1997. To return to Florence with my students from the JKO

School and perform at the Opera House is incredibly meaningful to me.”

“Congratulations to Franco De Vita and the JKO School’s outstanding

students on this achievement,” said Caroline Kennedy. “The award is a testament to

ABT’s commitment to bringing ballet to the widest possible audience. My mother

would be so pleased to know that a new generation of dancers will have the

opportunity to perform in Italy and receive this tremendous honor.”

The Prix Rome Jia Ruskaja pays homage to Ruskaja, co-founder of the

National Academy of Dance in Rome, Italy. The annual prize was previously

awarded to the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in 2011.

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