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Youth Grand Prix America


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#31 balletmama

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Posted 10 May 2002 - 11:57 AM

Originally posted by Victoria Leigh
Can anyone explain to me why some students in this competition go through Regionals to get to NY, while others appear to just be entered and accepted directly into the NY finals?  


Dancers can audition for NY directly by video.

#32 balletmama

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Posted 11 May 2002 - 07:18 AM

Originally posted by BW


I have no doubt that the intentions of the people that started the YAGP were totally above board...and very good. I think it has a great deal of potential but obviously needs some serious organizational work. Lack of organization is one thing, but this double standard of allowing students to "enter" is entirely on another level. Balletmama, I have no doubt that there have been many good things that have come out of YAGP, and that many participants have benefited in all sorts of different ways...but the accounts that have been posted on this thread are not to be taken lightly. New events like this take time and fine tuning. If YAGP is to continue, it is my hope that the originators and organizers will be made aware of these disparities and complaints...otherwise it does not bode well.  [/B]


BW, I think your comments are balanced and constructive. I was taking issue with the "competition from hell" comment. Given the state of the dance world today, I think that it makes sense to try to support efforts to encourage young dancers to flourish (and to help build up an organization whose directors are obviously well-meaning and are running a competition that fills a niche). That includes helping develop more appropriate rules, a less frustrating NY schedule, etc.

#33 balletmama

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Posted 16 May 2002 - 05:56 PM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by BW
[B]Just wondering, if anyone heard Francis Mason's remarks on WQXR?

No, what did Mason say?

#34 linsusanr

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Posted 16 May 2002 - 10:18 AM

My friend is back from the competition now and she said at least her music tape didn't get messed up during her variation! She was very positive about the whole thing but did mention that it was extremely tiring -- mostly due to the fact that schedules changed constantly. Fortunately she seemed quite happy with the experience of having gone to NYC and danced.

#35 BW

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Posted 08 April 2002 - 08:26 AM

What a story Aubri! You're right "Sylvia" with Balanchine's name is still listed!:eek: One would think there would be an explanation.:confused:

In looking over this subject, I think I would like to say "Amen!" to Victoria's comment:

Making "stars" out of 12 year olds has nothing at all to do with the making of a dancer/artist.


Many thanks for your replies.

#36 BW

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Posted 06 April 2002 - 03:41 AM

G, thank you for the explanation - that does help me understand why there are so many at the NYC finals! And I appreciate the clarification on the judging aspect, as well as, the awarding of the ABT Studio Contract.

If our schedule permits, I hope to stop by for some of the competition. When I last looked, their website said that after April 15, the exact competition schedule will be available.

I appreciate everyone's posts. I do want to point out, that in asking these questions, I did not in any way mean to disparage the competition...I did, however, want to try to clarify some things which you all have helped me do.

Victoria, you mentioned, some returning competitors from your school...I wonder, on the whole, how many competitors return the following year in general... I am sure the organization has grown tremendously in the last two years and that each ensuing year their procedures become more streamlined. It is a huge undertaking.:)

P.S. Would any of you mind enlarging upon your comments about children doing variations that were created for adult dancers? I'm not sure that I understand you - do you mean 11 year olds, 12 year olds? If I recall correctly, the competition does have a list of dances that it suggests, maybe even requires, and if that is so, how can one avoid doing these variations? Or are you meaning that these specific variations can and should be modified for the younger(up to what age?) competitors?

#37 BW

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Posted 28 March 2002 - 05:18 AM

In total agreement about the need for people to be paid and paid properly!:) Although I've never been involved professionally in the dance world - anyone that knows me could a test to that! - I do take your points seriously about this and the hard work as well!

In regard to funding, I am interested in how it all works because I always find it fascinating to learn how people make a go in the nonprofit world...especially in the arts. I am not the fundraiser type, but I am interested in the "administration" side of things... It's a tough world out there and the arts need all the help we can give them!

#38 BW

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Posted 25 March 2002 - 08:47 PM

I just finished reading two threads in this section: the one entitled something along the lines of "there are competitions and there are competitions" and then the one about "judging" and I began to wonde what the real value of some of these competitions really is.

I've chosen YGPA as my topic because it's the only one I've ever seen in action. I attended last year, albeit only a small part of the final rounds in NYC....Much of what we saw was pretty bad...then we went out for dinner and later heard that the really good dancers had been scheduled to come on later in the evening... What is the point of having dancers win in the first rounds when they are really not any good? Why bring these people all the way from wherever it is they're from and make them pay for hotels and transportation when they have absolutely no hope??

And Aubri's post on the "judging" thread was nothing if not upsetting!

What value do young dancers really get from this particular competition? I suppose the winners to get offers to various programs and schools... Would they not have gotten these offers if they had auditioned as most people do?

I would love to hear some thoughts on this. Thanks.

#39 BW

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Posted 26 March 2002 - 10:25 AM

It's great that people in Japan are able to participate. I will have to go check out their website to see exactly where the regionals are held there. So this means that the winners over there, must then come to NY in May - which must be terribly expensive!:eek: I know that the cost of just about everything is much more in Japan, so I am guessing that unless there are some really good scholarships offered there, it must really limit the students who choose to dance to those of a very much higher socio-economic level than the students in the USA. There's no argument that ballet and all its trappings is a very expensive pursuit here but for anyone who is not familiar with life and its costs in Japan, there is a world of difference in what the cost of lessons, studio time, stage rentals, etc., are between our two countries!

OK, now that I've digressed(although I do think it's an interesting sub-topic: the whole economic base idea of the competitors), I want to go back to a question that I posed earlier. One that Victoria tried to address: Why are there so many competitors who arrive in NYC for the finals that are really not very good, either technically or artistically? Last year they went on forever!

I also would like to know if you think it is important or even imperative that students who are really aiming for a professional career in ballet compete in these kinds of things...OK, let's limit it to YGPA? What makes a teacher encourage a student to do the YGPA ,anddo you think it is a good experience for anyone to go into this competition - and if not anyone, what is the criteria used to make the decision.

I am not expecting definitive answers but rather hoping to draw out some discussion on the subject if anyone else is interested!:)

#40 BW

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Posted 27 March 2002 - 05:20 AM

Vrsfanatic, thank you for your very informative response - it has helped me understand the reasons why various schools and individuals may have chosen to attend. The part about the foreign students was an eye opener for me!

You obviously are with a preprofessional school and it is interesting to hear how it works in that atmosphere... I know that there are also people who enter the competition who are not with such well organized schools or programs, and I wonder if their approach is somewhat less realistic sometimes?

I appreciate your explanation of the finer points - especially the age aspect within the competition as well as your particular program's way of dealing with it.

Many thanks! :)

#41 BW

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Posted 27 March 2002 - 11:49 AM

Vrsfanatic,

I stand corrected on the aforesaid misnomer - damn the pre-pros and full speed ahead with "professional"! And I don't mean this sarcastically at all. I beg to say that I was only using the lingo I had picked up in cyberland.

I admire both your directness and Victoria's on this subject, and appreciate the fact that both of your programs do send students to this particular competition - all the more reason for my applauding your comments!

From what both of you have written, it does seem to me a pity that this competition is open to younger students - say below 15 or so. I wonder about the financial side of things myself... Where does the money go? Are the judges paid for their time...and how can anyone not have a vested interest if one of their own students is competing at the very same time they are sitting in judgement? It would be interesting to know how much is spent on PR, rental of space, guest speakers, etc. I do know that fundraising is in there somewhere too - in donations in kind as well as outright gifts of money...but how much is from the fees the competitors pay?

So many questions - so little time!:) Money dealings aside, I am very thankful that you both took the time to post so thoughtfully on this topic. Many thanks!

#42 BW

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Posted 02 May 2002 - 09:58 AM

Since this weekend YAGP is beginning their final phase, I can't help wondering if anyone will decide to post their impressions of this year's competition. From looking at their website, it certainly does seem more organized this time around.

I am hoping to make it in if I can just to take a look - especially at the senior finalists if possible. I can't help but wonder if Aubri or any of the other posters, or readers, here are having any of their students attend this year... I hope if they do that their experiences this time will be better and that we might hear about them, too.

Archaeo, I just noticed that no one addressed your question about buying tickets! The answer is yes - at the door at Fordham University right next to Lincoln Center. If you go to the YAGP website they have posted the schedule of events. There is also a telephone number and they are quite good about returning phone calls ASAP!

#43 BW

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Posted 11 May 2002 - 03:37 AM

Marga, I find this shocking! That there were students who

were given the privilege of going straight to the finals because their teacher was a judge at the competition as well as the choreographer of the grand defilé (the young dancers ballet) and they trusted her judgment in choosing and coaching students for the event.  


This certainly does not seem "kosher" to me. A competition is a competition...otherwise, why not change the whole program into a "by invitation" only event? I am serious.

In my opinion, it is unbelievable that there were judges judging their own students at the competition - let alone, being allowed to just bring their own students (even one student!) to a "competition" without having to go through the same trials at the regional that everyone else had to go through....even sending a video is better than this. This is beginning to remind me of the Canadian skaters vs. the Russian skaters at the Olympics!;) But seriously, a "competition" is just that, if it is run fairly and well.

I have no doubt that the intentions of the people that started the YAGP were totally above board...and very good. I think it has a great deal of potential but obviously needs some serious organizational work. Lack of organization is one thing, but this double standard of allowing students to "enter" is entirely on another level. If what you are saying is really true, I am really amazed. Aubri's post back in the beginning of this thread were bad enough - this is worse, because, if true it is so obviously wrong.

Balletmama, I have no doubt that there have been many good things that have come out of YAGP, and that many participants have benefited in all sorts of different ways...but the accounts that have been posted on this thread are not to be taken lightly. New events like this take time and fine tuning. If YAGP is to continue, it is my hope that the originators and organizers will be made aware of these disparities and complaints...otherwise it does not bode well.

I urge the participants and their schools and parents to write directly to YAGP to let them know of their concerns - questions, complaints and concerns don't do much good {except for "venting":)} unless they are known by the people who can effect change.

#44 BW

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Posted 12 May 2002 - 06:50 AM

I really wish that one of the founders or top officials from the YAGP would read these posts and respond. Hope springs eternal! :)

#45 BW

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Posted 14 May 2002 - 09:36 AM

Thought some of you might have missed this in yesterday's (May 13th) paper:

"Promising Young Talent on Display, With or Without Music" by Jack Anderson

Dance Students shared the stage with experienced professionals when Youth America Grand Prix held its 2002 gala and awards ceremony last Monday night at Alice Tully Hall.

The competition, for classical and contemporary ballet students 8 to 19 was founded in 1999 by Larissa and Gennadi Saveliev...

for more read on - and it's worth reading! :)
http://www.nytimes.c...nce/13COMP.html


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