Posted 11 June 2002 - 08:43 AM
Posted 11 June 2002 - 10:37 AM
Posted 13 June 2002 - 08:13 AM
This is just one ballet-goer/competition-goer/world traveler's impressions. There are 114 entrants this year & many, many 'new faces' on the competition scene. Pleasant surprises from the novices can occur. So best of luck to all the competitors - anyone can win!!!
But Gigi asked for pre-competition thoughts, so here I go, ready to land on my tush, with egg on my face, if I am dead-wrong!
GENERAL LEITMOTIFS -
WOAH...look at that power-packed contingent from the People's Republic of China. I've seen all of them at last summer's Shanghai IBC. WATCH OUT FOR CHINA, as a whole. They are amazing!!!!
USA has tons of talent - watch out for the BOSTON & WASHINGTON, DC (both Washington Ballet & Kirov Academy) contingents!!!!!
And watch out for the Eastern-Euro Men (one amazing Russian who I've followed from age 14...whew!!!) & many of the Japanese. Not to forget possible surprises from the Latin Americans!
JUNIOR GIRLS -
TWO EXQUISITE CHINESE LADIES will be battling each other for gold & even possible Grand Prix, just as they did in 2002 helsinki & 2001 Shanghai.
*Yao Wei - Helsinki GND PRIX & Shanghai silver. Delectable dancer, lyrical but also a memorable 'Esmeralda' in Shanghai that was one of my all-time balletgoing highlights.
*Fang Zong-Jing - Gold in both Shanghai & Helsinki (but Yao Wei bested her in Helsinki by copping the highest prize of all, Gnd Prix). Also won 2001 Grand Prix at lausanne. Could easily win it all here. A bit more muscular/less lyrical, but just as impressive, as Yao Wei.
At least TWO USA ladies will also be in the hunt for gold & trying to upset the Dynamic Duo from China:
* Ashley Canterna of Kirov Academy in Wash, DC- took highest jr ladies medal at the last Varna competition in 2000, as well as Youth America Gnd prix top prize in 2000. Personality-plus and a strong technique. Bet the audience will go wild for her!!
* Elizabeth Gahl of Washington School of Ballet - gorgeous dancer who won top honors in Youth Am Gnd prix one year after Canterna ('01). I've admired her since she was quite young!!
Other hopes from the USA who, I know, are very strong include Melissa Hough of DC & Kristina Pulcini of Boston.
JUNIOR BOYS -
Three with strong, strong possibilities to win this division:
* Danny Tidwell of USA - Kirov Academy in DC - won the top prize for jr lads (silver medal) at 2001 Shanghai in grand style - all the more impressive considering that he was the only non-Chinese/Asian on the winners podium. Watch out for his contemporary number.
* Yang Jiao of Liao Ning, China - was right behind Danny T. in Shanghai IBC last year, winning bronze. I fell in love with Yang's contemporary number...so this will be a battle-royal among contemporary dance masters..Danny-vs.Yang, part II??
* Yudai Fukuoka of Japan, 2001 Helsinki silver medalist, cannot be overlooked, however!
SENIOR LADIES -
Three clear favorites among those who I know...any of the three can win, depending on stylistic preferences of the judges:
* I give the slight edge to Wu Haiyan of Beijing, China - winner of last year's Shanghai IBC in senior division, *shocking* the pre-competition fave, a Shanghai ballerina who had won gold in Varna in 2000. If Wu dances her Giselle in Jackson...watch out!!! Made me cry; made everyone in the audience cry. So touching.
* USA's Sarah Lamb - soloist at Boston Ballet - winner of silver medals at both Nagoya '99 and NYC0IBC 2000. Exquisite Petipa/Vaganova-style. Precise, crystalline, lovely positions. Wonderful Princess Florine in Boston 'Beauty' a year ago.
* Japan's Emi Hariyama, now with Boston Ballet as corps...and the lady who so impressed me five days ago, in St petersburg's maly Ballet, as Odette/Odile. If the judges want the ultra-lyrical lines...Emi H. is sure to rank high.
Interesting name in sr women's division, although I've never seen her perform: Spain's Nadiesda Yanowsky. Must be related to former winners Yuri & Zenaida Yanowski? If pedigree is any indication...
SENIOR MEN -
Among the guys whom I've seen in competitions &/or performance, there's one who is the clear pre-fave:
* Russia's Mikhail Ilyn, now a soloist with Miami City Ballet & formerly with the Kirov-Mariinsky, then Boston Ballet. A WONDER since I first saw him at age 14 in Vaganova Academy. Demi-caractere, shortish but with good line & amazing jumps. Won 1998 Vaganova Prix gold; 2000 NYC-IBC silver. Watch out, Jackson, here comes Ilyn!!
Others whom I've seen with strong technique who'll definitely be in the hunt for medals -
* Brazils' Rene Salazar - 2000 NYC-IBC bronze
* Estonia's Sergei Upkin - actually from St Petes, Russia & Vaganova Acad grad; won Grand prix at 2001 'Arabesque' competition in Pern; bronze at Varna in 2000
* Ukraine's Yaroslav Salinko - bronze in paris 2000 & a special 'Nureyev prize' at the 2000 Nureyev competition in Budapest
And let's not forget two Americans who should do well, given their past competitive experience: Jonathan Jordan of Washington Ballet (Varna 2000 finalist) & Chauncey Hildestadt, NYC-IBC 2000 finalist.
AND THE 'SURPRISES' WHO I HAVEN'T MENTIONED because I've never seen them. Good luck to all the competitors!!!
Posted 13 June 2002 - 08:36 AM
Posted 13 June 2002 - 05:15 PM
I have seen the Boston contingent you said to watch for in Jackson perform in Boston, and they are as good as you say. Sarah Lamb is exquisite, Emi Hariyama is long and lovely and Kristina Pulcini is lovely and very talented as well. Sarah Lamb and Kristina Pulcini are both former students of Tatiana Legat and are coached by her and Tatiana Terekhova, who is their Ballet Mistress, and Emi Hariyama studied at the Bolshoi. Their training is beautiful, they are a very impressive group and it's very exciting for Boston to see them compete.
Posted 17 June 2002 - 09:30 AM
I'm working overseas for much of the competition period & cannot attend this so, hopefully, someone can post reports. (Hint-hint..I know that some Alertnik-moms are attending)
We can also consult the official website of the competition:
Also, there are detailed reports, on a daily basis, in the Jackson, MS, local newspaper, The Clarion Ledger:
For example, today's (June 17 '02) edition includes four articles, including this one, which mentions that Russia's Mikhail Ilyn & Mexico's Katia Carranza were the stars of last night's Round One session, in their DON Q pdd.
And here is a link straight to the archive of ALL articles dealing with this year's competition - one handy-dandy link for all the news on the days to come!
p.s. -...but we've still love to receive first-hand reports from those Alertniks in attendance ... ;)
Posted 17 June 2002 - 11:30 AM
Posted 19 June 2002 - 07:04 AM
Well, Round I ends today & some of the 'big guns' are up this afternoon & tonight. Good luck to two of my local faves -- Ashley Canterna & Danny Tidwell -- who compete in today's 2 pm session...along with the the exquisite Yao Wei of China. And it's Emi Hariyama of Japan tonight...ooooo....I'm getting nervous! Good Karma to one & all!
Tomorrow the jury will deliberate on who-makes-it-on to Round II, which begins on Friday & continues through Sunday.
Posted 19 June 2002 - 10:58 AM
Posted 19 June 2002 - 11:25 AM
Posted 19 June 2002 - 02:27 PM
The opening ceremonky was modeled after the olympics, with the torch and all. (Rasta Thomas carried it) All the Mississippians gave their speeches (mayor of Jackson, governor of MS, etc.) After intermission, the dancing begun. Miami City Ballet performed an okay "Rubies", after whom Adrienne Canterna danced a variation from Esmeralda, which was very disappointing. It was the one with the developpes that smack the tambourine, only she couldn't manage to reach her leg up there, therefore having to move the tambourine down. Her pirouettes were off, and she stumbled out of most of them. However, her fouettes were what showed everyone that she still has it. Then Rasta Thomas performed his world premiere of "The Awekening" which was a very athletic piece. I thought his performance was wonderful. Then they performed "Shogun" together, in which Canterna's performance was better than her Esmeralda, but in general, the piece was not as clean and well-rehearsed as in 1998 (for obvious reasons). Last, Miami City performed "Mambo No. 2 am" which was an amazing little ballroom piece. They had beautiful dancers performing it as well. The program described it as a "work in progress"s
Round 1, Session 2:
Okay, I've forgotten some names and pieces, so bear with me. Feel free to ask me questions about it as well. Jonathan Jordan fell (not on his rear, but nonetheless, a noticeable fall) out of the last pirouettes of his second piece, most likely knocking him out of the competition. His technique was not so pristine, and he had many mistakes. A new face in Senior men, Jon Drake, was actually quite good. His dancing had very clean technique, and his stage presence was off the wall, even through bows! He had an awesome reception from the audience as well. There was a Polish girl who did quite well in one performance, and okay in here other. Definitely the spotlight of the night were the Mexican girl and Russian man. They performed a gorgeous Don Q, and her balances were amazing. However, her fouettes weren't quite as clean as the rest of her performance.
Posted 19 June 2002 - 03:30 PM
Posted 20 June 2002 - 07:14 AM
Victoria & Juliet - Thanks for the updates on Gahl & Pulcini...that's too bad, as I'm sure that both would have fared very well indeed. In drawing my 'oddsmakers list,' I was going by the list of competitors in the Jackson site, three days ago. Obviously, they have not excissed the names of originally-selected competitors who, for whatever reason, chose not to attend.
So...who knows if all of the pre-announced fabulous Chinese competitors are even in Jackson?
The list of dancers who made it on to Round II should be posted by now. Following is the link to the press releases on the official site. The list of those who passed on to Round 2 should be at the top. You'll need AdobeAcrobat program on your computer to view it.
No surprises - all the favorites have passed on...except for China's Yao Wei, the lady who won the Grand Prix at both Lausanne & the Helsinki IBC last year. Odd...I bet she did not appear in Jackson. If she did & was eliminated in Round I, then THAT would be a super-shock.
Posted 20 June 2002 - 11:45 AM
ALL of the 'pre-competition faves' who we've listed -- and who we know to be attending -- have made it. Congratulations to all!!!
Posted 20 June 2002 - 02:40 PM
I didn't get to see any more of Round I, unfortunately. I wanted to watch Danny Tidwell, Ashley Canterna, and Melissa Hough perform, but since they were dancing in the afternoon, my mom couldn't get away from work to take me. I cried about that one for a while.
I will be going to the first session of Round II tomorrow, and will try to update you all ASAP (but I'm grounded from the computer indefinitely for mouthing off to ole Maw and Paw ) I'll also be attending the winner's Encore Gala, so I'll let you all know how that goes as well. (Round 3 tickets have been sold out for a while.)
Oh yeah, and for anyone who wants to go to the next USA IBC in Jackson, they are always in need of volunteers, which I think gets you a free ride into all of the performances (you may have to stand, but it's worth it!). Kirovboy, email me please, so that we can chat.
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