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Competition Question

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#1 Calliope


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Posted 19 June 2002 - 05:35 AM

I must admit to not knowing very much about the competition aspect of ballet.

Is there a reason, though, as to why so many dancers, say from ABT, seem to compete in competitions, as opposed to NYCB or SFB? I noticed just recently Julie Kent's bio had a competition she won recently. I was under the impression that competitions were "make or break" opportunities for dancers, not ongoing... oops.

#2 Natalia


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Posted 19 June 2002 - 06:53 AM

Hi, Calliope. Excellent questions!

re. Companies the Shun Ballet Competitions -

Actually, San Francisco Ballet is chock-full of competition winners & Helgi Tomasson (their AD) usually attends the Jackson IBCs! Soloist Vanesa Zahorian is just one of many competition winners (Nureyev Prix Budapest) who has flourished in SFB...ditto Lucia Lacarra.

The two companies on earth that are the mavericks in shunning competitions (for the most part) are NYCB & the Royal Ballet of UK (London & Birmingham) ...although the latter recruits TONS of competition winners to its ranks after those dancers have won competition medals, e.g., Alina Cojocaru, Chi Cao, Tamara Rojo, Zenaida Yanowsky, etc, etc.

re. Stars Who Compete

Where did you get the idea that established stars do not compete? :) My goodness, the last Jackson IBC in 1998, for example, saw the Bolshoi Ballet stars -- Anna Antonicheva & Dmitri Belogolovtsev -- compete & earn medals...she won Sr Ladies Gold & he won Sr Men's Silver (to Rasta Thomas, who earned the gold). This year, the prima ballerina (top-top star) of China's National Ballet in Beijing is competitng in Jackson; needless to say, anyone who beats her must be spectacular.

To compete & win in the major IBCs is considered a huge-big-deal in a number of countries, such as Russia & China. It simply adds to the prestige of one's resume; in the east, a dancer's laurels/competition titles appear on each & every printed programme, for every performance, for the rest of his/her life.

It's a cultural & historic thing. Competitions are not in the 'culture' of NYCB...not that they should be. NYCB has its very unique culture & 'value-system' (for lack of better term). I'd like to think that there is room in this world for all cultures & ways-of-thinking! It's the spice of life. :)

- Jeannie

#3 Guest_Mark_*

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Posted 19 June 2002 - 10:52 PM

In the past the Royal Ballet School did have competitors at least in the Prix de Lausanne, a current teacher at my school (International Ballet School in Colorado) has had six winners their including 2 Gold, his name is German Zamuel.

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