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Moscow IBC - Round I Results (facts; minimal comments)

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A total of 56 Juniors (46 girls + 10 boys) and 66 seniors (35 women + 31 men) began the competition. Round I ended last night. The 'survivors' into Round II -- which commences tomorrow -- were announced a short while ago.

Continuing into Round II, in the order of their 'competing numbers' which were drawn by lot (thus not reflecting current standing). However, I've starred (*) the names of those who, I feel, have the greatest chance of earning medals, based on round I performances + 'the buzz' from audience:

SENIOR WOMEN (17 of 35 selected)

Natalia Ashikhmina (Moscow, Russia)

Yevgenia Bespalova (Voronezh, Russia)

* Wang Qimin (China) - one of the huge favorites...China sent only two dancers -- Wang and her partner, Han Po -- to this competition. Both are winners of prior IBC competitions.

Nadezhda Gonchar (Ukraine)

Anna Zharova (Novosibirsk, Russia) she & partner, Denis Bordiyan, danced a new modern pdd by the 'latest choreographic sensation' in Russia -- Kirov Ballet soloist, Kirill Semenov (of recent 'Nutcracker' fame)

Nadezhda Ivanova (Yekaterinburg, Russia)

* Joo-Won Kim (Korea)

* Oksana Kucheruk (St. Petersburg's Maly) - she & fellow-Maly star, Roman Mikhailov, are also among huge faves. Interestingly, she shared the 1999 Luxembourg IBC silver medal with her strongest competition here - the Bolshoi's Ekaterina Schipulina.

Gulsina Mavlukasova (Ufa, Russia)

Roberta Marcues (Brazil)...one of *many* competitors from Brazil & the Bolshoi's affiliate institution in Joinville.

Yelizabeta Nebesnaya (Moscow, Russia)

* Guzel Suleimanova (Ufa, Russia) - the 'Ufa Couple' are also favored for medals. Warmed up the audience with a searing 'Flames of Paris.' She won silver at 1999 Kiev IBC ("Lifar Prix") and a diploma at last year's Nureyev prix/Budapest.

Keiko Takeichi (Japan)

Alya Tanykpayeva (Kazakhstan)

* Yuri Higuchi (Japan...but works in Perm, Russia) - another big fave for medal. She previously won '96 Prix de Lausanne & studied at the Royal Ballet School. Here, she is partnered by last year's Varna IBC sensation, Konstantin Kuznetsov (non-competitor here)

** Yekaterina Schipulina (Moscow - Bolshoi) THE one to beat. Won silver at '99 Luxemb IBC.

* Nadezhda Shepacheva (Moldova) - one-half of a very strong pair from Moldova

SENIOR MEN (23 of 31 selected)

Dalmiro Astesiano (Argentina)

Denis Bordiyan (Novosibirsk, Russia) - danced 'Flower Fest' with Anna Sharova, above.

Alexei Borzov (Moscow, Russia)

Sergei Vasyuchenko (Moscow, Russia) - partner of one of the strongest Junior girls, Polina Semionova. Memorable Giselle Act II pdd, round I.

*Alexander Voltchkov (Bolshoi - Moscow) One of four Bolshoi dancers competiting. Strong prince Desire, with non-comp partner, Xenia Tsaitseva.

Andrei Gura (Ukraine)

Vladimir Dmitriev (Moscow, Russia)

* Sergei Dorensky (Moscow, Russia) - one of the three Bolshoi sr. male competitors

*Denis Zaintdinov (Ufa, Russia) - a huge fave...'Flames of Paris' with Guzel Suleimanova.

Arkady Zinov (Ufa, Russia)

Saneyuki Kavasima (Japan)

**Roman Mikhailov (St. Petersburg Maly) - with Oksana Kucheruk, one of strongest pairs. Sleeping Beauty pdd in Rnd I.

Ahmed Yehia Nael (Egypt)...a nice surprise from an atypical 'ballet country'- Ali in Corsaire. (see also the Malaysian jr. girl, below)

Tomonori Ochi (Japan)

* Leonardo Gaston Reale (Argentina) - came out with all-guns-firing as Solor; one of two 'Argentinean sensations,' along with a Jr. girl

Leonid Sarafanov (Ukraine)

* Ruslan Skvortsov (Bolshoi-Moscow) Schipulina's partner...Ali in Corsaire

Tiago Soares-Pinto (Brazil)

Sergei Teplov (Moscow)

Zhanibek Usin (Kazakhstan)

** Han Po (China) - HUGE gold-medal fave, along with his partner, Wang Qimin. Po is a competition vet...won 1995 Helsinki IBC Jr Gold. Incredible turn-out and line. High jump.

Naoki Kasimoto (Japan)

Igor Shepachev (Moldova)...and partner of Nadezhda Shepacheva, who also advanced.

JUNIOR GIRLS ( 26 of 46 selected)

* Sulaihi Ahmed-Kamil (Malaysia) Big delightful surprise. Danced lovely Terezina variation from 'Napoli' in Rnd I

Julia Bolshakova (Moscow, Russia)

Valeria Bocharova (Voronezh, Russia)

Yelena Boyarko (Ukraine)

Veronika Varnovskaya (Moscow, Russia)

* Anna Ginsburg (Moscow) strong Corsaire 3rd Odalisque, rnd I

Julia Grebenshchikova (Voronezh)

Yelena Dobrianskaya(Ukraine)

* Natalia Domratcheva (Ukraine) another big fave...won many past competitions but perhaps too much expected of her & she fell a tad short of the hype?

Veronika Zemliakova (Ufa)

Darya Ivanova (Moscow)

Anna Kirsanova (Kazakhstan)

* Natalia Kleymenova (Moscow)...did not 'show' on first day; given chance to dance on Day 4, as the last Jr Girl of Rnd I...it paid off

Maria Kochetkova (Moscow)

* Yekaterina Kreisanova (Moscow) - huge fave...won Junior Gold at the recent Luxembourg 2001 IBC

Maria Kuimova (Krasnoyarsk, Russia)

**Misa Kuranaga (Japan) along with Polina Semenova & Kreisanova, a huge fave for this division. Spectacular Masha in 'Nutcracker,' round I. Won Prix de Lausanne '01; will apprentice to San Fco Ballet.

Anastasia Kurkova (Moscow)

Maria Martysheva (Moscow)

**Polina Semenova (Moscow) - memorable Giselle, rnd I, partnered by Sr. Man competitor.

Milena Sidorova (Ukraine)- not strongest classical dancer but the "hit" of the contemporary rounds with her own choreography--a modern take on Prokofiev's 'Pillow Dance' from R&J

Alexandra Sudoreeva (Kazakhstan) - ***only rnd I competitor to select the Ashton version of 'Elssler pdd/Fille' solo! For the first time, official rules allow choice of *either* the Gorsky or Ashton versions of the Lise and Colin solos...no boy atempted the Ashton Colin. [Also this year, the male & female variations of Balanchine's Tchi PDD are on the official senior-level variations list. many 'takers' there!]

Anna Uvarova (Moscow) - one of many competitors from the privately-funded Genadi Lediakh Academy...interesting to see more and more 'private' competitors, not just those affiliated with the major state theaters.

Ekaterina Shelkina (Ukraine)

* Paula Andrea Elizonda (Argentina) another big fave...over-the-top technique for some, as Swanhilda

Sabina Yapparova (Ufa)

JUNIOR BOYS (6 of 10 selected)

Dmitry Akulinin (Ufa, Russia)

* Alexander Butrimovich (Nizhny Novgorod)

fine Nutcracker Prince, rnd I

Vycheslav Lopatin (Voronezh, Russia)

Ruslan Savdenov (Kazakhstan)

Vladimir Tristan (Ukraine)

Dastan Tchinibayev (Kazakhstan)

Only two representatives from the USA competed, both in Junior Girls division. Neither one went on to the second round. There was quite a bit of 'buzz' about one of the two 'Americans'...as she was born in Ukraine. She is Gulnare Abrahamson, who is a protegee of Kirov-great Alla Osipenko, who now teaches in Philadelphia, PA. The other American was Miriam Golumb (don't have her bio).

No French this year; several wished to compete but were not given 'byes' by the POB management, as the POB season extends into mid-July this year. Some POB dancers have opted, instead, to compete in Shanghai, later this summer.

No Cubans or Canadians, who have done so well, historically, in this competition. Odd.

This is the 9th quadrennial Moscow IBC. During the past 8 edition, only three dancers have been awarded the Grand Prix: 1973 - Nadezhda Pavlova; 1981 - Irek Mukhamedov (now with UK Royal Ballet); 1997 - Andrei Batalov (now with Royal Danish Ballet).

- Jeannie

[ 06-14-2001: Message edited by: Jeannie ]

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Thanks very much for posting this, Jeannie, and please feel free to make comments -- I think people will want to know what you think about the general quality of the competitors, not to mention the winners :)

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Thanks for posting this Jeannie, I do not know of anywhere else to get this current of info on he web, and love to keep track. Keep it coming if you can, even just the bare bones. Time enough for analysis later. . .

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Jeannie -- Thank you so much for all the information. Just from looking at the list, the senior category looks very very competitive; perhaps more so than the junior category. It's a little to bad that this competition doesn't have as much diversity as the other IBCs. No dancers from Spain or Cuba, which have been producing many medal winners in the past?! Once again, many thanks for the information!!

Oh, one question: I've looked at the list of medals that will be awarded in this competition and I was surprised that there were 2 categories of medals: soloists and duets for both junior and the senior division. Does this mean that there will be 2 gold medals (for e.g.) in the junior/senior division -- one to a competitor who performed as a soloists and one to a duet dancer? That's a lot of medals to give!!

[ 06-13-2001: Message edited by: Terry ]

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Terry - Not as many medals as you may think! Just gold, silver, bronze per gender, per category (jr or sr). 'Solo medalists' are selected from among dancers who opt to compete either in solo or pdd. In addition to the 'main medals,' the jury might decide to give awards to 'Best Couple' without distinction to whether they are 'Jr' or 'Sr' ( no 'Jr Couples' here...only a couple of 'Jr Girls' who happen to be dancing with Sr. Men).

The Grand Prix may or may not be awarded. If awarded, it could go to a dancer in any 'age category' or gender, e.g., Nadezhda Pavlova, 'only' a Jr Girl, won it in '73.

Some competition-jaded folk seem to think that it is a 'tactic' to compete in a pair...more time in front of judges per round (they see you in adagio, solo, coda...not just a solo). Small girls can be better 'shown off' by partners, etc. I happen to believe that this makes no difference; a judge judges what he sees in front of him...a thing of beauty and artistry...looks just as beautiful in two minutes as in ten.

Ballet is an art; not an Olympics. What's judged in these competitions is the beauty and artistry of what's on stage...just as paintings are judged at the French Ecole des Beaux Arts or pianists are judged at the Van Cliburn competition for the beautiful tone they produce. Paintings and pianists do not jump...but they can be judged for beauty, which is what is supposed to happen in these competitions. [Judge doesn't stand with a clipboard, noting number of fouettes completed, and such.]

[ 06-14-2001: Message edited by: Jeannie ]

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Jeannie, please let us know if there's another Lali Kandelaki screeching (and fouetteing!) in the wings.

I'm not a competition guy, but the guilty pleasure of hearing reports from Varna or Moscow are when things go over the top! The saga of the "Screaming Georgian Screwdriver" will stay with me for quite some time.

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Nobody like that one, so far, Leigh!

I'm here on work, so can only catch the competition during the night sessions (seniors). First of two Round-II evening sessions tonight. I'll try to do a quick summary/results tomorrow night (or early Saturday). Finals Sat. & gala Sun.

I almost forgot to mention THE most fascinating aspect of this competition: THE RETURN OF HIS EXCELLENCY YURI GRIGOROVICH AS 'CHAIRMAN OR THE JURY'! His hand is very much in evidence at this theater, my friends. ;) His fellow jurors comprise quite a line-up:

Other Russians - Altynai Assylmuratova (now you know why she's not in London!), Sofia Golovkina, Natalia Kasatkina, Marina Semenova (yes...a living legend, at around age 92)

Belarus - Valentin Elizariev

Brazil - Maria Clara Salles de Almeida

Bulgaria - Biser Deyanov-Tadarov

Italy - Amadeo Amadio

China - Bae Susyan

Korea - Choe-Tae Ji

Netherlands - Rudi Van Dantzig

USA - John Taras

Ukraine - Viktor Litnotov

France - Michel Denard (replacing Claude Bessy)

Czech Rep. - Vlastimir Garapes

Japan - Minoru Ochi

Last night, someone unofficially circulated/leaked what seems to be a 'fake list' of points accumulated, thus far, by each competitor...something unheard of at any past IBC. I'm keeping it to myself, so as not to perpetuate something that may be very wrong and, thus, unfair to the competitors and coaches. However, it just goes to show you that things are *never* boring at the Bolshoi!

[ 06-14-2001: Message edited by: Jeannie ]

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So those "rankings," Jeannie, are not true then? Oooo, this is getting exciting!

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As I wrote 24 hours ago "...nothing ever boring at the Bolshoi"! Well, little did I know that there'd be a 3-ring circus of intrigue going on around this event...no, not the competition. The resignation of the Bolshoi AD, Rozhdestvensky, in the midst of Grigorovich's very public 'unofficial' return. Also, one of the judges at this years competition, Mme Golovkina, just 'discovered' that she's been demoted from AD of the Bolshoi Academy to teacher of the senior girls class. Shades of Dudinskaya/Sergeyev 'discovering' that they were suddenly demoted to teaching the Classe de perfection at the Vaganova ca 1970. No, nothing is ever boring at the Bolshoi.

Last session of Round Two/seniors begins in a little while. I'll have results to report very late tonight or early Saturday morning. Although I wasn't able to see all juniors, strongest girls appear to be Misa Kuranaga (Jap) and Yelena Dobrianskaya (Ukr), so far. Butrimovich is strongest Jr male. Yet to dance are a couple of jr Girls who compete with Sr men in tonight's senior round...including the highly-favored junior girl Natalia Domracheva of Ukraine, competing in Blanchine's "Tarantella" for the classical round. (!!!) The St. Petes senior couple (Oksana Kucheruk & Roman Mikhalev) will perform Balanchine's Tchai Pas - immediately following Tarantella. So Moscow will enjoy a bit of a 'mini-Balanchine Fest' tonight.

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Thanks for this too, Jeannie. And, of course, if you'd like to slip in a little "What the blazes is going ON over there? chatter" in your reports.... :)

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