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2006 Benois De La Danse Nominees Incl. Yesina, Kondaurova, Sarafanov

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It concentrates on finding (by having ballet directors present) first-time danced performances of extraordinary merit. The dictionary definition of "extraordinary" is "going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary". On this basis, dancers and choreographers, established or just beginning their careers, are brought forward (nominated) to be considered as prize-worthy.
What a worthy goal, especially considering that unlike film, which can be viewed again and again, the vast majority of ballet performances go unrecorded for public viewing. How else, except by the local press and occasionally national or international journals, can we hear about great debuts?

Sadly, Ballet Talkers can't see everything and report it here.

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Thanks bart, Natalia, and mouse. I always enjoy knowing more about things and doing the necessary research to find accurate info.

bart, I've known about the Peter Ustinov "connection" since I first heard of the Benois Prize, and, like you, that meant something to me. I remember seeing Ustinov on some filmed presentation (was it one of the Benois galas??), seated in the balcony, and being identified as to his relative affiliation. I've always admired and respected him.

mouse, I know who your prize-winning son is. :D

I've yet to see him dance and eagerly await the opportunity. I hope he gets a Benois nomination one day, too. It seems like a distinct possibility, since he is making waves already at such a young age!

carbro, I love your attitude. It is indeed a goal worth pursuing. Who knows where BT will be 5, 10 years from now?!

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Well, I still have my doubts. I've seen some of the nominated dancers perform in the past year and I just have a very hard time believing this is the best of the new best. It seems like connections have a lot to do with the nominations and that makes it suspect in my books.

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OK, folks - I think this press-announcement from the Russian-language ITAR-TASS news agency solves the mystery:


In fact, dancers TIED in both the male and female categories:

Best Male: Sarafanov ties with Wan Di, soloist of the Guanchou People's Army Folk Ensemble (China)

Best Female: Kondaurova ties with Kim Ju-Won of Korea

The communique also names the remaining prizes --

Best Choreographer - Boris Eifman for 'Anna Karenina'

"Special Prize" - Mats Ek

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