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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:39 am 
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Thanks for that Star link, Kate! It reminded me, too, that my daughter said the Voluntaries performance was really outstanding. Greta Hodgkinson and Aleksander Antonjevic (sp??) danced the lead and she said Hodgkinson's dancing was better even than the time last year when we saw her do the Autumn lead in Kudelka's Four Seasons -- and that was lump-in-the-throat beautiful. Sounds like NBoC came with their A game Saturday night, and all of this could do much to bolster their reputation in the new Kain era.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:10 am 
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The woman from the Royal Ballet is only a first artist, so she's got a good while to go before achieving principal status (soloist, first soloist, principal). But I think she has danced a number of soloist-type roles. Unfortunately the costs of getting to London and the very high cost of Royal Ballet tickets has precluded me from seeing the Royal Ballet more than once in three years so I can't comment on her dancing in general.

In anycase, I hope the competition runs on a more regular schedule in the future so that more dancers get a chance to take part.

Kate


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:39 pm 
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http://www.thestar.com/article/188496

More on the competition including details about the 'group' effort to get costumes for the R&J pdd which was inserted after Hirano's injury. Turns out that the tights came from the ABT dancer, the shirt from the RDB dancer, the shoes from another NBoC dancer and the cape from the Royal Ballet dancer. Now about the dance belt...:o)

The article indicates that Hirano has already had surgery, but I wonder how anyone can guarantee a return within 6 months right away.

Kate


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:01 pm 
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The Royal Danish Ballet has issued a press release about Birkkjær's win (I will translate this in the next couple of days)

Korpsdanser Ulrik Birkkjær vinder Erik Bruhn konkurrence i Toronto
Ved den syvende Erik Bruhn Konkurrence i Toronto i denne weekend lykkedes det den kun 21-årige Ulrik Birkkjær at vinde den prestigefulde pris foran konkurrenter fra verdens største og bedste kompagnier. Alle kompagnier havde sendt deres bed-ste dansere, der dog ikke måtte være solodansere.
Ulrik Birkkjær er kun den anden danske mandlige danser, der har vundet konkurrencen, idet Johan Kobborg vandt konkurrencen i 1993. Ulrik Birkkjær optrådte med Bournonvilles Blomsterfesten i Genzano sammen med solist Yao Wei. Deres moderne stykke var et nyt værk af Tim Rushton, Opus, til klavermusik af Valentin Silvestrov.

Balletmester Frank Andersen:
”Det er naturligvis en kæmpe ære at modtage en så prestigefuld internationale pris som Erik Bruhn prisen. Ikke bare fordi det er en pris opkaldt efter en af de største danske balletdansere nogensinde, men også fordi prisen er et massivt rygstød til en ung danser på vej frem. Det var en ganske vidunderlig fornemmelse at se både Ulrik og Yao danse så fantastisk og dog afslappet.
Der var ingen tvivl i vores jury og heller ikke hos publikum om, hvem der skulle vinde. Prisen konsoliderer, at vi stadig kan udvikle de bedste dansere på verdensplan, og at Den Kongelige Ballet er på et meget højt internationalt niveau disse år.”

Den danske danser, Erik Bruhn, der regnes som en af det 20. århundredes største dansere, afsluttede sin karriere som balletmester i Canada, og det er til ære for ham, at denne konkurrence afholdes.
Der uddeles to priser til henholdsvis den bedste kvindelige danser og den bedste mandlige danser. Deltagerne skal være mellem 18 og 26 år, og udover deltagere fra National Ballet of Canada og Den Kongelige Ballet deltager der dansere fra The Royal Ballet og American Ballet Theatre.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:14 pm 
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Another...rather Canado-centric review of the competition:

From the Hamilton Spectator


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:08 am 
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I found this archived article from the NYT about the 1989 competition...

Interesting read!

m2


http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.h ... A96F948260


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:24 am 
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Very interesting!

As an update - both Rose Gad and Silja Schandorff are principal dancers with the Royal Danish Ballet and Henning Albrechtson is assistant Ballet Master to Frank Andersen. Does anyone know of what became of the Canadians mentioned - Belinda Hatley's name rings a bell, but I don't recognize the male dancer's name at all.

I don't find it quite so odd that the company directors are judges - after all most of the judges in the various ballet competitions around the world are either artistic directors or have some affiliation with one company or another. It's an inbred world, so it's near impossible to find someone without some connection. Perhaps by requiring the judges to be from the companies, but forbidding them for voting for their own, Bruhn has in fact avoid controversy - at least this way it's all on the table. If you had 'unaffiliated' judges, there could always be allegations of favoritism - as is a considerable problem at some of the other competitions.

As to the choice of companies - to be fair, I can see why NYCB and RSB might be omitted. The RSB has produced some top quality dancers - including two current soloists at the Royal Danish Ballet, but to be fair, I don't think their quality would regularly stand up to that of the other companies included. And whilst the NYCB includes some dancers with competitions on their resumes, I can't think of a single occasion when a current NYCB dancer has ever participated in any ballet competition. It just doesn't seem to be a NYCB 'thing'.

Also, trying to coordinate between more than four companies might have been a logistical nightmare. It's been hard enough - as this article and the five year gap between the last two competitions point out - just to get four companies together.

Kate


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:28 am 
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Jennifer Fournier is a principal with NBoC: I saw her dance the lead in Firebird last year. Very strong and lithe (though her decision to play the bird with her mouth clamped firmly shut -- like a beak? -- was very distracting). Canadian product Stephen Legate moved on to San Francisco Ballet at some point, don't know exactly when. I believe he made it to principal rank there before retiring a year or two ago. He and his wife, fellow SFB alum, Evelyn Cisneros are now in Southern California where I believe she is AD of the Ballet Pacifica school. I seem to recall reading a profile of him somewhere that said even while dancing, he competed in cycling and triathlons and, again if memory serves me correctly, I think he's now studying chiropractic medicine.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:38 am 
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Sorry - I was referring to the Canadian dancers mentioned in the 1989 article. The name Belinda Hatley rings a bell, but the man is a mystery to me.

Kate


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:49 am 
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The CBC and Canada.com weigh in, though with pretty much a rehash of previous articles:

http://www.cbc.ca/arts/theatre/story/20 ... ml?ref=rss

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news ... a4afe3886d


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:50 am 
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Those were the Canadians referred to. I thought Hatley was identified as being with Royal?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:30 am 
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Errr...my brain is clearly misplaced. Makes sense because I associated Hatley with the Royal Ballet.

Kate


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:50 am 
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Belinda Hatley is among the few native born and trained British dancers in the upper echelons of the Royal Ballet -- although she remains a First Soloist. Here is her biography from the Royal Ballet website:

Belinda Hatley


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:15 am 
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Here's another review:
http://www.danceviewtimes.com/2007/Winter/10/erikbruhnprize.html


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