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Youth America Grand Prix 2007 Gala

by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 30, 2007
New York City Center
130 West 56th Street
(Audience Entrance is on West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues)
(Entrance for Studios and Offices is on West 56th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues)
New York, NY 10019
212.247.0430
About the Author:


Youth America Grand Prix Gala 2007
www.yagp.org

City Center
www.citycenter.org

(See YAGP Galas 2006)

Larissa Saveliev: Artistic Director
Gennadi Saveliev: President and Executive Director
Susan Jaffe: Artistic Coordinator
Sergey Gordeev: Director of Public Relations and External Affairs

Featuring Renowned Guest Artists
and
Winners of YAGP Ballet and Contemporary Dance
Scholarship Competition for Students
(See YAGP 2007 Winners)
Act I: The Stars of Tomorrow
Hosted by Desmond Richardson
(Notes by Sergey Gordeev)


Tomoha Terada, 12
(Tanaka Ballet Art, JAPAN), 1st Place Junior Men's Division
Variation from "Coppélia", Choreography: A. St. Leon

Paulina Guraieb Abella, 10
(Fomento Artistico Cordobes, MEXICO), Hope Award, Pre-Competitive Division
Variation from "Graduation Ball", Choreography: Lichine

Kiril Kulish, 12
(San Diego Academy of Ballet, CA, USA), Youth Grand Prix Award (Junior overall winner)
Variation from "Le Corsaire", Choreography: M. Petipa

DANCE WORLD made in TAKANE, JAPAN, 2nd Place Ensemble Division
Ballade – "Deep in My Heart", Choreography: Takane

Francesca Dugarte Romero, 17
(Academia de Ballet Clasico Nina Novak, VENEZUELA), 2nd Place Senior Women's Division
Variation from "Le Corsaire", Choreography: M. Petipa

Megumi Horiuchi, 14
Kaneta Kouno Ballet Academy, JAPAN, 1st Place Junior Women's Division
Variation from "Harlequinade", Choreography: M. Petipa

Orlando Ballet School, FL, USA, 2006 Outstanding School Award
"Dance of the Hours", Choreography: Richard Cook

Ryan Steele, 16
(Dance Dynamics Performing Arts Center. MI, USA), Sarah Chapin Langham Award Recipient
"Solo", Choreography: Carlos dos Santos Jr.

Aurora Dickie, 18
(Pavilhàod – Centro De Artes, BRAZIL), 3rd Place Senior Women's Division
Variation from "Don Quixote", Choreography: M. Petipa

Telmo Higino Gomes Moreira, 15
Escola de Danca do Conservatorio Nacional, PORTUGAL, Dance Europe Magazine's "Best European Dancer" Award Recipient
"Folia", Choreography: Catarina Moreira

Formento Artistico Cordobes, MEXICO, 1st Place Ensemble Division
"Muy Dentro De La Tierra", Choreography: Rosario Murillo

Sarah Michelle Murawski, 15
(The Rock School for Dance Education, PA, USA), Sarah Chapin Langham Award Recipient
"Rencontre", Choreography: Servy Gallardo

Young Gyu Choi, 16
(Tanz Akademie Zurich Taz, SWITZERLAND), 2nd Place Senior Men's Division
Variation from "Paquita", Choreography: M. Petipa

Camille Bracher, 15
Ballet Theatre Afrikan, SOUTH AFRICA, Outstanding Contemporary Dancer Award
"Age of Noise", Choreography: Kitty Phetla

Yoshikazu Asada (18)
(Hazaki Koshiba Ballet School, JAPAN), 2nd Place Senior Men's Division
Variation from "La Sylphide", Choreography: A. Bournonville

Whitney Jensen, 14
(Valentina Kozlova's Dance Conservatory of New York, NY, USA) & Reyneris Reyes (Non-Competing Partner, Boston Ballet), 2nd Place Junior Women's Division
Pas de Deux from "Pharaoh's Daughter", Choreography: M. Petipa

Jim Nowakowski, 17
The Timothy M. Draper Center for Dance Education, NY, USA), 1st Place Senior Men's Division
Acteon's Variation from "Diana & Acteon", Choreography: Vaganova

Melissa Hamilton, 18
(UNITED KINGDOM / GREECE), Grand Prix Award Recipient (Contract to ABT Studio Company)
Variation from "Don Quixote", Choreography: M. Petipa

The Finalists of YAGP 2007 International student ballet and contemporary dance competition
Grand Defilé , Choreography: Carlos dos Santos, Jr.

Act II: The Stars of Today
Aurelie Dupont and Manuel Legris
(Paris Opera Ballet)
"Petite Mort", Choreography: Jiri Kylian, Music: W. A. Mozart
"La Dame aux Camélias" – Black Pas de Deux, Choreography: John Neumeier, Music: F. Chopin

Marianela Nunez and Thiago Soares
(The Royal Ballet, England)
"Le Corsaire" – Pas de Deux, Choreography: Marius Petipa, Music: Adolphe Adam

Alicia Amatriain and Jason Reilly
(Stuttgart Ballet)
"Mona Lisa", Choreography: Itzik Galili, Music: Thomas Höfs

Cecilia Kerche and Vitor Luiz
(Ballet Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro)
"La Esmeralda" – Pas de Deux, Choreography: Jules Perrot, Music: Cesare Pugni

Isabella Boylston (YAGP alumna) and David Hallberg
(American Ballet Theatre)
"Quiet Music", Choreography: Benjamin Millepied, Music: Nico Muhly

Paloma Herrera (American Ballet Theatre)
Nikolaj Hübbe (NYC Ballet)
"Rubies" from "Jewels", Choreography: George Balanchine, Music: I. Stravinsky

Gennadi Saveliev and Xiomara Reyes
(American Ballet Theatre)
"Spring Waters", Choreography: Asaf Messerer, Music: S. Rachmaninoff

Rubinald Pronk and Clifford Williams
(Complexions Contemporary Ballet)
"Choke", Choreography: Dwight Rhoden, Music: Sergey Gordeev

Ashley Bouder (NYC Ballet)
Joseph Phillips (YAGP Alumnus, San Francisco Ballet)
"Stars and Stripes", Choreography: George Balanchine, Music: John Philip Sousa

Company members of MOMIX
"Moonbeams" from "Lunar Sea", Choreography: Moses Pendleton, Music: Kevin Dooley, The Star Seeds


Each year, the winners of the Youth America Grand Prix, founded by dancers, Gennadi Saveliev and Larissa Saveliev, perform in the first act of the Gala, "Stars of Tomorrow", followed by a Grand Defile of all the YAGP participants. Then, after intermission, in "Stars of Today", renowned ballet and modern performers, from all over the globe, entertain the crowd with stunning sensation. In fact, the Act I participants, as well, are from all over the globe, with a wide range of ages. From what was seen tonight, ballet and modern dance fans have much to look forward to, as talent abounded, from the youngest to the upper teens. Dancers from Brazil, Portugal, and Japan, as well as from numerous countries and US States, received a rousing (sometimes very rousing) welcome from this sold-out crowd.

Tomoha Terada, a 12 year-old male dancer from Japan, was exceptionally poised and balanced, in "Coppélia", with personality added. Also from Japan were Yoshikazu Asada, 18, dancing "La Sylphide" with elegance and virtuosity, and Megumi Horiuchi, 14, dancing "Harlequinade" in a striking purple tutu. From Mexico, we were treated to an ensemble called Formento Artistico Cordobes, with numerous female youths dressed as fairy sprites, wings and hair curls, crawling and marching in groupings and lines, with expressive attitude and aplomb. Kiril Kulish, a 12 year-old male, from San Diego, danced "Le Corsaire" like a pro, with the mid-air leaps and swirling landings. From Brazil, Aurora Dickie, 18, performed a rapid "Don Quixote" variation, and from New York, Whitney Jensen, 14, a student of Valentina Kozlova, danced the pas de deux from "Pharaoh's Daughter" with non-competing, Reyneris Reyes of Boston Ballet. Ms. Jensen gave a bravura performance, with grace, elegance, and skill.

In the modern genre, Camille Bracher, 15, from Ballet Theatre Afrikan, danced "Age of Noise", choreographed by Kitty Phetla. Act I ended with the Grand Defile, again choreographed by Carlos do Santos, Jr., and all the YAGP participants danced in small and large ensembles, creating scintillating imagery and warmth, as these youths represent North, South, East, and West USA, South America, Europe, Asia, and more. With such an array of talent and such an eclectic series of dances, it is impressive each year that the winning performances are so well staged and danced with persuasion and passion. All dancers commanded City Center stage with ease and energy. Desmond Richardson, Co-Founder (with Dwight Rhoden) of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, served as host and announcer, and he was generous in his comments and gratitude.

Act II, "Stars of Today", had many highlights, including Ashley Bouder (NYC Ballet) and Joseph Phillips (San Francisco Ballet) in Balanchine's "Stars and Stripes", reviewed many times in this magazine. Mr. Philips was new in the role to this NY audience, and he was a perfect partner for the buoyant and confident Ms. Bouder. Paloma Herrera (ABT) was partnered by Nikolaj Hübbe (NYC Ballet) for "Rubies," and, Mr. Hübbe was able to keep the rapid momentum working in the new, staccato role for Ms. Herrera. Stars of Paris Opera Ballet, Aurelie Dupont and Manuel Legris, created a sensation in two dances tonight: "Petite Mort" (Kylian) and "La Dame aux Camélias" (Neumeier). I found the second especially rapturous, with impassioned leaps and lifts, presented at the end of a very long evening. Gennadi Saveliev and Xiomara Reyes (both of ABT) were, as always, exceptionally charismatic in "Spring Waters", by Asaf Messerer. This unusual work, to a Rachmaninoff score, showcased the enormous talent of these two virtuosos.

MOMIX dancers brought giant rubber balls onstage (for "Moonbeams") as props in gravity-defying movement, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet danced a new work, "Choke", choreographed by Dwight Rhoden to a score by YAGP Director of PR, Sergey Gordeev, all electronic and dynamically driven. The dance, as well, exuded propulsive abandon. From Rio de Janeiro, Cecilia Kerche and Vitor Luiz danced Perrot's "La Esmeralda" with presence, but "Mona Lisa", a stark, modern premiere, by Itzik Galili, brought the Stuttgart dancers, Alicia Amatriain and Jason Reilly, remarkable audience approval, with the long-limbed ballerina tossing legs and arms like human scissors. Another extraordinary premiere was Benjamin Millepied's (NYC Ballet) "Quiet Music" for ABT dancers Isabella Boylston and David Hallberg, performed to live piano music by Nico Muhly. Both dancers brought a welcome, warm hush to the audience, in this breathtaking pas de deux. The finale, "Le Corsaire" pas de deux (Royal Ballet), was exciting and, as always, energizing, with the ballerina, Marianela Nuñez, spinning endlessly and effortlessly, and her partner, Thiago Soares, commanding mid-air.

Kudos to YAGP's Larissa Saveliev, Gennadi Saveliev, Susan Jaffe, and Sergey Gordeev, and kudos to all the Stars of Tomorrow and Stars of Today.
Alicia Amatriain and Jason Reilly (Stuttgart Ballet, NY DEBUT) performing at YAGP 2007 Gala at NY City Center. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

Alicia Amatriain and Jason Reilly (Stuttgart Ballet, NY DEBUT) performing at
YAGP 2007 Gala at NY City Center. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

Photo © & courtesy of Gene Schiavone


Aurelie Dupont and Manuel Legris (Paris Opera Ballet) performing at YAGP 2007 Gala at NY City Center. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

Aurelie Dupont and Manuel Legris (Paris Opera Ballet) performing at YAGP 2007 Gala at NY City Center. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

Photo © & courtesy of Gene Schiavone


Aurelie Dupont and Manuel Legris (Paris Opera Ballet) performing at YAGP 2007 Gala at NY City Center. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

Aurelie Dupont and Manuel Legris (Paris Opera Ballet) performing at YAGP 2007 Gala at NY City Center. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

Photo © & courtesy of Gene Schiavone


Aurelie Dupont and Manuel Legris (Paris Opera Ballet) performing at YAGP 2007 Gala at NY City Center. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

Aurelie Dupont and Manuel Legris (Paris Opera Ballet) performing at YAGP 2007 Gala at NY City Center. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

Photo © & courtesy of Gene Schiavone


Cecilia Kerche and Vitor Luiz (Ballet Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, NY DEBUT) performing at YAGP 2007 Gala at NY City Center. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

Cecilia Kerche and Vitor Luiz (Ballet Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, NY DEBUT) performing at YAGP 2007 Gala at NY City Center. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

Photo © & courtesy of Gene Schiavone


Cecilia Kerche and Vitor Luiz (Ballet Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, NY DEBUT) performing at YAGP 2007 Gala at NY City Center. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

Cecilia Kerche and Vitor Luiz (Ballet Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, NY DEBUT) performing at YAGP 2007 Gala at NY City Center. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

Photo © & courtesy of Gene Schiavone


Marianela Nunez (The Royal Ballet) performing at YAGP 2007 Gala at NY City Center. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

Marianela Nunez (The Royal Ballet) performing at YAGP 2007 Gala at NY City Center. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

Photo © & courtesy of Gene Schiavone


Marianela Nunez and Thiago Soares (The Royal Ballet) performing at YAGP 2007 Gala at NY City Center. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

Marianela Nunez and Thiago Soares (The Royal Ballet) performing at YAGP 2007 Gala at NY City Center. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

Photo © & courtesy of Gene Schiavone

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