In the last days of May, the Historical stage of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow will host the silver jubilee of the International Ballet Prize Benois de la Danse, with the support of the Russian Ministry of Culture. Spectators will be treated not only to some of the most exciting dance pieces of the past year, but also to a collection of the most stand-out creations that have graced international ballet in the last 25 years.
On May 30 guests will be treated to the Defilé of the Stars of Benois de la Danse and new laureates. May 31 will see the Stars of Benois de la Danse - laureates of the past 25 years.
During the press conference that was held in the Bolshoi Theatre on April 11, the organizers have explained in detail the program for the upcoming gala concerts, as well as providing some insight into the award ceremony. For instance, this year’s “For Lifetime Achievement” prize will go to an extraordinary ballerina and actress Marcia Haydée. The event will begin with a stunning défilé by the laureates and jury members that will gather here in Moscow.
The jubilee gala on May 30 will be opened by Joseph Walsh, the premier of the San Francisco Ballet, and Victoria Jaiani from the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, who last year performed the duet from Lan Lubovitch’s Otello alongside Fabrice Calmel. Victoria and Joseph will animate the sculpture of Benois de la Danse: they will present a miniature choreographed by Yuri Possokhov to the music by Ilya Demutsky, who have conceived this duet as a gift to the jubilee of Benois. The idea to “breathe life” into the prize’s symbol belongs to its author - Igor Ustinov. And for the first time in the history of Benois, the nominees’ gala will feature four Etoiles from the Paris Opera! Ludmila Pagliero and Matthias Heymann will perform Jerome Robbins’ Other Dances, and Hugo Marchand will dance the duet from Romeo and Juliet choreographed by Rudolph Nureyev and Leonore Baulac. The audience will also be treated to fragments from pieces signed by stars of contemporary choreography, including Edward Klug’s latest work, which was premiered recently in Dortmund, and two duets from legends - Salome and John the Baptist by Demis Volpi, as well as Dido and Aeneas, which is accompanied by Dido’s aria from the Opera by H. Purcell and choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. In addition, Joseph Walsh and Lauren Strongin will perform the duet from Scarlatti’s Seven Sonatas by Alexey Ratmansky.
The gala concert on May 31 will feature a retrospective of Benois' stone miles in its 25-year history. Mats Ek and Ana Laguna will tell us about the life of a married couple in a miniature titled Memory. Two other prize laureates will present their pieces, made especially for the jubilee: Ivan Vasiliev is preparing a duet to the music by L.van Beethoven which he will perform with Maria Vinogradova; Yana Salenko and Marian Walter from Berlin will take on a new piece choreographed by Nacho Duato. They will also present a fragment from Roland Petit’s Bat. Marie-Agnès Gillot and Hugo Marchand will perform a duet from Carolin Carlson’s Signs - a ballet that both ladies won Benois prize. Tamara Rojo along with Isaac Hernandez will present a miniature choreographed by Hans van Manen, and 4 premiers dancers of San-Francisco Ballet will perform Variations for two couples, the Benois wined piece by him. Maurice Béjart’s choreography will be danced by the familiar Alessio Cabone from the Paris Opera, and William Forsythe’s last work for the Paris Opera Ballet Blake Work troupe will be recreated by Leonore Baulac and Francois Alu. Wayne McGregor will send us three of his company’s dancers, who will present a fragment from his ballet “Atomos”. Lucia Lacarra and Marlon Dino will perform a duet set for them by Russel Malifant. Olga Smirnova and Semyon Chudin will dance their signature piece – Grand Pas Classique by Aubert.
Photo by Ulrich Beuttenmüller