The Ballet2000 Prizes brought in Cannes a stellar line-up of international stars who paid tribute to the great ballerina Maya Plisetskaya.
Ballet2000 Prizes were handed out on July 31, 2016 at the International Dance Gala at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes. A fully-packed Lumière Theatre hosted classical dance lovers from around the world and key personalities from the world of ballet. The Lifetime Achievement Prize, the most prestigious award, rewards each year a personality who accomplished an exceptional career in the world of choreography like Maya Plisetskaya, Alicia Alonso, Rosella Hightower and Violette Verdy.
Rodion Shchedrin, guest of honor
During this prestigious event devoted to dance, a brilliant tribute was paid to the great Russian ballerina Maya Plisetskaya, who joined the legend since her death last year. The star would have been 90 years old this year and to honor her memory, her husband, the famous Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin, was the guest of honor of this sublime evening gala organized by the Ballet2000 Magazine.
Tribute to Maya Plisetskaya
To start the evening, a film traced the previous prize-giving ceremonies of the Lifetime Achievement Prize, created by the Ballet2000 magazine, which for the first edition in 2004, crowned Maya Plisetskaya. The images showed the great ballerina of Russian ballet (79 year-old at the time) who, after receiving the prestigious award, danced the solo Ave Maya Maurice Béjart created for her.
Her husband Rodion Shchedrin had then accompanied her on piano by playing the notes of Gounod’s Ave Maria while Maya, very elegantissima in a costume designed for her by Pierre Cardin, danced simple steps crowned with her beautiful port de bras, while holding two beautiful red Japanese fans. At the press conference which took place the day before, before an audience of journalists, Alfio Agostini, president of the jury, critic and manager of Ballet2000 editions, recalled that Maya was the first ballerina to receive this award.
On this sumptuous gala evening, prestigious dancers of international fame like Aurélie Dupont (new director of the Ballets de l’Opéra de Paris), Diana Vishneva, Friedemann Vogel, Oscar Chacón, Kateryna Shalkina… Many other stars and soloists from large global companies (La Scala, the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, the Spanish National Ballet, the English National Ballet in London, the Ballets de Monte-Carlo) offered a superb program of solos, pas de deux and ballets extracts. The evening of choreographic excellence gave pride to emotion!
New awards presented
The Lifetime Achievement Prize 2016 was awarded to Hans van Manen, the great Dutch choreographer, whose multifaceted work, both rigorous and open, has had a profound influence on all modern European ballet in decades.
The gala evening was marked by the handing out of three new prizes, the Maya Prizes. They were presented to Aurélie Dupont, star and new director of the Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris, Diana Vishneva, star of the Mariinsky Ballet of St. Petersburg and the American Ballet Theatre of New York and finally to Friedemann Vogel. The dancer of the Stuttgart Ballet is pursuing his career at full speed by performing in parallel on the biggest stages in the world with prestigious companies.
Ballet2000 Prizes giving ceremony
To finish this evening devoted to stars of the dance, the dancers present on stage had the honor of receiving the Ballet2000 Prizes. These awards reward the dancers who distinguished themselves on the last major international tours. The winners: Óscar Chacón and Kateryna Shalkina (Béjart Ballet Lausanne), Viktoria Tereshkina and Vladimir Shklyarov (Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg), Osiel Gouneo (English National Ballet, with his partner Jem Choi), Virna Toppi and Jacopo Tissi (Teatro alla Scala, Milan), Sergio Bernal (Ballet Nacional de España), Davide Dato (Vienna Opera), Maëva Cotton and Alessio Passaquindici (Ballet Nice Méditerranée, Nice Opera) Anjara Ballesteros (Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, with her partner Lucien Postlewaite).
A special medal was awarded to Sarah-Jane Brodbeck, Arman Grigoryan, Vahe Martirosyan, Arsen Mehrabyan, Galina Mihaylova, Tigran Mikayelyan, Mia Rudic from the company Forceful Feelings, a singular group of Armenian dancers, all boys, principal dancers in international companies but who are committed to let the world know the ballet of their country.
The winning artists were selected by a jury composed of 18 personalities including journalists from the Ballet2000 magazine and other great names of the international press: Erik Aschengreen, Leonetta Bentivoglio, Erik Aschengreen, Leonetta Bentivoglio, Valeria Crippa, Clement Crisp, Gerald Dowler, Elisa Guzzo Vaccarino, Marc Haegeman, Anna Kisselgoff, Kevin Ng, Jean Pierre Pastori, Emmanuèle Rüegger, Roger Salas, Sonia Schoonejans, René Sirvin – coordinator of the jury – and Alfio Agostini, organizer of 2000Ballet Prizes.
The event this year was co-directed by Askaneli Art, VisualClassics, Palais des Festivals de Cannes and Ballet2000 with the support of Rosatom, under the artistic direction of Irma Nioradze, star of the Mariinsky.
The evening ended with a charity auctions sale. The money raised will assist those affected by the terrorist attack in Nice.
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