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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Erik Bruhn Prize Competitors Announced


Hannah Fischer and Ethan Watts
Compete for The Erik Bruhn Prize
Robert Binet Creates New Work for Choreographic Prize

February 5, 2015... Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, today announced that Corps de Ballet members Hannah Fischer (20) and Ethan Watts (20) will represent the company at The Eleventh International Competition for The Erik Bruhn Prize on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 7:30 pm at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Choreographic Associate Robert Binet will create a new contemporary work commissioned by the National Ballet as part of the competition.

The companies participating in this year’s competition are Boston Ballet, The Hamburg Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet,  San Francisco Ballet  and The National Ballet of Canada.

Participants are: Junxiong Zhao (23) and Ji Young Chae (23) from Boston Ballet, Christopher Evans (20) and Futaba Ishizaki (21) from The Hamburg Ballet, Sebastian Haynes (20) and Stephanie Chen Gundorph Møller (21) from The Royal Danish Ballet and Carlo Di Lanno (22) and Wan Ting Zhao (23) from San Francisco Ballet.

Judging the competition will be Artistic Directors Karen Kain, Mikko Nissinen (Boston Ballet), John Neumeier (The Hamburg Ballet), Nikolaj Hübbe (The Royal Danish Ballet) and Helgi Tomasson (San Francisco Ballet).

The evening will be hosted by Principal Dancers Guillaume Côté and Heather Ogden.

The Audience Choice Awards allows audience members to cast their vote for their favourite male and female dancer as well as their favourite new contemporary work.

The repertoire will be announced shortly along with the choreographers of the contemporary work.

One of the most acclaimed and revered male dancers of the 20th century, Erik Bruhn personified the danseur noble tradition in all its classical, regal glory. His affiliation with The National Ballet of Canada was a lengthy and fruitful one, culminating in his Artistic Directorship of the company from 1983 until his untimely death in 1986. Mr. Bruhn left part of his estate for the establishment of The Erik Bruhn Prize, which was to be awarded to one male and one female dancer who “reflect such technical ability, artistic achievement and dedication as I endeavoured to bring to dance.”

Since it began in 1988, the competition has showcased the talents of many of the finest young dancers from companies around the world. Competitors for the prize must be between 18 and 23 years old and are selected by the Artistic Directors of their respective companies. Each pair performs a classical pas de deux and variation and a contemporary pas de deux or solo work.

Participants receive a medal and the winners each receive a prize of $7,500 and a sculpture by Canadian artist Jack Culiner generously donated by Artcast. The winner of the Choreographic Prize, established in 2009, will also receive a Jack Culiner sculpture and a $2,000 cash prize.

Many of the past winners have gone on to become Principal Dancers, enjoying international careers, making the competition a glimpse of the future stars of the ballet world in one exhilarating evening of dance.

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