The 12th International Competition for The Erik Bruhn Prize will take place in Toronto on November 15. The event, which honors Bruhn's danseur noble legacy, is a pretty accurate predictor of up-and-coming talent. Last year's winners included NBoC second soloist Hannah Fischer, who danced as a first-cast lead in Christopher Wheeldon's The Winter's Tale during NBoC's opening, and recently promoted San Francisco Ballet principal Carlo Di Lanno.

Hannah Fischer and Piotr Stanczyk in Christopher Wheeldon's The Winter's Tale (photo by Karolina Kuras)

This year, the lineup is as stellar as ever:

The dancers were selected to compete by their artistic directors, so we imagine that the opportunity comes with a considerable vote of confidence.

Royal Danish Ballet principal Ida Praetorius (photo by Nathan Sayers for Pointe)

Recently, The Erik Bruhn Prize added a choreographic category and this year's contestants include ABT principal Jeffrey Cirio, HB's Marc Jubete, Calvin Richardson from The Royal Ballet and Myles Thatcher from SFB. NBoC choreographic associate Robert Binet will join them.

In an interesting twist, the dancers compete as a couple from their respective company, but each can win independently in the Male or Female Outstanding Dancer categories. In fact, the last time two dancers from the same company won was in 2012 when Royal Danish Ballet principal (and Feb/March 2014 cover star) Ida Praetorius and 2015 Standout Performer Andreas Kaas (an RDB soloist) each took home the prize.

Cheers to all of this year's competitors!

For more news on all things ballet, don’t miss a single issue.

 

 

 

 

 

November 1, 2016... Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, today announced that Corps de Ballet members Félix Paquet (22) and Calley Skalnik (21) will represent the company at The Twelfth International Competition for The Erik Bruhn Prize on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 7:30 pm at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Choreographic Associate Robert Binet creates a new contemporary work commissioned by the National Ballet, Self and Soul, as part of the competition.

 

The Conversation
Ballet Stars
Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB

Your teacher at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Marcia Dale Weary, recently passed away. What impact did she have on you?

I feel deeply indebted to her. She shaped my life's course, and I know that were it not for her, I would not be living out my dream today. She led by example through her remarkable commitment to her work, as well as her genuine kindness and generosity.

You were a trainee with San Francisco Ballet. What was that experience like?

It was an exposure to different schools of thought. We were mostly in the full-lengths, and watching run-throughs of Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote was revolutionary for me. But I was young and far away from home. That transition was hard. My body started changing. It wanted to be fleshy. Biology is cruel in that way. I desperately wanted to fit in, but it wasn't meant to be.

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Xiao Nan Yu in company class. Aaron Vincent, Courtesy National Ballet of Canada.

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"She is a supreme dance actress with an innate ability to bring the audience into her world," says NBoC artistic director Karen Kain. "Nan has always brought such a calm confidence into the studio and has been a role model for so many dancers I will miss her generosity both inside the studio and out." We spoke with Yu as she prepared for her final week of performances. She opened up about her initial culture shock upon moving to Toronto, her thoughts on artistry and why she chose Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow as her final role.

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