Ballet Stars
Lia Cirio and Paul Craig in "Same," via YouTube.

We love it when our favorite dancers are tapped to star in other artists' projects. When Boston-based violinist and songwriter Josh Knowles started mulling over video ideas for his new single "Same," the first released song of his upcoming album this fall, he thought that two dancers silhouetted against a backlight could get the song's vulnerability across. And so he asked two of his favorites, Boston Ballet principals Lia Cirio and Paul Craig, to star in the video and commissioned former company principal Yury Yanowsky to choreograph it.

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Ballet West principals Beckanne Sisk and Chase O'Connell in John Cranko's Onegin. Beau Pearson, Courtesy Ballet West.

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've rounded up some highlights.

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From left: Yury Yanowsky, Hannah Fischer and Carlo Di Lanno. Photo by Bruce Zinger, Courtesy NBOC

National Ballet of Canada corps member Hannah Fischer, 20, and San Francisco Ballet soloist Carlo Di Lanno, 22, were announced the winners of the prestigious Erik Bruhn Prize on Tuesday night. Recently retired Boston Ballet principal Yuri Yanowsky won the choreographic prize for his work District.

Five couples and choreographers representing five companies (Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet, Hamburg Ballet and NBOC) competed for the award at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto. Each pair was selected to compete by their artistic directors and performed a classical pas de deux and variation, as well as a specially commissioned contemporary work. Fischer and Di Lanno each won a cash prize of $7,500; Yanowsky won $2,000. All three also received a sculpture by Jack Culiner.

The late Erik Bruhn, one of the most acclaimed male dancers of the 20th century, willed part of his estate to establish the prize upon his death. Given to one male and one female dancer between the ages of 18 and 23, the award, Bruhn said, reflects “such technical ability, artistic achievement and dedication as I endeavored to bring to dance." The Choreographic prize was added in 2009. If past winners are any indication, Fischer, Di Lanno and Yanowsky have bright futures ahead.

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