With its glitz, glamour and funny statues, the Benois de la Danse has a lot in common with the awards show it’s often compared to: the Oscars. While we’re all for gowns and red carpets, we prefer tutus and opera houses—much like the Bolshoi Theatre where, on Tuesday, Yury Grigorovich announced the jury’s winners.
The nominees, hailing from countries and companies worldwide, were recognized for their outstanding achievements in ballet performance and creation. But there could only be a few victors. So, without further ado, the awards for the 2016 Benois de la Danse go to:
Best Female Dancer
Alicia Amatriain of Stuttgart Ballet (Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar named Desire and The Devil in The Soldier’s Tale)
Hannah O’Neill of the Paris Opéra Ballet (Title role in Paquita)
Best Male Dancer
Kimin Kim of the Mariinsky Ballet (Solor in La Bayadère at POB)
Yuri Possokhov (Hero of Our Time, Bolshoi Ballet)
Ekaterina Krysanova of Bolshoi Ballet
Great Partnering Artistry Prize
Oleksandr Ryabko of Hamburg Ballet
Lifetime Achievement Award
John Neumeier, choreographer and Hamburg Ballet artistic director
Edward Watson of The Royal Ballet
Ren Dongsheng, (Emperor Yu Li, Beijing Dance Academy)
It seems like the jury couldn’t pick just one winner for the Best Female Dancer and Best Choreographer categories. (How does one rate different degrees of flawlessness?) The Americans—Amar Ramasar, Sara Mearns and Justin Peck, all nominated for Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes—didn’t top the list. But Yuri Possokhov is a bit of a Russian expat in America; he’s been San Francisco Ballet’s resident choreographer since his retirement from the company in 2006.
With the busy spring performance season well underway, we’re already keeping an eye out for potential 2017 standouts.