Hollywood may have the Oscars, but ballet has the Benois de la Danse. The glamorous awards ceremony, held each year at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre, recognizes the year’s best dancers and choreographers around the globe. The 2017 nominees were announced yesterday, and they include some of our favorite dancers, including two Pointe cover stars!
Two principal ballerinas from U.S. companies, American Ballet Theatre’s Stella Abrera and Boston Ballet’s Misa Kuranaga, were nominated for best female dancer. Abrera who graced our December/January cover, was nominated for her debut as Aurora in Sleeping Beauty. It’s heartening to see this longtime ABT dancer receive the star treatment she deserves since her promotion to principal in 2015. Kuranaga, who was our August/September 2012 cover star, is being recognized for her performances in not one, but two roles: Tatiana in Onegin and Medora in Ivan Liška’s Le Corsaire.
The list also includes two American leading men: ABT’s Jeffrey Cirio, for his role as Colas in La Fille mal gardée and the title role in George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son; and The Washington Ballet’s Brooklyn Mack, for his performance in Balanchine’s Theme and Variations. As for best choreographer, ABT artist in residence Alexei Ratmansky has been nominated for his Serenade after Plato’s Symposium (one of Pointe’s Standout Performances of 2016).
The Benois de la Danse will take place May 30–31. Stay tuned to find out who wins. Check out the complete list of nominees below:
Stella Abrera for Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, American Ballet Theatre
Nina Kaptsova for Short Time Together, Bolshoi Ballet
Misa Kuranaga for Tatiana in Onegin and Medora in Le Corsaire, Boston Ballet
Ludmila Pagliero for Other Dances, Paris Opéra Ballet
Seul-Ki Park for Aegina in Spartacus, Korean National Ballet
María Riccetto for Tatiana in Onegin, National Ballet of Uruguay
Gustavo Carvalho for Don Jose in Carmen, National Ballet of Uruguay
Davide Dato for Abderakhman in Raymonda, Vienna State Ballet
Jae-Woo Lee for Carabosse in The Sleeping Beauty, Korean National Ballet
Brooklyn Mack for Theme and Variations, The Washington Ballet
Hugo Marchand for Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Paris Opéra Ballet
Denis Rodkin for Solor in La Bayadère, Bolshoi Ballet
Jeffrey Cirio for Colas in La Fille mal gardée and title role in Prodigal Son, American Ballet Theatre
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui for Exhibition, Royal Ballet of Flanders
Edward Clug for Handman, Nederlands Dans Theater
Hyo-Hyung Kang for Into the Pulse, Korean National Ballet
Akram Khan for Giselle, English National Ballet
Crystal Pite for The Seasons’ Canon, Paris Opéra Ballet
Alexei Ratmansky for Serenade after Plato’s Symposium, American Ballet Theatre
Demis Volpi for Salomé, Stuttgart Ballet