National Ballet of Canada announces Erik Bruhn Prize competitors from Hamburg Ballet for the first time

January 18, 2011

Ballet, Ballet News, Press Releases

National Ballet of Canada logoThe Erik Bruhn Prize Competitors Announced
Shino Mori and Naoya Ebe Represent the National Ballet
Robert Stephen Creates New Work for Choreographic Prize
New! Audience Choice Award 

January 18, 2011… Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, today announced that Corps de Ballet members Shino Mori and Naoya Ebe will represent the company at The Ninth International Competition for The Erik Bruhn Prize on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Second Soloist Robert Stephen will compete for the Choreographic Prize, creating a new contemporary work commissioned by the National Ballet.

New this year is the Audience Choice Award where audience members will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite male and female dancer as well as their favourite new contemporary work.

The companies participating in this year’s competition are American Ballet Theatre, Royal Danish Ballet and The National Ballet of Canada. As The Royal Ballet is unable to compete this year, Stuttgart Ballet and, for the first time ever, Hamburg Ballet will each send two young dancers and one choreographer to the competition.

I’m delighted to say that I have interviewed some of the rising stars of the ballet world, and the competitors for The Erik Bruhn Prize include Christine Shevchenko and Joseph Gorak from American Ballet Theatre, Maria Baranova and Alexandr Trusch from Hamburg Ballet, Shelby Elsbree and Jón Axel Fransson from the Royal Danish Ballet and Elisa Badenes and Daniel Camargo from Stuttgart Ballet.

The repertoire will be announced shortly along with the choreographers competing for the Choreographic Prize.

Judging the competition will be Artistic Directors Karen Kain, Kevin McKenzie (American Ballet Theatre), John Neumeier (Hamburg Ballet), Reid Anderson (Stuttgart Ballet) and Artistic Coordinator Silja Schandorff (Royal Danish Ballet).

The evening will be hosted by Principal Dancer Greta Hodgkinson and will feature excerpts from George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations performed by The National Ballet of Canada.

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 was always keenly interested in the development of younger dancers and in a codicil to his will, 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 the companies with whom Mr. Bruhn was most closely associated: American Ballet Theatre, The Royal Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet and The National Ballet of Canada. 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.

Each participant receives 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 in addition to the $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.

headshot of a dancer

Shino Mori Photo by Sian Richards

Shino Mori was born in Gunma, Japan. She trained at the Reiko Yamamoto Ballet School in Japan and Canada’s National Ballet School. Ms. Mori joined The National Ballet of Canada’s Apprentice programme in 2008 and became a member of the Corps de Ballet in 2009.

Ms. Mori danced the Canary Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty and roles in Swan Lake, Onegin, The Nutcracker, The Four Temperaments, The Four Seasons and Glass Pieces. She performed at the Kittiwake Dance Theatre in St. John’s, Newfoundland and participated in The Banff Summer Arts Festival in 2008.

dancer at the barre

Shino Mori Photo by Sian Richards

Ms. Mori was a winner at the Prix de Lausanne in 2006 and received the Jeffrey Kirk Award from Canada’s National Ballet School that same year.

Shino Mori is sponsored through Dancers First by Catherine and Ian Delaney.

dancer headshot

Naoya Ebe Photo by Sian Richards

Naoya Ebe was born in Tokyo, Japan and trained at Canada’s National Ballet School. He became an Apprentice with The National Ballet of Canada in 2006 and a member of the Corps de Ballet in 2007.

Mr. Ebe danced in the roles of Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty, A Fox and Mouse Tsar in The Nutcracker and The Fool in Swan Lake. His repertoire also includes Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, Onegin, The Taming of the Shrew, The Four Temperaments, Opus 19/The Dreamer, Glass Pieces, The Four Seasons, Elite Syncopations and Balanchine’s Don Quixote.

Mr. Ebe performed in the world premieres of Jorma Elo’s Pur ti Miro, Aszure Barton’s Watch her and Crystal Pite’s Emergence and the company premieres of Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story Suite and Davide Bombana’s Carmen.

dancer standing at the barre

Naoya Ebe Photo by Sian Richards

The National Ballet of Canada’s Winter Season will open in Toronto at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts with Don Quixote, March 9 – 13, 2011, and continues with John Cranko’s Onegin, back by popular demand for 5 performances only from March 17 – 20, 2011, followed by a mixed programme featuring the company premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Russian Seasons and George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations and Apollo.

The 2010/11 season is presented by CTV and The Globe and Mail.

The Ninth International Competition for The Erik Bruhn Prize is presented by John & Claudine Bailey.

Don Quixote, Theme and Variations and Apollo are gifts from THE VOLUNTEER COMMITTEE, THE NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA.

Onegin is generously supported by an anonymous friend of the National Ballet.

Russian Seasons is made possible in part by a grant from the New Creations Fund of The National Ballet of Canada, Endowment Foundation.

Robert Stephen is sponsored through Dancers First by Mr. Thor Eaton & The Honourable Nicole Eaton, Senator.

Shino Mori is sponsored through Dancers First by Catherine and Ian Delaney.

The National Ballet of Canada gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Ontario Arts Council; the City of Toronto through the Economic Development & Culture Department; the Government of Canada through the Honourable James Moore, Minister, the Department of Canadian Heritage; the Government of Ontario; the Ontario Arts Foundation; the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

a row of dancers in costume

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3 Responses to “National Ballet of Canada announces Erik Bruhn Prize competitors from Hamburg Ballet for the first time”

  1. Cloudia Says:

    Lovely post!

    Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral

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  2. Cloudia Says:

    Lovely post!

    Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral

    >

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