THE WASHINGTON BALLET AND TWB AND TWSB DANCERS WIN NUMEROUS AWARDS AT NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL DANCE COMPETITIONS
AURORA DICKIE AND JUNXIONG ZHAO WIN MEDALS AT THE BIANNUAL Cape Town International Ballet Competition (CTIBC)
Alvin Tovstogray wins gold at tanzolymp 2012
The Washington School of Ballet (Twsb) Wins Outstanding School award While Twsb dancers win numerous awards at the Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP) Semi-Finals
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Ballet (TWB) announced today that TWB Company dancer, Aurora Dickie, won a Bronze medal at the 3rd Cape Town International Ballet Competition (CTIBC) in Cape Town, South Africa on Saturday, March 3, 2012. TWB Studio Company Dancer Junxiong Zhao won two Gold medals at CTIBC. The Washington Ballet dancers competed against a field of forty-five professional dancers aged 15-28, from the Republic of South Korea, Argentina, Armenia, Russia, the United States, Brazil, Australia, China, Cuba and South Africa. Male and female participants were judged separately, according to age, Junior level (age 15-18) and Senior level (age 19-28), in both the classical and contemporary divisions. Ms. Dickie, won the Bronze medal in the Senior Female Classical Division for her performance of solos from Grand Pas Classique and Paquita. Mr. Zhao won the gold medal in both the Senior Male Classical Division and the Senior Male Contemporary Division. Mr. Zhao performed variations from Swan Lake and Don Quixote in the classical division. In the contemporary division, Mr. Zhao danced to Bach choreographed by Carlos Valcárcel.
“I was thrilled to have two Washington Ballet dancers win medals at the Cape Town International Ballet Competition in South Africa, said Septime Webre, TWB’s Artistic Director. Our dancers were competing against remarkable talent from around the globe. Aurora and Junxiong represented the entire company of talented artists at The Washington Ballet with their combined achievement at this year’s competition.”
Alvin Tovstogray, of The Washington Ballet Studio Company also competed this weekend at the Tanzolymp, 2012 held in Berlin. Mr.Tovstogray won gold for Senior Men in Classical Ballet for his variation from La Sylphide, Esmeralda.
The Washington School of Ballet (TWSB) dancers competed at the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) Semifinals this weekend in Torrington, CT. Four TWSB dancers won awards at this competition and will go on to compete in the YAGP Final Competition in April in New York. Albert Gordon won the Senior Grand Prix, the overall highest award at the competition. Breanne Coughlin won third place in the Women’s Classical Dance Category. Christianne Campbell won second place in the Women’s Contemporary Category. Daniel Savetta won first place in the Men’s Contemporary Dance Category. In the Ensemble Category, The Washington School of Ballet tied for first place with its performance of 5’s by Choo San Goh. TWSB dancers, Rory Schwartz and Eden Garcia Thaler, were invited to compete at the YAGP Finals in New York in April after scoring high in the Semifinals.
“We are very excited to be awarded the outstanding school award and numerous other outstanding awards at the YAGP in Torrington, CT,” said Kee-Juan Han, Director, of The Washington School of Ballet. “For three years in a row we have been awarded The Outstanding School Award. It shows the quality of training at The Washington School of Ballet and the talented students we are producing. Seven TWSB students will be dancing with The Washington Ballet this season. Septime Webre, Artistic Director of The Washington Ballet, has invited three students into the Studio Company. We are very proud of our students and our faculty who trains them.”
The Cape Town International Ballet Competition (CTIBC) is the premier event of its kind on the African continent, often hailed as South Africa’s “Ballet Olympics.” This competition is similar to the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP), the South Korea International Dance Competition, and the Geneé International Ballet Competition. The jury for 2012 five-day competition was made up of Kevin O’Hare, director-designate of The Royal Ballet; Dr. Ramona da Sáa, director and professor of The National Ballet School of Cuba; Leticia Müller, former ballerina with the Birmingham Royal Ballet and PACT Ballet; Lynn Wallis, Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Dance; Septime Webre, Artistic Director of The Washington Ballet; Hae Shih Ki,. Professor Emeritus, Korea National University of Arts and Chairman of the Korea Ballet Festival and the Korea World Dance Day; Charla Glenn, Juilliard School; and Denise Schultz, former ballerina and master teacher and coach with Boston Ballet.
Tanzolymp 2012, the largest youth dance festival, held its 9th International Dance Festival this Februrary in Berlin. More than a thousand dancers from thirty-five nations participated in the event. The Festival is now regarded among artists and experts as an “international platform for young talents.” Tanzolymp is a forum where dancers, teachers, schools and dance companies come together. Awards and prizes at Tanzolymp include scholarships to dance companies worldwide, invitations to international dance competitions, monetary prizes and invitations to audition for highly recognized dance companies.
Founded in 1999 by two former Bolshoi Ballet dancers, Larissa and Gennadi Saveliev, YOUTH AMERICA GRAND PRIX (YAGP) is America’s first and the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition. Conducted annually throughout the U.S. and abroad (Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and Italy), YAGP is the “internet of the dance world,” a global network of opportunity connecting dancers, teachers, schools and companies all over the globe. Each year, YAGP culminates with a Final Round in New York City and a Gala performance at NY City Center. Since its inception, 25,000 young dancers have participated in YAGP worldwide competitions and workshops, over $2 million dollars have been awarded in scholarships to the world’s leading dance schools, and over 250 YAGP Alumni are now dancing with some 50 companies around the globe, including American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, and many others. The Youth America Grand Prix final competition will be held April 22-26, 2012 in New York City.
ABOUT AURORA DICKIE
Aurora Dickie of Pernambuco, Brazil, returns to The Washington Ballet after a brief hiatus. She began training at age five with her mother and teacher Jane Dickie. At age 11, she was awarded a five-year full scholarship at the Bolshoi School in Brazil where she studied under the tutorship of Galina Kravtchenko and had the opportunity to take classes as a trainee with the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. Ms. Dickie has worked with the Cisne Negro Cia de Dança, São Paulo, Brazil in 2006 and was a member of Cia de Dança de São Jose dos Campos, São Paulo under the direction of Ricardo Scheir before joining The Washington Ballet’s Studio Company in 2007. In April of 2007, she won the bronze medal at YAGP finals in NYC, and was invited afterward to perform at the Miami Ballet Festival in the Gala of International Young Medal Winners in September 2007. During her leave from TWB, she worked with São Paulo Companhia de Dança and completed one semester at Universidade Paulista in the Psychology graduate program.
ABOUT JUNXIONG ZHAO
Junxiong Zhao, of Chonqchinq, China, is in his first season with the Studio Company. He began dancing at age 11 at the Shangai Yuan Eong Ballet, and at 17 was awarded a full scholarship to train at The Washington School of Ballet under Kee Juan Han. His accomplishments include top 12 in the 2009, the bronze medal at 2011 YAGP and the bronze medal at the Helsinki Ballet Competition.
ABOUT ALVIN TOVSTOGRAY
Alvin Tovstogray of Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, is in his second season with the Studio Company. He began ballet training at age eight, and in 2008 graduated from Dnipropetrovsk State Choreographic School under Viacheslav Volkov. From 2008-2010, Mr. Tovstogray studied at San Francisco Ballet School under Parrish Maynard and Jorge Esquvel, where he performed in Tomasson’s The Nutcracker. Awards include 3rd place at the Istanbul International Ballet Competition (2010), semifinalist at the Varna IBC (2010) and the bronze medal at IBC—Orlando (2011).
ABOUT THE WASHINGTON BALLET
Originally founded as The Washington School of Ballet in 1944 by legendary ballet pioneer Mary Day and incorporated as a professional company in 1976, The Washington Ballet (TWB) is one of the pre-eminent ballet organizations in the United States. TWB built an international reputation presenting bold works by choreographers from around the world, including Choo-San Goh, Christopher Wheeldon, Mark Morris, Twyla Tharp and Nacho Duato, as well as Neoclassical masterworks and fresh stagings of 19th century classics. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Septime Webre and Executive Director Peter M. Branch, TWB embraces a three-part mission: ensuring excellence in its professional performance company; growing the next generation of dancers through its Washington School of Ballet; and serving the community in which it resides through robust community engagement programs.
ABOUT THE WASHINGTON SCHOOL OF BALLET
The Washington School of Ballet, founded in 1944, is recognized nationally and internationally for its classical training and dedication to excellence in dance and dance education. The school trains over 900 local, national and international students each year, with a curriculum ranging from Pre-Ballet for five-year-olds to pre-professional programs for students 13 to 20 years old, many of whom wish to pursue dance as a career. The school also offers classes for adults from beginning to advanced levels.