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Serebrennikov’s Nureyev leading in nominations for ballet's ‘Oscars’

Both the creators of the ballet and its performers have been nominated for the Benois de la Danse competition

MOSCOW, April 19. / The Bolshoi Theater ballet Nureyev, directed by Kirill Serebrennikov, is the frontrunner in nominations for the prestigious international award Benois de la Danse, the event’s organizers said at the press conference on Thursday at the Bolshoi Theater.

Both the creators of the ballet and its performers have been nominated for the Benois de la Danse, nicknamed the ballet’s Oscars, in four professional categories: Ilya Demutskiy for Best Composer, Yuri Possokhov for Best Choreographer, Kirill Serebrennikov for Best Stage Design, and dancer Vladislav Lantratov for Best Performance in the title role of the ballet Nureyev.

Overall, 26 nominees will strive for the award, including eight choreographers, six ballerinas, seven dancers, three composers and two stage designers. All of them are representatives of the world’s leading ballet companies.

The Benois de la Danse competition was established in 1991 by the International Choreographer’s Union in Moscow, and is awarded annually for the best works of the past season. Winners are chosen by an international jury, under the permanent chairmanship of the legendary and world-famous Soviet and Russian choreographer, Yuri Grigorovich.

The battle for the coveted award promises to be fierce one, with over a month before the winners are revealed on the Bolshoi Theater’s historic stage, scheduled for June 5th. The following day, June 6th, the laureates of past years will take the stage in an evening performance dedicated to the 200th birthday of the great choreographer, Marius Petipa.

"This year we are giving a big gala performance dedicated to the 200th birthday of Marius Petipa, where four world premieres are expected at once. The chorographical patterns of the great teacher will be transformed into new choreography by our nominees," said Yuri Grigorovich, the artistic director of the award.

He said that the Benois program is set in its format and hasn’t changed for a quarter of a century. "It’s goal is to find the best works by performers, choreographers, composers, artists, librettists. However, the content of this format varies from year to year. New names come into art, and accomplished masters change their attitude towards their profession, and towards the times, and that means that the dancing language is also changing in new compositions," Grigorovich pointed out.

Among this year’s nominees are German choreographer Marco Goecke from Nederlands Dans Theater, Brazilian choreographer Deborah Colker American ballet dancer John F. Neumaier, for Anna Karenina at the Hamburg Ballet, and Mikhail Baryshnikov.