ExxonMobil supported the Benois de la Danse Ballet Festival that took place on the Historic Stage of the Bolshoi Theater

With support of ExxonMobil, the 28th International Ballet Festival Benois de la Danse took place on the Historic Stage of the Bolshoi Theatre on the 8th and 9th of June

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ExxonMobil supported the Benois de la Danse Ballet Festival that took place on the Historic Stage of the Bolshoi Theater

This year marks ten years since ExxonMobil Russia Inc. began cooperation with the Regional Public Organization Center for Social Protection of Ballet Veterans Prix Benois de la Danse, the event organizer, within the framework of the charity programs aimed at supporting art and culture in Russia. Every year, the Benois de la Danse Prix is awarded for the most outstanding achievements in the sphere of choreography in the previous year. Since the Program’s inception, Yury Grigorovish, a most prominent choreographer, President of International Choreography Union, remains the program’s artistic director and chairman of the jury.

On June 8-9, with support of ExxonMobil, the 28th International Ballet Festival Benois de la Danse, including the awarding ceremony of Benois Prix, also known as the Ballet Oscar, took place on the Historic Stage of the Bolshoi Theatre. Notwithstanding the challenges that the organizers encountered this year, as well as the pandemic constraints, the 2021 Festival has brought together lead dancers from 10 leading classical and modern companies of the world, namely the Bolshoi Theater of Russia, the Mariinsky Theater, the Mikhailovsky Theater`, the Paris Opera Ballet, the New York City Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet (Chicago), the Bavarian State Ballet, the Semperoper Ballet, the Hannover Ballet and the Dresden-Frankfurt Ballet Dance Company.

The jury of Benois Prix 2021 traditionally boasts prominent names in ballet and distinguished artistic directors from the world’s largest theatres: Yury Grigorovich, Svetalana Zakharova, Jacopo Godani, Joaquín De Luz, Élisabeth Platel, Xin Lili, Ashley Wheater and Edward Watson.

The 2020-2021 Benois Prix nominees’ gala concert took part on June 8. The new winners of the 2021 Benois Prix were also announced. This year the prize went to choreographer Yury Possokhov, dancers Amandine Albisson and Ekaterina Krysanova, dancer Jesús Carmona, artist Tacita Dean and composer Thomas Adès. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Anthony Dowell, the distinguished British dancer, and the Russian-Italian Benois Massine Prize was presented to world ballet star, People’s Artist of Russia, prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theatre and La Scala etoile Svetlana Zakharova by Italian Ambassador to Russia Pasquale K. Terracciano himself.

The gala concert featured a number of highlights and both Russian and world premieres performed by past and present prize winners: Anne Jung, soloist of the Dresden-Frankfurt Dance Company, and her partner; Flamenco dancer Jesús Carmona; Leonid Sarafanov, Benois de la Danse laureate, performed a world premiere “Almost a Duet” choreographed by Gentian Doda; the Bolshoi prima ballerina Ekaterina Krysanova and David Motta Soares; New York City Ballet prima ballerina Sara Mearns; Semperoper Ballett soloist Jon Vallejo.

The next day, the stage hosted the gala concert Stars of Benois de la Danse - Award Winners of Past and Present. The rich program included various styles and trends in choreography. The performers included Svetlana Zakharova, the world ballet star, prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theatre and La Scala etoile; Semyon Chudin, a principal dancer in Bolshoi, etoiles of Paris Opera Ballet Amandine Albisson and Florent Melac; Benois 2021 laureate Jesús Carmona who danced a solo from “The Game” ballet for which he was nominated, as well as stars from the Bolshoi, Mariinsky, and Mikhailovsky Theaters.

 

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About Prix Benois de la Danse

Prix (Prize) Benois de la Danse was established in 1991 in Moscow by the International Choreography Association (now International Choreography Union) and in the same year was for the first time presented on the stage of Bolshoi Theater. Since the very beginning, in 1992, the Prize Benois de la Danse has been under patronage of UNESCO based on its great creative power and the potential influence on the ballet development in Russia and the world. In 1996, the Prize was included in the UNESCO's Program World Decade of Culture. During its 26 years’ history, the Prix Benois de la Danse award ceremony has been held in Moscow Bolshoi Theater and Kremlin Palace, UNESCO Palace in Paris, the Warsaw National Theater, the Deutsche Staatsoper Unter den Linden and Staatstheater in Stuttgart. The funds from the gala concerts are used for targeted material support of the veterans of ballet of various Moscow dancer companies.

 

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