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Youth America Grand Prix Gala 2013: Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow at David H. Koch Theater
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Youth America Grand Prix Gala 2013: Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow at David H. Koch Theater

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Youth America Grand Prix Gala 2013
Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow

David H. Koch Theater
Lincoln Center

Larissa Saveliev: Founder and Artistic Director
Gennadi Saveliev: Founder and President
Hosted by Marc L. Walberg, Honoring Irene Shen

Featuring Renowned Guest Artists
Winners of YAGP Ballet and Contemporary Dance
Scholarship Competition for Students
Press: Jonathan Marder + Company

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 18, 2013

Nina Ananiashvili
(Tbilisi Z. Paliashvili Opera and Ballet State Theatre)
Tyler Angle (New York City Ballet)
Clifton Brown
Herman Cornejo (American Ballet Theatre)
Chase Finlay (New York City Ballet)
Dorothée Gilbert (Paris Opera Ballet)
Marcelo Gomes (American Ballet Theatre)
Osiel Gouneo (National Ballet of Cuba)
Maria Kochetkova (San Francisco Ballet)
Misa Kuranaga (Boston Ballet)
Lil Buck
Svetlana Lunkina (Bolshoi Ballet)
Teresa Reichlen (New York City Ballet)
Viengsay Valdes (National Ballet of Cuba)
Alejandro Virelles (YAGP Alumnus, Boston Ballet)
Lonnie Weeks (YAGP Alumnus, San Francisco Ballet)

Musicians: Carlos Avila on Piano, Elli Choi on Violin, Emiko Edwards on Piano, Nina Kotova on Cello, Vassily Primakov on Piano, Jingyi Zhang on Piano, Juilliard Jazz Quartet with Braxton Cook on Saxophone, James MacBride on Drums, Samora Pinderhighes on Piano, and Luke Sellick on Bass.

Act I: Stars of Tomorrow

Elli Choi (Violin, Musical Protégé Series),
Accompanied by: Carlos Avila (piano)
“Carmen Fantasy”
Music: Pablo de Sarasate

Lada Saratkova (Nr.416/10y)
Vladislav Kuramshin Russian Ballet School – St. Petersburg, RUSSIA
“Clown Variation”
Choreography: Vladislav Kuramshin
Teacher: Tatiana Petrova

Daichi Ikarashi (Nr.497/10y)
Nigata Ballet School - JAPAN
Variation from “Don Quijote”
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Teacher: Kyoko Sakurai, Erika Sakurai

Maria Clara Coehlo (Nr.75/14y)
Balletarrj Escola de Danca - BRAZIL
Choreography: Ana Palmieri
Teacher: Romulo Ramos

Adhonay Soares Da Silva (Nr.327/15y)
Bale Jovem Gustav Ritter a Bale Basileu Franca - BRAZIL
Variation from “La Fille Mal Gardee”
Choreography: A.Gorsky
Teacher: Herold

Gisele Bethea (Nr.57/13y)
Master Ballet Academy – AZ USA
Variation from “Esmeralda”
Choreography: M. Petipa
Teacher: Irena Wozniak, Slawomir Wozniak

Jinchang Gu (Nr.332/15y)
Liaoning Ballet Academy – P.R OF CHINA
“My First Modern Piece”
Choreography: Disha Zhang
Teacher: Yifei Zhao

Lou Spichtig (Nr. 205/15y)
Tanz Akademie Zurich - SWITZERLAND
Variation from “Giselle”
Choreography: J.Perrot,J.Coralli
Teacher: Tina Goldin

Joo Wan Ahn (Nr.373/19y)
Korea National University of Arts – REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Variation from “Swan Lake”
Choreography: M. Petipa
Teacher: Margarita Kullik

Maria Kochetkova – San Francisco Ballet
Jorge Lopez Barani (Nr.727/20y) –
Magaly Suarez The Art of Classical Ballet – FL, USA
“Flames of Paris” Pas de Deux
Choreography: Vassily Vainonen

"Grand Defilé"
Choreography: Carlos dos Santos, Jr.
Music: Peter Tchaikovsky
The Grand Defilé is a specially choreographed
piece d’occasion for over 250 YAGP
participants from 28 countries and
throughout the United States.

Act II: Stars of Today:

Clifton Brown
Live music accompaniment:
Braxton Cook (Saxophone)
James MacBride (Drums)
Luke Sellick (Bass)
Samora Pinderhughes (Piano)
“Take 5”
Choreography: Fredrick Earl Mosley
Music: Paul Desmond

Svetlana Lunkina (Bolshoi Ballet)
“La Bayadère” – Nikiya Monologue from Act I
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Music: Ludwig Minkus

Viengsay Valdés and Osiel Gouneo
(National Ballet of Cuba)
“Double Bounce” – U.S. PREMIERE
Choreography: Peter Quanz
Music: David Lang

Teresa Reichlen and Tyler Angle
(New York City Ballet)
Live music accompaniment:
Vassily Primakov (Piano)
“Partita No. 2 in C Minor” – WORLD PREMIERE
Choreography: Emery LeCrone
Music: J.S. Bach
The Emerging Choreographer Series is made
possible with major support from Elizabeth
Frenchman & Kenneth E. Gordon.

Chase Finlay (New York City Ballet)
Live music accompaniment:
Emiko Edwards (Piano)
Jingyi Zhang (Piano)
“Tous les Jours” – U.S. PREMIERE
Choreography: Marcelo Gomes
Music: Karen LeFrak
Tous les Jours is a co-production of YAGP and the Mariinsky Ballet.
It had its world premiere on March 10, 2013 in St. Petersburg,
Russia as part of the Mariinsky Festival.

Dorothée Gilbert (Paris Opera Ballet)
Marcelo Gomes (American Ballet Theatre)
“Romeo and Juliet” – Balcony Pas de Deux
Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan
Music: Sergey Prokofiev

Maria Kochetkova (San Francisco Ballet)
Lonnie Weeks (YAGP Alumnus,
San Francisco Ballet)
“Borderlands Pas de Deux” – NY PREMIERE
Choreography: Wayne McGregor
Music: Joel Cadbury and Paul Stoney

Nina Ananiashvilli (Georgia State Ballet)
Lil Buck
Live music accompaniment:
Nina Kotova (Cello)
Vassily Primakov (Piano)
“Swan” (Pièce d’occasion)
Choreography: Mikhail Fokine and Lil Buck
Music: Camille Saint-Saëns

Misa Kuranaga (Boston Ballet)
Herman Cornejo (American Ballet Theatre)
Alejandro Virelles (YAGP Alumnus,
Boston Ballet)
“Le Corsaire” – Pas de Trois
Choreography: Marius Pepita
Music: Adolphe Adam, arranged by Ricardo Drigo

As always, this Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) Gala, with its two-part program, featuring the winners of last night’s YAGP Final Round, then current stars of the international ballet and modern dance community, was quite thrilling. Mark Walberg was a delightful host, and Act I began with a child violin virtuoso, Elli Choi, who deserved more bows than she took. Her “Carmen Fantasy”, played with full dance dervish, wowed the crowd at Koch Theater. All of the “Stars of Tomorrow” from tonight’s program are listed above, along with their performance details, but there were a few notable highlights. Gisele Bathea, from Arizona, danced a fantastic “Esmeralda” solo, Lou Spichtig, from Switzerland, danced a refined variation from “Giselle”, and Jorge Lopez Barani, from Florida, was partnered by Maria Kochetkova, from San Francisco Ballet, in “Flames of Paris” Pas de Deux, in seriously challenging choreography with athletic feats. Once again, Carlos dos Santos, Jr. choreographed the Grand Defilé, for all the students who competed in the past week’s YAGP rounds, and 250 participants from 28 countries all danced at some point, before filling the stage as one giant ensemble. The visual and aesthetic impact of these Grand Defilés is transporting.

After intermission, Act II, “Stars of Today”, began with the mesmerizing solo, “Take 5”, with Clifton Brown, who can twist his body into amazing shapes and figures. He’s always been a gorgeous dancer, and tonight he danced to Paul Desmond’s “Take Five”, renowned as a Brubeck number. He was accompanied by the Juilliard Jazz Quartet. The Bolshoi’s Svetlana Lunkina was scintillating in the “Bayadère” Monologue, a rapturous, surreal presentation. She was followed by “Double Bounce’, danced by a duo from National Ballet of Cuba, a US Premiere, by Peter Quanz. Two New York favorites, Teresa Reichlen and Tyler Angle, of City Ballet, performed a World Premiere by Emery LeCrone, “Partita No. 2 in C Minor”, with live piano accompaniment. They were stunning, as Ms. LeCrone is a rising star in new choreographies. Another City Ballet favorite, Chase Finlay, performed a US Premiere of “Tous Les Jours”, choreographed by Ballet Theatre Principal, Marcelo Gomes. Mr. Gomes has presented numerous choreographies at special events in the past two years, or so, and they include various theatrical gestures and personality effects. Two pianists accompanied Mr. Finlay, who exuded joy in this spotlight. Dorothée Gilbert, of Paris Opera Ballet, then joined Mr. Gomes, as they appeared in “Romeo and Juliet” Act I Balcony Pas de Deux. Mr. Gomes is the quintessential romantic, and tonight they captivated and charmed the crowd.

At these YAGP Galas, the student dancers in the audience, especially in upper levels, are quite vocal and enthusiastic, and these events take on an energy of their own. Ms. Kochetkova reappeared with Lonnie Weeks, also of San Francisco Ballet, to dance a New York Premiere of “Borderlands Pas de Deux” by Wayne McGregor, a fascinating work. At this point, the pièce de résistance for balletomanes in the audience was a rare New York appearance by Nina Ananiashvili, who retired some years ago from Ballet Theater, to form her own company in Georgia, in the Caucasus. In a twist, Ms. Ananiashvili performed her renowned version of the dying swan, here called “Swan”, as she was accompanied and partnered onstage by Lil Buck, plus live cello and piano for the Saint-Saëns theme. Lil Buck is a contortionist, exhibition dancer, and he danced his own choreography, while Ms. Ananiashvili arrived en pointe, facing rear stage, arms undulating like wings, her back muscles and legs rippling. To the delight of us all, they repeated the piece, as it was so brief. Fittingly, the final work of the night was “Le Corsaire” Pas de Trois, a huge crowd pleaser, with outsized leaps, lunges, and lifts, performed virtuosically by Boston Ballet’s Misa Kuranaga and Alejandro Virelles, joined by Ballet Theatre’s Herman Cornejo. The hall went wild. Kudos to YAGP for another dynamic and memorable Gala.

Svetlana Lunkina in "Nikiya Monologue"
from Marius Petipa's "La Bayadère"
Courtesy of Liza Voll

Dorothée Gilbert and Marcelo Gomes in
"Balcony Pas de Deux" from
Sir Kenneth MacMillan's "Romeo and Juliet"
Courtesy of Liza Voll

Nina Ananiashvili and Lil Buck
in Mikhail Fokine and Lil Buck's
"Swan", Piece d'occasion
Courtesy of Liza Voll

Misa Kuranaga, Herman Cornejo, and Alejandro Virelles
in "Pas de Trois" from Marius Petipa's "Le Corsaire"
Courtesy of Liza Voll

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at