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Youth America Grand Prix Gala 2015: "Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow", at the David H. Koch Theater
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Youth America Grand Prix Gala 2015: "Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow", at the David H. Koch Theater

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Youth America Grand Prix Gala 2015
Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow

David H. Koch Theater
Lincoln Center

Larissa Saveliev: Artistic Director and Founder
Gennadi Saveliev: President and Founder
Hosted by Julie Kent and Jared Angle
Gala Chair: Amy Astley
Sponsor: Bulgari

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

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 16, 2015

This thrilling annual event brings out many of the top winners of the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP), as well as dance performance virtuosos, often called Prima Ballerinas and Premier Danseurs. Julie Kent, a Principal with American Ballet Theatre (ABT), who will retire this season, and Jared Angle, a Principal with New York City Ballet, welcomed the guests and re-appeared now and then. In Act I, “Stars of Tomorrow”, MorningStar Dance Academy of Atlanta, a winning ensemble in the 2015 YAGP competition, performed amazing kaleidoscopic choreography in a work, called “Jasmine”. The fans and the costumes were colorful and charming. Also, Shin-Yong Kim, 14, from Korea, one of the YAGP competition winners, repeated her brilliant performance of a Variation from Petipa’s La Esmeralda, seen last night, in the finals. In addition, Carlos Dos Santos, Jr.’s annual “Grand Defilé” brought out, as always, the entire group of YAGP competitors, all in look-alike, black leotards, with young ballerinas and danseurs, leading up to 19 year-old, budding professionals. The dance students performed in solo, duo, and ensemble motion, with some spinning, some leaping, some jumping, and all smiling.

In Act II, “Stars of Today”, Evgenia Obraztsova and Semyon Chudin, with the Bolshoi Ballet, were refined, but overly stylized and self-conscious, in Pierre Lacotte’s Pas de Deux from The Pharaoh’s Daughter, taking bows in-between the choreography. In contrast, Teresa Reichlen and Zachary Catazaro, Principal and Soloist with New York City Ballet, danced Emery LeCrone’s “Minuet” from String Quartet No. 15, a world premiere, with a live string quintet, exuding languorous eloquence, romanticism, and fluidity. They performed with generous spirituality. Paloma Herrera, a soon to retire Principal with American Ballet Theatre, and Juan Pablo Ledo, from Argentina’s Teatro Colón, performed a stunning work, a New York premiere, by Mauricio Wainrot. Verano Porteño, music by Astor Piazzolla, returned Ms. Herrera to her Buenos Aires roots, with a tango-infused, breathtaking ballet. Another highlight was Isabella Boylston (ABT) and Kimin Kim’s (Royal Ballet) performance of Petipa’s Pas de Deux from Le Corsaire, a pyrotechnic, New York ballet community favorite. This duo did not disappoint, and I look forward to reviewing Mr. Kim, when he has a lead, guest performance in ABT’s production of La Bayadère.

Also of note tonight were Alexei Kremnev’s world premiere, Windy Sand, performed by the Joffrey Studio Company, Anton Pimonov’s world premiere, Untitled, performed by ABT’s Calvin Royal, a Soloist, and Mariinsky Ballet’s Kristina Shapran, and The Royal Ballet’s Melissa Hamilton and Eric Underwood, in Wayne McGregor’s New York premiere, the Pas de Deux from Qualia. One dance, Ballet 101, by Eric Gauthier, performed the Mariinsky Ballet’s Xander Parish, was foolish and amateurish. Comedic ballet has to be superb to be good. Speaking of comedy, it was wonderful to see Woody Allen, and wife, Soon-Yi Allen, in the row in front of mine, having a good time at this worthy Gala. If only Mr. Allan could have a hand in a comedic ballet, that would be something to write about. .

The Grand Defile of YAGP 2015 Finalists
Choreography by Carlos Dos Santos, Jr.
Courtesy of Siggul/VAM

Evgenia Obraztsova and Semyon Chudin (Bolshoi Ballet)
Pas de Deux from "The Pharaoh’s Daughter"
Choreography by Pierre Lacotte
Courtesy of Siggul/VAM

Teresa Reichlen and Zachary Catazaro (NYC Ballet)
in "Minuet" from String Quartet No. 15
Choreography by Emery LeCrone
Courtesy of Siggul/VAM

Paloma Herrera (ABT) and Juan Pablo Ledo (Teatro Colón)
in "Verano Porteño"
Choreography by Mauricio Wainrot
Courtesy of Siggul/VAM

Isabella Boylston (ABT) and Kimin Kim (Mariinsky Ballet)
in Pas de Deux from "Le Corsaire"
Courtesy of Siggul/VAM

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