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Youth America Grand Prix : The Making of a Dancer
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Youth America Grand Prix : The Making of a Dancer

- Offstage with the Dancers


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Youth America Grand Prix
The Making of a Dancer
“behind the scenes look into a dancer’s journey”
www.yagp.org

A Benefit for the YAGP Scholarship Fund
Hosted by Barbara Brandt

The Ailey Citigroup Theater
The Joan Weill Center for Dance
(Ailey Theater Website)

Larissa Saveliev: Artistic Director
Gennadi Saveliev: President and Executive Director
Susan Jaffe: Artistic Coordinator
Sergey Gordeev: Director of Public Relations and External Affairs


Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 21, 2008


(See YAGP Gala 2007)
(See the ABT/NYU National Training Curriculum Launch)
(See the JKO School Photo Essay)

Program:

Video Opening: Skylar Paley Brandt at 14 in rehearsal with Susan Jaffe.

“The Making of a Dancer”: Video interview with Skylar Paley Brandt, student, JKO School at ABT.

Ballet Barre: Skylar Paley Brandt and Calvin Royal III, of ABT II.

Introductory Remarks: Susan Jaffe, Former Principal Dancer, ABT.

Coaching Session I: Susan Jaffe coaches Skylar Paley Brandt in “Harlequinade” Variation.

Coaching Session II: Raymond Lukens, Artistic Associate of ABT/NYU Masters Degree Program coaches Calvin Royal III in classical ballet technique for men.

Coaching Session III: Raymond Lukens coaches Skylar Paley Brandt and Calvin Royal III in partnering.

Performances:

Skylar Paley Brandt dances a Variation from “Harlequinade”, Choreographed by Petipa, Music by Drigo.

Calvin Royal III dances Siegfried’s Variation from “Swan Lake”, Choreographed by L. Ivanov, Music by Tchaikovsky.

Questions and Answers: Led by Susan Jaffe and Raymond Lukens.

Olga Merson: Piano Accompaniment.


Tonight’s special event to raise funds for Youth America Grand Prix, the largest student ballet scholarship competition in the world, was organized and hosted by Barbara Brandt, a parent of a 14 year-old student, Skylar Paley Brandt, at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (JKO) School of Ballet at American Ballet Theatre (ABT). Through video, when Skylar was 10, and newer video in recent rehearsal, this young and rising ballet dancer spoke to the audience from her heart about the rigors of studying ballet almost every day and the sacrifices that have now become choices. Skylar had given up “sleepovers”, birthday parties, and many “friends” activities for the sake of her passion and love, dancing ballet. She dances to unwind, to “cool off”, and to perfect her talent. Her schedule is “dance, dance, schoolwork, dance, pilates, pointe shoes, dance, dance…”.

Both Skylar and Calvin Royal III, a member of the company, ABT II, practiced at the ballet barre to piano accompaniment of Olga Merson. Then Susan Jaffe, a former Principal with ABT, mentored Skylar for the audience, in preparation for her performance of “Harlequinade”. Ms. Jaffe had Skylar start and stop at intervals to perfect her presentation, her positioning, her personality, all in the effort at maximizing the dance. Raymond Lukens, of the new ABT/NYU Masters Degree Program, followed with a coaching session for male dancing and the male partnering technique, with Calvin as his model. Calvin was mentored in his own jumps and leaps, and later bent and lifted Skylar deftly and assisted her spins and balance.

Both Skylar and Calvin performed solos, first Skylar’s “Harlequinade” Variation. Skylar is a rising star and immensely poised and confident for her age. Her elevation and balance were remarkable. Calvin, as well, danced Siegfried’s solo from “Swan Lake”, and he obviously has a bright future. Calvin is a muscular and enthusiastic dancer. When asked their goals in the “Question and Answer” session, both young dancers expressed a desire to join major classical ballet companies. An elegant reception followed in the Ailey Center: See photos below. Watch for the upcoming YAGP 2008 Gala Review.



Skylar Brandt and Calvin Royal III
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Sergey Gordeev and Gala Guest
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Richard Osterweil, YAGP Board
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



View from Ailey Center Window
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



YAGP Benefit Gala Reception
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Barbara Brandt, Host, and Gala Guests
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Gary Brandt, Host, and Gala Guests
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Gary Brandt and Franco DeVita, JKO School
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



YAGP Benefit Gala Reception
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



YAGP Benefit Gala Reception
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Raymond Lukens and Susan Jaffe
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Susan Jaffe with Her Bouquet
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Susan Jaffe and Guests
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Sergey Gordeev and Susan Jaffe
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Steven Clark of Wine Cellar Sorbet 
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



A Display of Wine Cellar Sorbet
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Larissa Saveliev and Sergey Gordeev
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower





For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net