New York International Ballet Competition Gala

Skirball Center for The Performing Arts, New York University

March 22, 2011

Bonnefoux & McBride in Balanchine’s Theme and Variations

Photo by Martha Swope

A Review

This evening of truly amazing, honed-to-perfection ballet was presented on the occasion of presenting the annual award to the persons or institutions that provide emerging dancers with the finest opportunities to advance their artistry and careers. On this occasion it honored Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride, whom I remember seeing with delight when she danced with the New York City Ballet.

The New York International Ballet Competition Gala, founded by Ilona Copen, fully funds forty-eight invited dancers for a three-week stay in New York City each June, allowing them to completely focus on training to perform at their highest artistic level. Several dancers presented this evening were alumni of the NYIBC.

The Program
Company / Performer(s) / Ballet Title / Choreographer

New Jersey Ballet — Ana Luiza Luizi & Junio Teixeria (NYIBC Alumnus 2005), Meditation, Vladimir Salimbaev

The Joffrey Ballet/Chicago — Victoria Jaiani (NYIBC Alumna 2003), The Dying Swan, Mikhail Fokine

Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble — Flavia Garcia & DaVon Doane, Diana and Acteon, Agrippina Vaganova

Limón Dance Company — Roxane D’Orléans Juste, Spanish Dance, Daniel Nagrin (© Daniel Nagrin Theatre, Film and Dance Foundation)

North Carolina Dance Theatre — Alessandra Ball & Addul Manzano, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, George Balanchine (George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater — Matthew Rushing (2010 Dance Magazine Award Recipient), A Song for You, Alvin Ailey

Ilona Copen bids goodbye to the audience at the last Competition (2009) at the Rose Theater, Lincoln Center.

Photo by Whitney Browne

I cannot cite any one performer. I warmly appreciated each one. They were all perfection. Nor can I cite a dance. Each dance presented was a masterpiece.

However, there is much to be said about perfection. Entering a world of perfect dance, vision after vision, is comfortable. I was never jarred from being lifted and spun. I was lulled into a nether world… for a time, that is, until I realized that this is a patterned world that holds to its pattern regardless of context. Every dance was delicious and, of course, the dancers by bowing should be acknowledging applause. However, each dancer persisted in holding to their fixed pattern of bowing despite dying applause. To me this was a let down. Suddenly I felt that these dances were like pieces on a museum wall, that I had to go to them; they could not reach out to me. Of course, with a new dance, a new vision, I was back to my responsive self. I was not to be denied.

—Ruth Grauert, March 23, 2011