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By Kina Poon
At Youth America Grand Prix's "Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow" gala last night, the performances, as expected, were spectacular. (We are dying to see McGregor's full Borderlands. And three acts of Dorothée Gilbert's Juliet. And more of the positively sunny Teresa Reichlen whom we saw last night.) In the first act, we were struck by the preternatural poise of the competition winners. Most vividly, at the ripe old age of 10, Hope Prize Winner Daichi Ikarashi turned in a scarily good Basilio, impressing not only with his technical chops but with a fully realized devil-may-care characterization.
The introductory clips that YAGP put together for the "Stars of Today" portion were a small detail that made a big difference. Seeing the dancers in rehearsal—and hearing them speak with such passion and humor about their work—added needed context and was just plain fun. (We hope the footage of Nina Ananiashvili and Lil Buck palling around surfaces, because it was priceless.) It's part of the reason why the "YAGP's Greatest Hits" film was such a pleasure to watch. (You can view the trailer here.)
The "Stars of Tomorrow" portion always ends with a grand défilé of the finalists. Having so many young dancers from all corners of the world sharing one stage (echoed by the professional contigent) is indescribably powerful. Given this week's tragic events, that electricity was even more deeply felt last night.