Each year, the Benois de la Danse selects the best male and female ballet dancer and a top choreographer from an impressive group of international artists. But just because it draws on a worldwide talent pool doesn't mean the names are all unrecognizable. This year's Moscow-based awards highlight the performances of many Dance Magazine favorites—and no less than three former cover stars. Plus, American Ballet Theatre received a nomination in each of the three categories.
This past November, we wrote about Boston Ballet's Misa Kuranaga and her incredible globetrotting career. She's been nominated for her portrayal of Tatiana in Onegin and Medora in Le Corsaire.
Choreographer Akram Khan, who appeared on our September 2016 cover, is being lauded for his reimagining of Giselle at English National Ballet. He dished about the creation process in this Q&A, confessing, "This is my first full-length ballet, god help me." Seems like it turned out pretty well.
Back in April 2010, ABT artist in residence Alexei Ratmansky nabbed a DM cover. Needless to say, he's still one of the hottest names in ballet choreography. His nomination is for his Serenade after Plato's Symposium, which we singled out as one of the best performances of 2016.
The winners won't be announced until the end of May, but that gives you plenty of time to study up on the international artists you're less familiar with. Check out the full list of nominees below. Let the Google searching, YouTube treasure-hunting and Instagram consulting begin!
Stella Abrera for Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, American Ballet Theatre
Nina Kaptsova for Short Time Together, Bolshoi Ballet
Misa Kuranaga for Tatiana in Onegin and Medora in Le Corsaire, Boston Ballet
Ludmila Pagliero for Other Dances, Paris Opéra Ballet
Seul-Ki Park for Aegina in Spartacus, Korean National Ballet
María Riccetto for Tatiana in Onegin, National Ballet of Uruguay
Gustavo Carvalho for Don Jose in Carmen, National Ballet of Uruguay
Davide Dato for Abderakhman in Raymonda, Vienna State Ballet
Jae-Woo Lee for Carabosse in The Sleeping Beauty, Korean National Ballet
Brooklyn Mack for Theme and Variations, The Washington Ballet
Hugo Marchand for Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Paris Opéra Ballet
Denis Rodkin for Solor in La Bayadère, Bolshoi Ballet
Jeffrey Cirio for Colas in La Fille mal gardée and title role in Prodigal Son, American Ballet Theatre
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui for Exhibition, Royal Ballet of Flanders
Edward Clug for Handman, Nederlands Dans Theater
Hyo-Hyung Kang for Into the Pulse, Korean National Ballet
Akram Khan for Giselle, English National Ballet
Crystal Pite for The Seasons' Canon, Paris Opéra Ballet
Alexei Ratmansky for Serenade after Plato's Symposium, American Ballet Theatre
Demis Volpi for Salomé, Stuttgart Ballet