Ashley Bouder in George Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova's Coppélia. Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB.

NYCB's Ashley Bouder Takes Home a Benois de la Danse Award

Hollywood may have the Oscars, but ballet has the Prix de Benois de la Danse. Held every spring at Moscow's Bolshoi Theater, the prestigious international awards ceremony recognizes dancers, choreographers, composers and designers for their extraordinary work on and off the stage. This year's laureates, chosen by a jury, were announced during an awards ceremony last night, followed by a star-studded gala featuring many of the nominated artists.


But it was also an exciting evening for American ballet, with dancers and productions from several U.S. companies receiving recognition. American Ballet Theatre's Harlequinade received two Benois nominations—Daniil Simkin for male dancer and Robert Perdziola for design—while Kansas City Ballet's world premiere of Septime Webre's The Wizard of Oz, co-produced by Colorado Ballet and Royal Winnipeg Ballet, received nods for both choreography and design. The Washington Ballet's Andile Ndlovu and San Francisco Ballet principal Yuan Yuan Tan received nominations in the male and female dancer categories, while Justin Peck was recognized for his ballet Hurry Up, We're Dreaming at SFB. (For a full list of the nominees, click here.)

Even better, there was an American ballerina among the winners! New York City Ballet's Ashley Bouder received the Benois de la Danse for her performance of Swanilda in Coppélia. She shared the female dancer prize with Stattsballet Berlin principal Elisa Carillo Cabrera, for her star turn in Nacho Duato's Romeo and Juliet. The male dancer award went to Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov for his portrayal of Prince Siegfried in Liam Scarlett's Swan Lake (the ballet's scenographer, John McFarlane, also won for design). Zurich Ballet artistic director Christian Spuck (for Winterreise) and Fredrik Benke Rydman (for Duet with an Industrial Robot) took home the Benois for choreography, while legendary dancemaker Jiří Kylián was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Finally, a special award, the Russian-Italian Benois-Massine, went to Hamburg Ballet principal Anna Laudere, a dancer we spotlighted last year for her performance in John Neumeier's Anna Karenina. The festivities continue tonight with another gala featuring Benois de la Danse laureates from previous years. Congratulations, everyone!

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AMDA students learn how to present their best selves on camera. Photo by Trae Patton, Courtesy AMDA

AMDA's 4 Tips for Acing Your Next Audition

Ah, audition day. The flurry of new choreography, the long lines of dancers, the wait for callbacks. It's an environment dancers know well, but it can also come with great stress. Learning how to be best prepared for the big day is often the key to staying calm and performing to your fullest potential (and then some).

This concept is the throughline of the curriculum at American Musical and Dramatic Academy, where dance students spend all four years honing their audition skills.

"You're always auditioning," says Santana Trujillo, AMDA's dance outreach manager and a graduate of its BFA program. On campus in Los Angeles and New York City, students have access to dozens of audition opportunities every semester.

For advice on how dancers can put their best foot forward at professional auditions, Dance Magazine recently spoke with Trujillo, as well as AMDA faculty members Michelle Elkin and Genevieve Carson. Catch the whole conversation below, and read on for highlights.

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July 2021