How 20 Years of Youth America Grand Prix Has Changed Ballet, By the Numbers
Youth America Grand Prix alumna Michaela DePrince. Photo by VAM, Courtesy YAGP
Since its inception in 1999, Youth America Grand Prix has grown to have an outsize impact on the ballet world, with more than 450 alumni now dancing with 80 companies across the globe.
In the last two decades, the student competition has:
facilitated more than $4 million in scholarships.
hosted auditions in 15 countries.
welcomed 100,000 dancers to competitions, classes and auditions.
Aspiring pre-professionals and alumni will descend upon New York City for YAGP's 2019 Finals, April 12–19. It's the culmination of a banner 20th-anniversary season that saw more than 10,000 dancers participate in 27 regional and 10 international semifinals. This year's "Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow" gala will notably feature YAGP alums from American Ballet Theatre in a new work by Melanie Hamrick, set to a Mick Jagger–curated selection of music by The Rolling Stones.
And on April 20, the International Dance School Festival, a performance showcase newly added this year, will give finalists a glimpse of some of the top-tier schools that regularly award scholarships to YAGP competitors.
Mention "flamenco" to anyone in the Cuban dance scene, and they are likely to bring up Irene Rodríguez. Artistic director of Compañía Irene Rodríguez, Cuba's premiere flamenco company, Rodríguez has shared the stage with such renowned flamenco artists as Eva Yerbabuena, María Juncal and Antonio Gades. She is also a faculty member at Havana's Fernando Alonso National Ballet School, and has served as a choreography consultant at Ballet Nacional de Cuba.
Irina Kolpakova in the studio with Katherine Williams. Photo by Quinn Wharton for Pointe.
Being coached by a treasure like former Kirov prima Irina Kolpakova is an experience most dancers only dream of. But company members at American Ballet Theatre have been the lucky beneficiaries of her wisdom since 1990. Thanks to Instagram, where pros like Gillian Murphy and James Whiteside share snippets of their sessions with Kolpakova, any ballet lover can be a fly on the wall during rehearsals with the famed ballet mistress.