You'll Recognize These Benois de la Danse Nominees

April 12, 2017

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 favoritesand 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.

Ratmansky’s Serenade after Plato’s Symposium at ABT. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor, Courtesy ABT.

The Benois candidates include three other artists from American companies: American Ballet Theatre principals Stella Abrera and Jeffrey Cirio; and Brooklyn Mack from The Washington Ballet.

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!

María Riccetto. Photo by Santiago Barreiro, Courtesy Ballet Nacional Sodre.


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

Male Dancers

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

Pite’s Seasons’ Canon at Paris Opéra. Photo by Julien Behamou, Courtesy POB.


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