Korean Dancers Dominate New York International Ballet Competition

Classic Arts News   Korean Dancers Dominate New York International Ballet Competition
The New York International Ballet Competition concluded on June 24 with South Korean dancers taking home most of the accolades presented at its awards ceremony in the Rose Theater.

The medalists in the women's competition were South Korea's Eun Ji Ha (gold), Na Eun Kim (silver) and Sung-Won Shin (bronze); Venezuelan Karian Gonzalez also received a silver medal.

No gold medal was given in the men's competition; Wu Husheng of China won the silver and Kwi Sub Park of South Korea the bronze. Wu also won the Igor Youskevitch Award, which includes a one-year contract with American Ballet Theatre.

Rounding out the medalists were recipients of the Lefkowitz Award for Artistic Achievement: Ricardo Graziano of Brazil and Young Jae Jung and Young-Do Lee, both of South Korea.

All South Korean winners in both divisions are students at the Korean National University of Arts in Seoul.

Also awarded during the evening was an honorary gold medal to Fernando Bujones, who died in 2005 at age 50.

Valentina Kozlova (filling in for Edward Villella, who was injured not long before the competition began) presided over a jury comprising Kathryn Bennetts, Claude Bessy, Dinna Bjorn, Yoko Morishita, Ashley Page, Krzysztof Pastor, Igal Perry and Mauricio Wainrot.

Founded in 1983, the biennial New York International Ballet Competition began on June 4 and hosted 48 dancers from 19 countries. The competition assumes financial responsibility for the dancers' three-week stay, covering room, board, intra-city transportation, activities and education.

During the event's first two weeks, dancers undergo intense training by distinguished teachers to learn three pas de deux (two classical, one contemporary) required for the competition. Aside from the second round solo, which contestants may choose, all couples learn and perform the same repertoire.

Previous NYIBC medalists include Jos_ Manuel Carreê±o of American Ballet Theatre, Joseph Gatti of the Cincinatti Ballet, Mikhail Ilyin of Miami City Ballet, Alexander Proia of New York City Ballet, Maximiliano Guerra of La Scala, Xin Li Li of Shanghai Ballet and Victoria Mazzarelli of the Zurich Ballet.

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