Nijinsky Awards, 'Oscars of Dance World,' Presented in Monte Carlo

Classic Arts News   Nijinsky Awards, 'Oscars of Dance World,' Presented in Monte Carlo
The fourth biennial Nijinsky Awards, described by The Los Angeles Times as "the Oscars of the dance world," were presented last week at a gala in the recently renovated Monte Carlo Opera House. Presiding was the event's honorary president and patron, Monaco's Princess Caroline.

Marco Goecke, a 34-year-old German who is resident choreographer at the Stuttgart Ballet, won one Nijinsky Award, according to the paper. The other four prizes recognized the lifetime achievements of French dancer Gil Roman, assistant director of the B_jart Ballet Lausanne in Switzerland; Spanish dancer Ana Laguna, member of the Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm; American dancer and choreographer Trisha Brown; and American dancer and choreographer John Neumeier, artistic director of the Hamburg Ballet since 1973.

The Times notes that the gala took place on a stage where, almost one hundred years ago, the legendary dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky himself frequently choreographed, rehearsed and performed.

Karl Lagerfeld created a backdrop for the gala inspired by a scene from Mikhail Fokine's Le Spectre de la rose, which premiered at the Monte Carlo Opera House in 1911, starring Nijinsky as the Rose.

Milwaukee-born Neumeier, who, according to the Times, is also the world's foremost private collector of Nijinsky memorabilia and guardian of the artist's legacy, said, "I am deeply moved to receive an award and honor in the name of Nijinsky, a courageous and groundbreaking artist and a deeply moral, sensitive and intuitive man who has filled, fired and inspired my entire career.

"It still feels like I'm on the way," Neumeier added. "I accept the award not for what I have already done, but for what I still might do on my journey in service to the art of dance, which I so deeply love."

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