USA International Ballet Competition Announces 2006 Winners

Classic Arts News   USA International Ballet Competition Announces 2006 Winners
The USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, considered one of the most important ballet contests on the international circuit, presented awards to its 2006 medalists on July 1.

In the men's senior division, Daniil Simkin from Germany won the gold medal, the American Brooklyn Mack took silver and American Joseph Gatti and Japanese Masayoshi Onuki tied for bronze. In the women's senior division, Misa Kuranaga from Japan won gold, Jurgita Dronina from Lithuania placed second and Yui Yonezawa from Japan won the bronze medal.

The prize for Best Couple was awarded to the Armenian pair Davit Karapetyan and Vanessa Zahorian.

The medalists in the junior division were Isaac Hernandez of Mexico, men's gold; Sae-Eun Park of South Korea, women's silver; Denys Cherevychko of Ukraine, men's silver; Jeffrey Cirio of the United States, men's bronze; and Kayo Sasabe of Japan and Christine Shevchenko of the United States, tied for women's bronze. No women's gold was awarded.

"I thought this was a phenomenal competition. I had to keep myself from applauding or yelling 'bravo,'" said Bruce Marks, chairman of the event and director of the Orlando Ballet in Florida. "By competing in the USA IBC, many of these dancers will launch successful careers on the path to fulfilling their dreams."

"With every USA IBC, we see an intense level of skill and artistry among dancers," said executive director Sue Lobrano. "We're known for setting the benchmark for world-class competition."

The USA IBC was founded in 1978 by Thalia Mara; the first event took place the following year. In 1982, the United States Congress passed a Joint Resolution designating Jackson, Mississippi as the official home of the competition. Jackson hosted subsequent contests every four years.

The USA IBC is a two-week "olympic style" competition where performers compete for gold, silver and bronze medals, cash awards, scholarships and jobs. Many company directors interested in hiring dancers attend the competition, so the luckiest dancers leave with contracts.

This year, two dancers were awarded one-season contracts at the Miami City Ballet: Elena Kazakova from Russia and Carolyn Rose Ramsay from Canada.

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