The Erik Bruhn Prize - Jeannine Haller and Siphesihle November Compete

January 30, 2019

Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, today announced that Corps de Ballet members Jeannine Haller (22) and Siphesihle November (20) will represent the company at The International Competition for The Erik Bruhn Prize on Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 7:30 pm at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Choreographic Workshop alumna Alysa Pires creates a new contemporary work commissioned by the National Ballet for the choreographic prize. #BruhnPrize

The companies participating in this year’s competition are American Ballet Theatre, The Hamburg Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet and The National Ballet of Canada.

Participants from other companies are: Aran Bell (20) and Catherine Hurlin (23) from American Ballet Theatre, Matias Oberlin (22) and Sara Ezzell (23) from The Hamburg Ballet and Emma Riis-Kofoed (20) and Mattia Santini (20) from The Royal Danish Ballet.

Judging the competition will be Artistic Directors Karen Kain, Kevin McKenzie (American Ballet Theatre), Nikolaj Hübbe (The Royal Danish Ballet) and Principal Ballet Master Kevin Haigen (The Hamburg Ballet).

Competing for the choreographic prize are Alysa Pires (The National Ballet of Canada), Jessica Lang (American Ballet Theatre), Kristian Lever (The Hamburg Ballet) and Nathan Compiano (The Royal Danish Ballet).

The evening will be hosted by Principal Dancer Harrison James.

One of the most acclaimed and revered male dancers of the 20th century, Erik Bruhn personified the danseur noble tradition in all its classical, regal glory. His affiliation with The National Ballet of Canada was a lengthy and fruitful one, culminating in his Artistic Directorship of the company from 1983 until his untimely death in 1986. Mr. Bruhn left part of his estate for the establishment of The Erik Bruhn Prize, which was to be awarded to one male and one female dancer who “reflect such technical ability, artistic achievement and dedication as I endeavoured to bring to dance.”

Since it began in 1988, the competition has showcased the talents of many of the finest young dancers from companies around the world. Competitors for the prize are selected by the Artistic Directors of their respective companies. Each pair performs a classical pas de deux and variation and a contemporary pas de deux or solo work.

Participants receive a medal and the winners are each awarded a prize of $7,500 and a sculpture by Canadian artist Jack Culiner generously donated by Artcast. The winner of the Choreographic Prize, established in 2009, will also receive a Jack Culiner sculpture and a $2,500 cash prize.

Many of the past competitors have gone on to become Principal Dancers, enjoying international careers, making the competition a glimpse of the future stars of the ballet world in one exhilarating evening of dance.

Full biography of Jeannine Haller >
Full biography of Siphesihle November >
Full biography of Alysa Pires >
Full list of past winners of The Erik Bruhn Prize >

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The International Competition for The Erik Bruhn Prize is presented by John and Claudine Bailey.

Harrison James is sponsored through Dancers First by Lucy White.

Siphesihle November is sponsored through Dancers First by Jerry & Joan Lozinski.

The National Ballet of Canada gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Ontario Arts Council; the City of Toronto through the Economic Development & Culture Department; the Government of Canada – Department of Canadian Heritage, through the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism; and the Government of Ontario through The Honourable Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

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