Monthly Archives: June 2012

Lar Lubovitch awarded the 20th annual prize for best choreography by the Prix Benois de la Danse at the Bolshoi Theater.

New York, NY, May 23, 2012 – Last night at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Lar Lubovitch was awarded the 20th annual prize for best choreography by the Prix Benois de la Danse.  Lubovitch is the first American choreographer ever presented with the award.  He was honored for his creation of Crisis Variations, which premiered at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City on November 9, 2011.  The work, for seven dancers, is set to a commissioned score by composer Yevgeniy Sharlat, and the score was performed live at its premiere by the ensemble Le Train Bleu, under the direction of conductor Ransom Wilson.

To celebrate the occasion, the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company performed the duet from Meadow for the audience of 2,500 at the Bolshoi.  The dancers in the duet were Katarzyna Skarpetowska and Brian McGinnis.


Lar Lubovitch is the first American ever to be so honored.

Other star performers and important international figures from the world of dance received prizes at the award ceremony.  In addition to the award for choreography given to Lubovitch, the winners in other categories were:

For the best performance by a ballerina: Alina Cojocaru for the role of Julie in “Liliom” at the Hamburg Ballet.

For the best performance by a male dancer, the jury awarded two prizes: one to Mathias Heymann of the Paris Opera for dancing Zaël in “La Source” and one to Carsten Jung of the Hamburg Ballet for the title role in “Liliom.”

For the best composition, Michel Legrand for the music for “Liliom” at the Hamburg Ballet.

A special lifetime achievement in choreography was given to Pierre Lacotte, a French choreographer who celebrated his 80th birthday last month.  He did most of his work for the Paris Opera but also choreographed productions at most of the famous ballet and opera houses of the world, including the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and the Marinsky in St. Petersburg.

The jury that awarded the prizes was co-chaired by Yuri Grigorovich (choreographer of the Bolshoi Theater) and John Neumeier (director of the Hamburg Ballet).  The other members of the jury were Altynai Asylmuratova (artistic director of the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg), Laurent Hilaire (ballet master and deputy director of the Paris Opera Ballet), Kim Joo-won (prima ballerina of the Korea National Ballet of Seoul), Manuel Legris (artistic director of the Vienna State Ballet); Alessandra Ferri (director of the ballet program of Festival dei 2 Mondi in Spoleto), and Jorma Elo (resident choreographer of the Boston Ballet).  All of the jurors were themselves previous winners of the Benois de la Danse.

The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company will perform Crisis Variations on tour this fall in Philadelphia (Annenberg Center on October 11-13), Boston (Shubert Theater on October 19-20), and Washington DC (Kennedy Center on November 29-30), among other cities, and will present an encore of the dance as part of its next home season in New York City this coming November (at a theater to be announced).

The creation of Crisis Variations was supported, in part, by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.  The company also acknowledges the generous support of the Open Society Foundation’s Performing Arts Recovery Initiative (administered by the Fund for the City of New York), O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation, McMullan Family Fund, Shubert Foundation, Jerome Robbins Foundation, A. Woodner Fund, and Harkness Foundation for Dance.

For more information on Lar Lubovitch – and a list of all the nominees for this year’s Prix Benois de la Danse – visit


Katarzyna Skarpetowska and Brian McGinnis performed the duet from Meadow for the audience of 2,500 at the Bolshoi.