Roberta on the Arts
Youth America Grand Prix Dance School Festival at Koch Theater
Contact Roberta
Jazz and Cabaret Corner
On Location with Roberta
In the Galleries: Artists and Photographers
Backstage with the Playwrights and Filmmakers
Classical and Cultural Connections
New CDs
Arts and Education
Onstage with the Dancers
Offstage with the Dancers
Upcoming Events
Special Events
Culture from Chicago
Our Sponsors

Youth America Grand Prix Dance School Festival at Koch Theater

- Onstage with the Dancers: Special Events

On Stage Dancewear
197 Madison Ave (bet 34 & 35 St)
New York, NY. 10016
1 (212) 725 1174
1 (866) 725 1174

The Finest in Modern Dancewear,
Character Shoes, Ballet Slippers, and Gym Outfits
Ask for Ronnie!

Click HERE for a
15% Discount Coupon
Off Already Discounted
On Stage Dancewear!

Youth America Grand Prix Gala 2019
20th Anniversary Season

International Dance School Festival

At the
David H. Koch Theater
Lincoln Center

Larissa Saveliev: Artistic Director and Founder
Gennadi Saveliev: President and Founder

Students from YAGP Dance Partner
Schools, Companies, Scholarship Programs

Press: Jonathan Marder and Company, Inc.

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 20. 2019

See 2019 YAGP NYC Finals Winners List Here.

A new feature this year in the Youth America Grand Prix Gala events was an International Dance School Festival. Unlike the past week’s Finals and Gala nights, this was a casual Saturday matinee, for the YAGP students, friends, families, and the schools represented in the annual competition events. I was extremely pleased with the extraordinary talent and sense of professionalism onstage today, as each of the 15 performances (yes, all YAGP events are comprehensive) were like studio company productions, no glitches or delays. The program began with the US based UNCSA School of Dance, with an ensemble of ten dancing “Dream(s)pace”, choreographed by Ilya Kozadayev, music by Max Richter, followed by Monaco’s Princess Grace Academy’s performance by Mackenzie Brown and Jun Masuda of “Dov’è la luna”, choreographed by Jean Christophe Maillot, music by Scriabin. The Kozadayev work introduces Richter’s interpretation of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” in an interesting way, while the Maillot work presents staccato motion in dim angular fascination.

The ABT Studio Company, based in New York, brought a quartet of dancers, Melvin Lawovi, Duncan Mcilwane, Andrew Robare, and Grace Anne Pierce, to perform Stanton Welch’s “Clear”, music by Bach, and the Boston Ballet brought Tyson Clark and My’kal Stromile to perform a crowd favorite, Bournonville’s “Jockey Dance”, music by C.C. Møller. With three men and one woman, “Clear” is bathed in golden lighting, with dancers swinging like pendulums, turning with wrapped arms, sometimes in unison, sometimes in contrast. “The Jockey Dance”, often seen in galas and showcases, typifies two jockeys in red and white silks, sticks, boots, and caps in joyous abandon, creating synchronized twirls and rapid jumps.

The Australian Ballet School brought Lilly Maskery and Jett Ramsay to dance Stephen K. Baynes’ “The Suitor”, music by Mozart, and the English National Ballet School brought an ensemble of 14 to dance the Carlos Valcarcel’s Overture from “Die Zauberharfe”, music by Schubert. In shades of blue, the Baynes pas de deux was impressive and sensual, both dancers showing poise and presence. The Valcarcel ensemble piece to Schubert’s “The Magic Harp” was vibrant and vivacious. Next we saw Dresden’s Palucca University dancers, Alderya Avci and Niklas Jendrics in David Dawson’s “A Sweet Spell of Oblivion”, music by Bach, followed by the Berlin State Ballet School’s ensemble of 11 in Marco Goecke’s “All Long Dem Day”, music by Nina Simone. The pas de deux from Dresden, dancing to preludes from Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier”, was surreal, a dream ballet, ethereal, mystical. The Berlin ensemble piece, to Nina Simone’s vocals, was refreshing and mature, with the dancers in black slacks, men bare-chested and women in nude tops, hair slick and tight, attitude taut and sophisticated.

Philadelphia’s The Rock School for Dance Education brought an ensemble of 20, a large enough contingent to be its own company, to dance Justin Allen’s “Influx”, music by Max Richter, and Princess Grace Academy of Monaco brought back Mackenzie Brown and Jun Masuda, this time for Marco Goecke’s “Black Swan Pas de Deux”, music by Tchaikovsky. The Allen ensemble piece for The Rock School was lively and pulsating, while the Goecke piece for Monaco was the only disappointing work of the event, a campy take of a most beloved and stunning Petipa pas de deux. Two dancers use their limbs in stilted, silly, staccato fashion, with no noticeable choreographic purpose. The Bolshoi Ballet Academy brought Anastasiya Plotnikova for a solo performance in Yuri Grigorovich’s Variation from “Sleeping Beauty” Act III, music by Tchaikovsky, and the San Francisco Ballet School brought an ensemble of six for Mark Brew’s “Quicksilver”, music by Ólafur Arnalds. The Bolshoi Grigorovich variation was challenging and stunning, with the Act III “Beauty” flourishes we adore at the full-length ballet. The Brew ensemble piece for San Francisco had students in dark leotards with stage level athletics, reaching motifs, and lifts.

The John Cranko School of the Stuttgart Ballet brought Gabriel Figueredo, Alexander Smith, and Yuki Wakabayashi for Uwe Scholz’ “Die Schöpfung”, music by Haydn, and Houston Ballet Academy brought an ensemble of eight for Stanton Welch’s “Fingerprints” (Excerpt), music by Kronos Quartet. The Scholz ballet for a trio had a male solo first and male-female duo next, in an impressive work. The Houston ensemble wore silky wing-like, or floor-length fabric with repetitive, black curved lines like painted fingerprints, in a gorgeous near-finale work. The final ballet, for this week’s third major event of the 2019 YAGP season was for the ABT Studio Company, returning with a quartet of dancers for Petipa’s “Don Quixote Suite”, music by Minkus. Just as last night’s Gala had ended with “Don Q”, so would today’s. Leah Baylin, Kanon Kimura, Joseph Markey, and Chloe Misseldine did not disappoint. They brought the house down.

Kudos to all the dancers in today’s YAGP International Dance School Festival, kudos to their teachers and coaches, and kudos to YAGP.

Princess Grace Academy, Monaco
Mackenzie Brown & Jun Masuda
in " Dov’è la luna "
Choreography: Jean Christophe Maillot
YAGP by VAM Productions

Boston Ballet II, USA, Boston
in "Jockey Dance"
Choreography: August Bournonville
YAGP by VAM Productions

Australian Ballet School, Australia
Lily Maskery & Jett Ramsay
in "The Suitor"
Choreography: Stephen K. Baynes
YAGP by VAM Productions

English National Ballet School, UK
in Overture from "Die Zauberharfe"
Choreography: Carlos Valcarcel
YAGP by VAM Productions

The Rock School for Dance Ed.,
USA, Philadelphia
in "Influx"
Choreography: Justin Allen
YAGP by VAM Productions

Houston Ballet Academy, USA, TX
in "Fingerprints", Excerpts
Choreography: Stanton Welch
YAGP by VAM Productions

ABT Studio Company, USA, NY
in "Don Quixote Suite"
Choreography: Marius Petipa
YAGP by VAM Productions

YAGP 2019
International Dance School Festival
Curtain Call, Finale
YAGP by VAM Productions

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at