The 25th YAGP, Youth America Grand Prix Gala 2023 is our favorite ballet in New York City. Really. The “Stars of Today Meets the Stars of Tomorrow” Gala is a night with some of ballet’s biggest stars and the young winners of the competition.
The YAGP, Youth America Grand Prix is the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition. It’s basically a talent scouting outing. Many of these dancers’ next steps will be as professionals in ballet companies around the world. Some will go on to have stellar careers, and return as stars years from now to welcome the next generation. [Editor: We remember seeing some of these featured artists when they were kids.]
The theater is filled with ballet royalty from the United States and around the world. If you are a ballet fan, you’ll find yourself thinking, “I can’t believe I’m standing next to – fill in the blank.”
The professional performers are some of ballet’s biggest stars. You get to see a little of everything ballet can be.
The scholarship winners are very talented young dancers. Many already have their own fan base. The competition winners dance set pieces from famous ballets. Most of the audience knows the choreography, and are not shy about cheering on their favorite dancers, or a great performance. It’s a bit like watching ballet in a baseball stadium. The room is electric. This is the real dancing with the stars.
25th YAGP, Youth America Grand Prix Gala
The YAGP, Youth America Grand Prix 25th Anniversary Kick-off Gala, a special night of ballet stars of today and tomorrow, is in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center; on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, at 7pm. From $75. lincolncenter.org
There is also a post-performance Gala dinner and dancing with the artists. For information, call YAGP at (646) 541-4592.
The evening’s stars of today include:
- Constantine Allen (Dutch National Ballet) *
- Evelina Godunova (Berlin State Ballet) – NY DEBUT
- Anne Jung (International Guest Artist)
- Michaela Mabinty DePrince (Boston Ballet) * 🇸🇱
- Jun Masuda (Tulsa Ballet) * 🇯🇵
- Roman Mejia (New York City Ballet) 🇵🇪
- Tiler Peck (New York City Ballet)
- Christine Shevchenko (American Ballet Theatre) * 🇺🇦
- Jacopo Tissi (La Scala Ballet) – NY DEBUT 🇮🇹
- Shale Wagman (Bavarian State Ballet) * – NY DEBUT
- ICE (YAGP International Contemporary Ensemble) *
* YAGP Alumni
- Bryan Arias
- Sharon Eyal
- Hans van Manen
- Ohad Naharin
- My’Kal Stromile
Featured Musical Artists:
- Paloma Dineli Chesky, vocalist
- David Chesky, Grammy-nominated pianist
The Stars of Today
The Gala kicks off YAGP’s 25th Anniversary season, with a program that features the World Premiere of Reflective Response #1, danced by Michaela Mabinty DePrince, choreographed by My’Kal Stromile, both from Boston Ballet.
Accompanying the piece is 15-year-old prodigy singer Paloma Dineli Chesky and Grammy Award-nominated pianist David Chesky, performing live.
In his New York debut, Jacopo Tissi (La Scala Ballet) will dance the U.S. Premiere of a solo excerpt from the ballet, The Ninth Wave, choreographed by Bryan Arias. Tissi will also dance Le Corsaire Act II pas de deux with Christine Shevchenko (American Ballet Theatre).
Jun Masuda* (Tulsa Ballet) and Shale Wagman* (Bavarian State Ballet, New York debut), will dance the U.S. Premiere of Hungarian Dances, and Wagman will join Evelina Godunova (Berlin State Ballet, New York debut) for a pas de deux from Flames of Paris.
Tiler Peck (New York City Ballet) and Roman Mejia (New York City Ballet) will perform a pas de deux from George Balanchine’s Tarantella.
Constantine Allen* (Dutch National Ballet) will perform 5 Tango’s choreographed by the legendary Hans van Manen.
Chloe Misseldine* (American Ballet Theatre) will perform William Tell.
Claudia Mota and Allen will perform the iconic pas de deux from Le Parc by Angelin Prejlocaj.
Israeli choreographers, Ohad Naharin and Sharon Eyal, will present rarely seen works performed by YAGP International Contemporary Dance Ensemble (ICE), made up of 35 dancers, spanning 15 countries. Dancers from around the world auditioned for ICE, then flew to Israel in December 2022 to rehearse with the ballet masters. 18 dancers from the ensemble will perform excerpts from OCD Love and Decadance at the Gala.
The Stars of Tomorrow
Sharing a stage with these ballet superstars are YAGP’s 2023 competition winners (stars of tomorrow), dancing contemporary and classical ballet favorites. These talented young dancers (ages 9 – 19) will dance in front of top ballet school directors and company heads in hopes of scholarships and job opportunities.
Supporting Ballet in Ukraine
18 year-old Yeva Hrytsak will dance the Lilac Fairy Variation from Sleeping Beauty. Hrytsak is from Ukraine and now trains with American Ballet Theatre JKO School, made possible by a generous grant from the Howard G. Buffet Foundation to support YAGP’s Ukraine relief efforts. When the war on Ukraine began, YAGP worked quickly to
relocate dance students from Ukraine and place them in YAGP partner schools in Europe and the United States to safely continue their dance training. To date, YAGP’s
Ukraine Relief campaign has put over 200 dancers on a path to a professional career in dance.
Proceeds from the Gala benefit YAGP’s Ukraine efforts as well as dance scholarships and education.
YAGP Youth America Grand Prix
Youth America Grand Prix is the largest global network of dance. YAGP fulfills its mission of dance education through scholarship auditions, master classes, alumni services, performances, and education.
For the past 24 years, over $4.5 million has been awarded in scholarships to the world’s leading dance schools, with up to $500,000 now awarded annually. Since YAGP’s founding in 1999, over 200,000 young dancers – ages 9 to 19 – of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds have participated in YAGP’s international workshops, audition classes, and dance awareness events.
Today, more than 12,000 young dancers audition annually. More than 450 Youth America Grand Prix alumni are now dancing with 80 professional companies around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, The Royal Ballet (UK), Mariinsky Ballet and many others. Over 100 of these alumni are soloists and principal dancers.
Larissa Saveliev founded Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) after training and touring with the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, before moving to the United States in the early 90’s.