2014 USA IBC Round I Eliminations, June 19

10 Jul

Though this will tardily posted, listed by country were fifty-four contestants finding a spot in Round II of the Competition where they performed one of two works by Trey McIntyre or Matthew Noonan. It reflected the interest in serious training and performance by country, whether by size or comparative budget, plus, of course, the costs of transporting a contestant, costuming and rehearsal equipment overseas or across country. Earlier I listed the companies from which senior dancers have elected to compete, an advantage if the contestant is foreign-born but already residing in the United States. Currently fourteen of the dancers advancing to Round II are affiliated with a company in the United States. This means a visa in place and some familiarity with contemporary U.S. lifestyle – hazards or benefits. Since 9/11 visa hurdles have been major.

The numbers game follows. Fifty-four dancers will participate in Round II; eleven from Japan, ten from the United States, nine from the Republic of Korea, seven from Brazil, four from the People’s Republic of China, three from Russia. That makes forty-four. Then the breakdown is two each from Chile and Cuba, two from Mexico, one each from Australia, Mongolia, Portugal and South Africa: total 54. For those following cultural taste and political history, the Asian presence reflects the enormous changes from mid-twentieth century to the present, based on due diligence and emphasis on excellence in traditional Asian cultures, both marked by status and talent. Further data of interest: eighteen competitors are senior men; fourteen senior women. Only seven are junior males. with fifteen junior females advancing to Round II.

Examining gender categories provide other emphasis: Japan, Korea, the People’s Republic of China and Mongolia are reflected among the chosen men; Japan, Korea and the PRC are represented by women; again Japan and Korea in the junior women. Korea sent one junior male. One veteran balletomane and competition observer quipped, “China and Korea haven’t brought their dancers just to collect certificates of participation!”

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