Tag Archives: Yue Shi

2014 USAIBC Results, June 27, 2014

20 Aug

These comments will see the website not quire two months following the announcement of winners for the 2014 USAIBC Competition. In thirty-five years technology has devastated “scoops”, Facebook and YouTube almost decreeing “sayonara” to ritual and decorum.

The IBC Staff, Jurors, finalists, seeded dancers, coaches, press, family, friends and IBC volunteers gathered on the Mezzanine to learn the results of 8 sessions of Round I, 3 sessions each of Rounds II and III. Vicki Blake Harper, a six- competition press and public relations veteran, had managed to print the three page announcement to supply the press with the data.

The third page was nearly full listing scholarships and positions with junior companies of U.S. companies before the perfunctory notice of the Gala, and statements by Edward Villella, Jury Chair, and Sue Lobrano, Executive Director.

Ashley Wheater, Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet offered full scholarships for 2015 Summer Intensive to Blake Kessler, Matthew Griffin; from the People’s Republic of China Taiyu He and Yue Shi plus Gustavo Carvalho from Brasil. Griffin, He, Shi and Carvalho are also designated to continue into the Joffrey Studio Company.

The Joffrey also offered positions in the Joffrey Company for the 2015-2016 season to the Koreans Dae Han Na and Jeong Hansol. The two Koreans are still students, Dae Han Na of Korea National University of Art, Jeong Hansol of Sejong University.

Trainee and company contracts, 2014-2015, have been offered by Ballet West to semi-finalist Anita Sineral-Scott, U.S.A; Makenzie Richter, U.S.A. with Houston Ballet’s Second Company; Texas Ballet Theater to semi-finalist Paula Alves, Brazil; Memphis Ballet offered Matthew Griffin, U.S. a trainee position for 2014-2015.

Matthew Griffin also garnered a full tuition scholarship for Colorado Ballet’s 2015 Summer intensive and a one-season contract with Columbia City Ballet.

Gisele Bethea, U.S.A., has been offered a full scholarship and stipend for the fall 2014 and a Studio Company position, Spring 2015 with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre.

Finally, Olga Marchenkova and Ilya Artamonov, Bolshoi Ballet dancers from Russia, are invited to dance leading roles in South Mississippi Ballet’s 2014-2015 production of The Sleeping Beauty.

In all, these opportunities count as much as the following awards:
Robert Joffrey Award of Merit: Daniel Alejandro McCormick-Quintero, representing Mexico, but a student at San Francisco Ballet School,$1,000.

Jury Award of Encouragement, Female: Romina Contreras from Chile, $500.

Jury Award of Encouragement, Male: Yue Shi, People’s Republic of China, $500.

The Choreographic Award went to Nicholas Blanc for Rendez-vous, danced by finalist Aaron Smyth, Australia. Both Blanc and Smyth are affiliated with the Joffrey Ballet, Blanc a former principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet, then ballet master with the Royal Scottish Ballet before assuming the same position with the Joffrey Ballet. The Award brings with it $2,500.00

For the Best Couple Awards, the Junior went to Yasmin Lomondo and Gustavo Carvalho of Brazil; scarcely surprising since they were the sole couple participating throughout in the junior division, courteous and attentive as well as exact and musical. Both receive $1,000 each. The Senior Best Couple were
from Korea, Ji-Seok Ha and Ga-yeon Jung.

Announcement of Medals start with the Bronzes. The Jury is permitted to award two Bronzes and two Silvers for either men or women and this occurred amongst the Junior Women’s Bronze, the Men’s Bronze, the Women’s Senior Silver. The list went as follows:

Junior Women Bronze: Yasmin Lomondo, Brazil and Paulina Guraieb Abella, Mexico, each $1,500.

Junior Men’s Bronze, Gustavo Carvalho, Brazil, $1,000.

Junior Women’s Silver, MacKenzie Richter, U.S.A., $3,000.

Junior Women’s Gold, Gisela Bethea, U.S.A., $5,000.

In the Senior Division, the Awards lined up as follows:

Senior Women Bronze: Ga-Yeong Jung, Korea, $3,000

Senior Men’s Bronze: Aaron Smyth, Australia and Ivan Duarte, Brazil, each $3,000.

Senior Women’s Silver: Irina Sapozhnikova, Russia, and Tamako Miyazaki, Japan, each $5,000.

Senior Men’s Silver: Byul Yun, Korea, $5,000.

Senior Women’s Gold: Shiori Kase, Japan, $8,000

Senior Men’s Gold: Jeong Hansol, Korea, $8,000.

Missing from this roster were some dancers I liked enormously but who apparently took too much liberty in their classical variations. Jurors, enjoying coaching lineages stretching back almost to the time the classical repertoire was being established at the Maryinsky and Bolshoi Theatres in St. Petersburg and Moscow, or managed to acquire similar guidelines through migrating teachers or lengthy observation, pick up on such deviations. Generalized performances may permit such liberties; competitions do not and should not. As a result, one or two riveting dancers remained in the finalist category and the anguish was apparent
on their faces as the press conference terminated.

Adding my own opinion, there were several dancers already dancing with ensembles or companies. Beyond the requirements in classical variations, the professional rigors gave those competitors an edge in sheer performing skills; in the instance of the senior women it definitely showed. One or two other dancers revealed growing pains amongst the jurors manifesting such physical adjustments in degrees of reticence.

At the Gala, the medalists achieving gold status will dance twice, one classical variation and their contemporary selection.


2014 USA IBC Competition, Round I Sessions V and VI, June 17, 2014

9 Jul

By these two sessions, the audience began to pick up; still slight compared to my memory of earlier competitions. There is an entirely new generation in the audience, though a healthy number in the audience are grey-haired and seem accustomed to this every four-year treat.

Session V

Yue Shi, # 21, Jr., PRC, Coppelia male variation, brilliant, clear.

Karina Eimon, #22, Jr., U.S.A., Paquita variation, displayed the sensation of feeling lush.

Alexandra Ling, #23, Jr., U.S.A., in yellow, another Paquita variation, slight, sweet quality.

Yasmin Lamondo, #24, Jr., and Gustavo Carvalho, #36, Jr., Brazil. Coppelia Wedding Pas de deux.Spot on rendition, feeling of being in love; she demeure, he solicitous, protective.Audience responded.

Yoshiko Kamikusa, #25, Jr., Japan,Coppelia again, noted alternating arms,fouettes sur la place.

Cara Marie Gary, #79, Sr., U.S.A., Aaron Smyth, #69, Sr., Australia, Esmeralda Pas de Deux. Gary in short green tutu,arm bands. Smyth wearing dull tights. A flub in her final fouettes

Ivan Duarte, #82, Sr., Brazil, Esmeralda male variation, green vest, white tights, very clean; finished near side curtain, otherwise in control.

Song Xiao, #86, Sr., PRC, Esmeralda, delicate and small, red trim on black tutu

Ayako Okubo, #88, Sr., Japan, third Esmeralda in a row, correct use of tamborine.


Yue Shi, # 21, Jr., PRC, Flames of Paris variation, strongly executed barrel tours.

Karina Eimon, #22, Jr., U.S.A., Coppelia variation, gestures fussy, turns seemed not to move much, though corret.

Alexandra Ling, #23, Jr., U.S.A., another Coppelia, faltered in fouette, sure of movement in menage, finished well.

Yoshiko Kamikura, #25, Jr., Japan, Paquita, definitely a turner and confident.

Hana Svabenska, #81, Sr., Czech Republic, NCP Arthur Abram, Esmeralda Pas de Deux – good balances but too careful, faltered in fouettes; partner had nice jumps, overall too subdued for pas de deux.

Ivan Duarte, #82, Sr., Brazil, male variation from Don Quixote; low tours, clean, multiple pirouettes, exciting; audience thought so too.

Song Xiao, #86, Sr., PRC, Giselle, Act I; toe shoes sounds, perfunctory attention to Albrecht.

Ayako Okubo, #88, Sr .,Japan,Black Swan variation, port de bras unusual.

Session VI

Paulina Garaieb Abella, #26, Jr., Mexico, Coppelia, large-boned dancer, very clean execution.

Victoria Wong, #27, Jr., U.S.A., Paquita, in silver with sequins, phrases well filled and timed.

Ami Naito, #28, Jr., Japan, Paquita, went for precision rather than style; finishes in fifth very clear.

Mackenzie Richter, #29, Jr., U.S.A., Florine, Blue Bird pas de deux, light, good port de bras.

Gabrielle Chock, #30, Jr., U.S.A., Flames of Paris, phrasing in changements.

Sirui Liu, #90, Sr. PRC, Rodrigo Almarales, #76, Sr., Cuba, Don Quixote pas de deux, pretty dress, needed underskirt, in final coda directional turns in fouettes form. Almarales very male, touch of swagger, soccer player like, regarded audience before starting variation it went bonkers.

Yuki Yashima, #91, Sr., Japan, Luis Eduardo Gonzalez, #87, Sr., Colombia, La Fille Mal Gardee pas de deux – credited everyone but Dauberval. He a little shakey; she expressed happiness, is a natural turner.

Jeong Hansol, #92, Sr., Korea, La Fille Mal Gardee, scarlet vest, white sleeved.


Paulina Garaieb Abella, #26, Jr., Mexico, Paquita, lush Latin quality, accurate turns.

Victoria Wong, #27, Jr., U.S.A., Flames of Paris, sense of play, direction in turns.

Ami Naito, #28, Jr., Japan, Florine in Blue Bird, pale blue and many sequins, precise.

Mackenzie Richter, #29, Jr., U.S.A.,Coppelia, a rhinestone tiara for a village wedding? Since when!

Gabrielle Chock, #30, Jr., U.S.A., Paquita, assured, strong attack.

Jeong Hansol, #92, Sr., Korea, Don Quixote variation, elevation excellent; interesting use of turns; smile of pleasure, control. Another dancer in charge, eliciting strong response.

Jemima S. Sanielle Reyes, #93, Sr., Victor V. Maguad #53, Sr., Philippines, Black Swan pas de deux, Act III, Swan Lake. Her costumes with full sleeves, incongruous tiara of slight blue sequins; both tiny, he long waisted, used Grigorovitch variations.

Kaori Fukui, #94, Sr., Jun Tanabe, #72, Sr., Japan, Don Quixote pas de deux; good personal connection; his turns spectacular; she looked like a poppy in costume, standard use of fan.