As someone who did time in the jazz and tap competition circuit and then Regional Dance America festivals, I was curious to see the Gala performance for the Youth American Grand Prix, which has become one of the biggest dance competitions in the world. The YAGP, in its 24th year, holds annual events in 30 American cities and 15 international ones, giving out half a million dollars in scholarships. I’ve recently covered the more conventional pathways to a dance career: junior troupes and institutional workshops. The YAGP provides yet another route to professional employment, particularly for students who reside outside of metropolitan dance hubs. As board member Sergei Gordeev stated in his introductory speech: presently, 60 of American Ballet Theater’s 93 dancers are YAGP alums, and “over a dozen” former competitors are currently in the New York City Ballet.
Chloe Misseldine performs a solo from "William Tell" at YAGP. Photograph by Jennifer Wingrove
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading