The Erik Bruhn Prize is presented every year by the National Ballet of Canada and is always a night of amazing ballet, stunning choreography and fresh new faces. Erik Bruhn was one of the most highly regarded dancers in his time and that legacy has continued to this day. He began his career with the Royal Danish Ballet, but travelled to several companies around the world, and finally finished his career right here in Toronto as the Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada from 1983-86. Bruhn was praised for being not just a dancer with perfect technique but a dancer that embodied characterization and storytelling as the feature in his performances. His work went above and beyond the steps and touched audiences around the world.
The Erik Bruhn Prize was established by Bruhn in his will. Bruhn left a portion of his estate to be awarded to one male and one female dancer between the ages of 18-23. Today five companies participate in the Prize, the National Ballet of Canada, The American Ballet Theatre, The Royal Danish Theatre, San Francisco Ballet and Stuttgart Ballet. The Artistic Director from each company picks one male and one female dancer to send to the Toronto for the competition. Each pair dances a classical duet and a contemporary duet. Despite dancing in pairs, each dancer is judged individually. Last year Elena Lobsanova from the National Ballet of Canada and Cory Stearns from the American Ballet Theatre won the prize. In addition, last year a Choreographic Prize was added and Canadian choreographer Matjash Mrozewski won.
The Erik Bruhn Prize will be held this year at the Four Seasons Centre on March 5th.