Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 17, 2012.

Update #4

We've finished "Ballet's Greatest Hits"!

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Dear Friends,

We are happy to share with you that the post-production for “Ballet’s Greatest Hits” is now complete. We have worked hard in the two months since we filmed the live performance at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Florida. And we are confident that the final version will take its viewers on an extraordinary journey into the art form of ballet that few ballet fans have ever experienced.

The film will be screened throughout the United States on March 31 and April 2. To find a theater near you, please visit: http://www.emergingpictures.com/titles/ballets-greatest-hits-yagp-gala-youth-america-grand-prix/

 What makes it truly extraordinary is its format, fusing performances, historical footage, and artistic insight. Since the cast was superb, we knew the performance footage would be spectacular. So we tried our best to add to it, creating an incredibly intimate experience for the audience. We took the audience backstage and sat down with the artists to talk about what each ballet means to them, what the process is like, and what challenges they face in creating their roles. Artists like Ashley Bouder and Daniel Ulbricht discuss their partnership and unique approach to their performance. Marcelo Gomes talks about what ballet means to him. And Joseph Phillips lets us in backstage and shares with us his experience of preparing for two hours – just for a minute and a half on stage.

Besides giving our audience an intimate backstage tour, we also wanted to add context to each ballet – and included segments in which luminaries of the dance world (like Alexei Ratmansky, Benjamin Millepied and Susan Jaffe) share their insights about each piece you will see. The segments also include archival photos and videos (many of which have rarely been seen in the United States). We think that after seeing the archival footage, most of you will be surprised to see just how much ballet technique has evolved as recently as the 1950s.

In editing the interviews, we realized how difficult it was to reduce conversations with 14 of the most interesting dance figures into short segments. Some of the interviews lasted for hours – and it was simply not possible to include everything they had to share in the film. That is why we plan to release larger segments separately on our website, just to give our viewers a deeper experience of a conversation with the dance world’s brightest personalities. We will let you know when these segments are online. 

 In the meantime, here is the full list of live performances included in the final version of “Ballet’s Greatest Hits: YAGP Gala”: 

 LIVE PERFORMANCE ARTISTIC CREDITS: 

SWAN LAKE White Swan Pas de Deux. Choreography: Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. Music: P.I. Tchaikovsky.  Performed by: Marcelo Gomes (American Ballet Theatre), Veronika Part (American Ballet Theatre). 

NUTCRACKER Grand Pas de Deux. Choreography: Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. Music: P.I. Tchaikovsky.  Performed by: SUGAR PLUM FAIRY: Hee Seo (American Ballet Theatre), NUTCRACKER PRINCE: Alejandro Virelles (Boston Ballet).

LA BAYADERE Pas D’Action and Bronze Idol. Choreography: Marius Petipa. Music: Ludwig Minkus/John Lanchbery.  Performed by: GAMZATTI: Isabella Boylston (American Ballet Theatre), SOLOR: Matthew Golding (Dutch National Ballet), BRONZE IDOL: Joseph Phillips (American Ballet Theatre). 

FLAMES OF PARIS. Choreography: Vasilly Vianonen. Music: Boris Asafiev.  Performed by: Ashley Bouder (New York City Ballet), Daniel Ulbricht (New York City Ballet).

GISELLE Pas de Deux. Choreography: Marius Petipa. Music: Adolphe Adam.  Performed by: GISELLE: Greta Hodgkinson (National Ballet of Canada) ALBRECHT: Matthew Golding (Dutch National Ballet) MYRTA: Stella Abrera (American Ballet Theatre). 

DON QUIXOTE Grand Pas de Deux Act III, with one bridesmaid. Choreography: Marius Petipa. Music: Ludwig Minkus.  Performed by: Maria Kochetkova (San Francisco Ballet), Taras Domitro (San Francisco Ballet), Skylar Brandt (American Ballet Theatre).

 THE FILM INCLUDES INTERVIEWS WITH:

 Lawrence Bender: Film Producer 

 Matthew Bourne:    Artistic Director, New Adventures 

 Leslie Browne:   International Master Teacher and former Oscar nominee 

 Jose Manuel Carreño:   Artistic Director, The Carreño Dance Festival

 Misty Copeland:    Soloist, American Ballet Theatre 

 Angel Corella:   Artistic Director, Barcelona Ballet 

 Alessandra Ferri:  Director of Dance, Spoleto Festival 

 Susan Jaffe:   Dean, School of Dance at North Carolina School of the Arts 

 Denys Ganio:   Former Etoile, Paris Opera Ballet 

 Mathieu Ganio:   Etoile, Paris Opera Ballet 

 Benjamin Millepied:  Artistic Director, L.A. Dance Project 

Wendy Perron:   Editor-in-Chief, Dance Magazine 

 Alexei Ratmansky:  Artist-in-Residence, American Ballet Theatre 

 Edward Villella:  Founder and former Artistic Director, Miami City Ballet 

We plan on sharing updates with you once a week over the next several weeks and hope that you will help us to spread the word about “Ballet’s Greatest Hits” and its screenings across the country. To find a theater near you, please visit http://www.emergingpictures.com/titles/ballets-greatest-hits-yagp-gala-youth-america-grand-prix/


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Update #3

The Live Gala Performance: "highest level of artistry and technique"

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We are proud to update you that “Ballet’s Greatest Hits” was performed to great acclaim this past weekend. We sold twice as many tickets to the live gala as our projected goal and the audience responded enthusiastically to the works presented to them. Our guest artists performed even beyond our lofty expectations to give an unforgettable performance captured on film. 

Carrie Seidman of the Herald-Tribune said of “Ballet’s Greatest Hits” that the gala “was a rare collection of exceptional ballet talent, class and interpretation packed into a single evening.” Daniel Ulbricht and Ashley Bouder performed the “Flames of Paris” pas de deux, which received a standing ovation from the appreciative audience. Of Maria Kochetkova and Taras Domitrio’s rendition of “Don Quixote” Seidman stated, “I really can’t imagine a more perfect presentation.” Read her spectacular review of the gala in its entirety here.

What a beautiful weekend of ballet to experience in Tampa! To understand why Carrie Seidman called the gala performances the "highest level of artistry and technique," check out photos from the weekend in our Facebook album here.

Now that the gala has been filmed, along with the exclusive interviews and insider rehearsal footage from the weekend, the process of editing will begin to take place. Our film crew will take a look at the footage to best combine it in a way that presents the performances and documentary footage in a cohesive and integrated fashion, making sure to give the viewer the experiences of both backstage access and front row seats. This is a new process for us as well and we are excited to see how the process pans out as our finished presentation begins to materialize. Based on how magical the live gala was, we have very high hopes for the broadcast version, which is still set to be screened in a movie theater near you. 


We thank you for being such an integral part of this historical journey. Stay tuned for more updates about the film!
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Update #2

Final Program Announcement for the Live Gala Performance

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Happy New Year!

The day is here! We’ve arrived in Tampa, FL and our project, the filming of “Ballet’s Greatest Hits”, is now underway. Our guest artists have flown in and are currently doing tech rehearsals today and rehearsing in the studio tomorrow - all in preparation for the live performance and filming on Saturday, January 5th. Tomorrow, our film crew will be interviewing the dancers as well as filming their rehearsal process. This footage will be incorporated into the final film along with other interviews with dance luminaries and archival footage.

We would like to thank you again for contributing to this exciting endeavor, because we could not have done it without your help. This Gala will be filmed by Clemente d’Alessio, 5-time Emmy Award winner, and is on track to be screened in movie theaters across America in March 2013.

Here’s a look at our final lineup. The program and dancers for YAGP’s “Ballet’s Greatest Hits” include:

  • La Bayadere - Pas D’Action Pas de Deux and Bronze Idol Gamzatti: Isabella Boylston. Solor: Matthew Golding. Bronze Idol: Joseph Phillips. 
  •  Nutcracker - Grand Pas de Deux Sugar Plum Fairy: Hee Seo. Nutcracker Prince: Alejandro Virelles. 
  • Flames of Paris  Ashley Bouder and Daniel Ulbricht .
  •  Excerpts from Giselle Giselle: Greta Hodgkinson. Albrecht: Matthew Golding. Myrta: Stella Abrera.  
  • Piazzolla Tango Daniel Ulbricht. 
  • Swan Lake – White Swan Pas de Deux Odette: Veronika Part. Siegfried: Marcelo Gomes. 
  • Don Quixote – Grand Pas de Deux Kitri: Maria Kochetkova. Basilio: Taras Domitro. Bridesmaids: Skylar Brandt and Emily Kadow.

To see the dancers' company affiliations or to purchase tickets for the live performance this weekend at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, click here. We will be sending out more updates as our project continues to come to life. We are also working on getting some of your rewards out within the next few weeks. For more information about our organization, please visit www.yagp.org. Once again, thank you for your continued support of Youth America Grand Prix!


Update #1

Casting Announced!

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We are thrilled that with 4 hours to go, we have raised $38,177 for "Ballet's Greatest Hits"! Thank you to each of you who supported the project and have ensured that we will be able to bring ballet to movie theaters nationwide.

We are pleased to share that we have preliminary casting for "Ballet's Greatest Hits". Please note, that this casting is subject to change. We know that their performances are going to be extraordinary. We will announce what they are performing at a later date.

Ashley Bouder - New York City Ballet

Skylar Brandt – American Ballet Theatre

Taras Domitro – San Francisco Ballet

Matthew Golding – Dutch National Ballet

Marcelo Gomes – American Ballet Theatre

Greta Hodgkinson – National Ballet of Canada

Emily Kadow – San Francisco Ballet

Maria Kochetkova – San Francisco Ballet

Veronika Part – American Ballet Theatre

Joseph Phillips – American Ballet Theatre

Daniel Ulbricht – New York City Ballet

Don't forget, we have some extraordinary backer rewards that include receptions with the dancers, advanced screenings, and much more. 

Thank you for your support!

Warm regards,

Youth America Grand Prix


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