Sunday, 20 September 2015

Alexandra Radius Prize 2015

Maia Makhateli and Alexandra Radius
Photo Angela Sterling
(c) Dutch National Ballet, all rights reserved

When I was growing up and taking an interest in ballet for the first time Alexandra Radius was the best known dancer from the Netherlands of her generation. She was often featured in the British press together with her husband Han Ebbelaar. I saw them once on one of their visits to London.  Radius was a beautiful dancer in both classical and modern roles as you can see form these YouTube videos of her in Swan Lake and Twilight and Sleeping Beauty with her husband. The last video shows Radius and Ebbelaar as they are today discussing the exception al talent of Michaela DePrince.  Radius's contribution to the development of the Dutch National Ballet is acknowledged in the history page of the company's website.

Another acknowledgement of Radius's contribution is the Alexandra Radius prize which is awarded to the most outstanding dancer of the year. Recent winners have included Anu Viheriäranta in 2010, Matthew Golding in 2011, Casey Herd in 2012, Remi Wörtmeyer in 2013 and Jurgita Dronina and Isaac Hernández in 2914.

This year's winner was Maia Makhateli who has two connections with this country. She is the sister of David Makhateli who was a principal with the Royal Ballet between 2007 and 2012. She danced with the Birmingham Royal Ballet though she found our climate uncongenial.  Makhateli was presented with the prize by Radius herself at the opening gala of the 2015-2016 ballet season on 8 Sept 2015 (see The best evening I have ever spent at the ballet 13 Sept 2015). I was there when she received her award and I saw her dance in van Manen's Two Pieces for Het and Balanchine's Jewels later in the evening.

To appreciate that lovely dancer and her art see the Dutch National Ballet's video on her:

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