The first edition of the Awards handed out by the dance magazine BALLET2000 were in 2004 when Maya Plisetskaya was presented with the main Prix for her career and during which she danced Ave Maya created for her by Maurice Béjart. Fittingly, the Awards Gala this year was dedicated to the memory of the great Russian ballerina who died last year, and three special ‘Maya’ Awards – in the form of bronze statuettes of her dancing – were given out. Her husband, the composer Rodion Shchedrin, who played for her at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes 12 years ago, was in the audience.
The dancers receiving awards ranged from promising talents setting out on their career – Jacopo Tissi who was thrust into the spotlight last year as Prince Désiré with Svetlana Zakharova at La Scala – and those coming to the end of their performing life: Aurélie Dupont was performing for the last time as a freelance dancer as the following day, 1 August, would be her first as Director of the Paris Opera Ballet. Dupont was awarded one of the three Mayas as the “dance artiste who has concluded a remarkable career”. Unfortunately, she chose to perform Benjamin Millepied’s Together Alone with fellow POB dancer Alessio Carbone, but in the cavernous Palais des Festivals it communicated little.