Two prima ballerinas, one from South Korea and one from China, were announced as joint winners of the prestigious best female dancer award at the Benois de la Danse.
Best of the best: South Korea’s Kang Mi-sun and China’s Qiu Yunting received the highly coveted award during the ceremony in Moscow on Tuesday.
Kang, 40, and Qiu, 27, achieved the remarkable feat by besting four other participants from international ballet companies.
About Benois de la Danse: Established in 1991 by the International Dance Association in Moscow, the Benois de la Danse awards were created to commemorate the exceptional French choreographer Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810).
The recognitions, which acknowledge the outstanding contributions and achievements of talented dancers and choreographers from around the world, have become a symbol of distinction within the ballet community.
About Qui: Qiu, a graduate of the Beijing Dance School, has showcased her versatility through performances in various renowned ballets such as “Don Quixote,” where she portrayed the roles of Kitri and Chief Bridesmaid, as well as leading roles in “Giselle,” “White Snake,” “The Nutcracker” (Chinese Version), “La Bayadère,” and other notable productions like “Swan Lake,” “The Crane Calling,” among others.
Her talent has garnered numerous accolades, including the gold medal at the 4th Beijing International Ballet Invitation Competition and the gold medal of ballet group at the 10th China Taoli Cup Dance Competition. In 2022, Qiu was bestowed the title of prima ballerina, making her one of the youngest dancers in the National Ballet of China to achieve such a distinction.
About Kang: Kang embarked on her ballet training at Sunhwa Arts High School, and she further honed her skills at Washington Kirov Academy of Ballet in the United States. Joining Universal Ballet as an apprentice in 2002, Kang displayed her unwavering determination as she progressed through the ranks, transitioning from a corps de ballet dancer to a demi-soloist, then a soloist, and ultimately a senior soloist.
In 2012, her exceptional talent led to her promotion as a prima ballerina. Kang’s portrayal of the lead role in “Mirinaegil,” a captivating piece premiered by Universal Ballet at a theater in Seoul in March, earned her well-deserved recognition.
Kang, the fifth Korean dancer to receive a Benois de la Danse prize, shared her gratitude and excitement after her win.
“Honestly, I had completely no expectations as I was emptying my mind,” she told Yonhap News Agency. “I was truly surprised when my name was called, and I am grateful to receive this honorable award.”