March 5, 2007...Toronto, Ontario... Tina Pereira, 24, of The National Ballet of Canada and
Ulrik Birkkjær, 22, of the Royal Danish Ballet won The Seventh International Competition for The Erik
Bruhn Prize on Saturday, March 3 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto.
Tina Pereira began the competition dancing with Keiichi Hirano in an excerpt
from Le Corsaire for the classical portion of the competition. During the performance Mr. Hirano tore his Achilles
tendon and Ms. Pereira continued on her own. During the intermission Artistic Director Karen Kain made
a quick programme change, replacing the planned world premiere of veer by Canadian choreographer Sabrina
Matthews with the balcony pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet. Principal Dancer Guillaume Côté,
who was in the audience for the performance, stepped in to partner Ms. Pereira. The pair had performed the piece together
at a recent guesting engagement.
Ulrik Birkkjær, a member of the Royal Danish Ballet's corps de ballet, danced the pas de
deux from Flower Festival in Genzano and a new work by Tim Rushton, opus, with Yao
Eight dancers in total from The National Ballet of Canada, American Ballet Theatre, The Royal Ballet and the
Royal Danish Ballet competed for the prestigious prize. Each company was represented by one male and one female dancer between
the ages of 18 and 26 who danced a classical and contemporary work.
Veronica Tennant and Rex Harrington, hosts of the evening, paid tribute
to National Ballet of Canada founder Celia Franca, who passed away at the age of 85 on February 19, 2007
in Ottawa. The National Ballet of Canada performed Voluntaries in honour of Glen Tetley who died
on January 26, 2007 at the age of 80.
More information about The Erik Bruhn Prize >
The Erik Bruhn Prize is presented by John and Claudine Bailey.
The National Ballet of Canada gratefully
acknowledges the ongoing support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Ontario Arts Council; the City of Toronto through
the Economic Development, Culture and Tourism Department; The Government of Canada through the Honourable Beverley J. Oda,
Minister, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Government of Ontario through the Honourable Caroline Di Cocco, Minister