The result of a partnership between Gulbenkian and six European cultural institutions, the award will be awarded every two years to dancers or choreographers from any part of the world, “who show that they have talent or special qualities worthy of transcending their national borders,” Gulbenkian said about the award.
Aiming to honor Jorge Salaveza, artistic director of the Gulbenkian Ballet between 1977 and 1996, the award will include six European cultural institutions that will each submit three artist applications, for a maximum of 21 nominees.
Among these, five nominees will be selected and announced, and then evaluated by an independent jury composed of three members of different nationalities, who will be responsible for selecting the winner, as Gulbenkian explains, with regard to the general rules of the award.
The foundation says the €150,000 prize – the first edition is scheduled to take place in 2024 – is aimed at dancers or choreographers with potential talent, but who still have little visibility in international circles.
The award also includes the winner’s presentation about the stages of cultural institutions within the partner network, according to the organization.
The award ceremony, which is held every two years, will be held at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, with the first edition being held on November 27, 2024.
“This European Dance Prize seeks to assert itself as an incentive for young artists, without a strictly defined age group and who still barely appear on the European scene due to their artistic discourse or their social and cultural origin,” the foundation explains, regarding the award.
Six institutions accompany the Gulbenkian Foundation in establishing the award, with an active role in the nomination of candidates and in the public presentation of their work: Impulse Tanz, Vienna (Austria), KVS, Brussels (Belgium), Dansehalleren, Copenhagen (Denmark), Maison d’Etat. La Danse/Biennale de la Danse, Lyon (France), Joint Adventures, Munich (Germany), and Sadler’s Wells, London (UK).
The Kees Egrund Foundation, former general director of Companhia Rosas and choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, “a great friend of Jorge Salavesa and promoter” of SEDA, who settled in Lisbon, will also be a partner in the award.
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation created the Gulbenkian Ballet – active between 1965 and 2005 – a company that includes repertory works of modern and contemporary dance.
It also promoted ACARTE meetings, within the scope of animation, artistic creativity and education through artistic service, from 1987 to 2000, an international performing arts festival that hosted and co-produced emblematic works of so-called new European dance and choreography. whose influence was decisive in establishing independent dance in Portugal.
Founded in 1956, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation regularly provides training grants, support for creativity, thinking and research, and supports the internationalization of artists and their works.
Born in 1939, Jorge Salaveza began his dance studies with Anna Mascolo, after continuing his training and career in Paris and London. He worked with big names in the ballet world, such as Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn.
Before returning to Portugal, in 1977, at Gulbenkian’s invitation, Jorge Salaveza worked with the Grand Ballet do Marques de Cuevas, the National Popular Ballet, the Paris Ballet, and the London Festival Ballet, the company in which he was the first foreigner.
In addition to being Artistic Director of the Gulbenkian Ballet, Salaviza has also been a teacher in several cities in the United States, at the School of the National Conservatory of Dance and a founding teacher at PARTS (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios) in Belgium.
Considered one of the country’s most influential cultural programmers, he was responsible for the dance area of Lisbon 94 – European Capital of Culture, director of the National Ballet Company (CNB), director of the Municipal Theater of São Luiz, in Lisbon, and chairman of the artistic production organization Opart, which oversees… On Teatro Nacional de S.Carlos and CNB.
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