March 20, 2009
CORY STEARNS WINS ERIK BRUHN PRIZE
Cory Stearns, a Soloist with American Ballet Theatre, was named best male dancer at the Eighth International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize, held in Toronto on Wednesday, March 18.
Stearns and corps de ballet member Isabella Boylston danced the Black Swan pas de deux from Act III of Swan Lake and End., a new work choreographed by ABT Principal Dancer Marcelo Gomes. Gomes also competed for the Choreographic Prize, new to the competition this year.
Born on Long Island, New York, Stearns began his classical training at Seiskaya Ballet with Mme. Valia Seiskaya. At age 15, he participated in the Youth America Grand Prix and was offered a full scholarship to The Royal Ballet School in London. Upon graduating, Stearns joined American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company (now ABT II) in September 2004 and became an apprentice with ABT in January 2005. He joined ABT’s corps de ballet in January 2006 and was promoted to Soloist in January 2009. His repertory with the Company includes Conrad in Le Corsaire, Caroline’s Lover in Jardin aux Lilas, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet and leading roles in Allegro Brillante, Citizen, Études, The Leaves Are Fading and Theme and Variations. Stearns created a featured role in From Here On Out.
The International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize was conceived by Erik Bruhn prior to his death in 1986. A leading male dancer of his generation and former Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada, Bruhn established the competition for the encouragement and recognition of young dancers. The prize is awarded to two dancers, one male and one female, between the ages of 18 and 23. This year, each couple danced an original contemporary work and the choreographer was eligible for the newly established Choreographic Prize. Competitors represent The National Ballet of Canada, American Ballet Theatre, Royal Danish Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Stuttgart Ballet.