[Hong Kong – 20th March 2015] The Hong Kong Ballet announces today an exciting addition – Russia-born ballerina Jurgita Dronina, Principal Dancer of Dutch National Ballet, joins the Company as Guest Principal Dancer. Her début performance with The Hong Kong Ballet will be in the company’s 2014/15 season finale: Paquita．Bolero．Carnival+ (29th to 31st May 2015). She will appear in the Grand Pas Classique from Paquita.
This appointment marks the second Guest Principal Dancer to join The Hong Kong Ballet’s existing ensemble, after Tan Yuan Yuan. Regarded as the greatest Chinese ballerina of all time, Tan Yuan Yuan joined The Hong Kong Ballet as Guest Principal Dancer in May 2008.
A winner of the Alexandra Radius Prize 2014, Jurgita Dronina captivated the Hong Kong audience back in 2011 in The Hong Kong Ballet’s International Ballet Gala. She appeared in an electrifying world première of TECTUM, a solo piece created especially for her by Spanish choreographer Juanjo Arques and the pas de deux from Don Quixote. Highly acclaimed for her “astonishing balances and turns with fantastically cheeky characterisations” as Kitri, she has not only impressed the ballet lovers in Hong Kong, but also Ted Brandsen, Artistic Director of the Dutch National Ballet, who offered her a contract of Principal Dancer in 2010 when she performed as a guest artist as Kitri in Amsterdam with the highly-esteemed Dutch troupe.
Her lead roles include Nikiya in La Bayadère, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle in Giselle, Medora in Le Corsaire, Cinderella in Cinderella, Titania in The Dream, Sylvia in Sylvia, Swanilda in Coppélia among many other leading roles in the classical repertoire and contemporary works, as well as a variety of ballets created especially for her.
Madeleine Onne, Artistic Director of The Hong Kong Ballet, stated: “Jurgita is without doubt an outstanding dancer and a wonderful addition to our world class troupe, I am sure that this collaboration will be a great one for both Jurgita and The Hong Kong Ballet and will add new energy to our productions. I look forward to seeing her take on a range of the Company’s diverse repertoire, starting with performances in Paquita．Bolero．Carnival+ in May 2015 in the capacity of Guest Principal Dancer”.
Jurgita expressed “I am so happy and honoured to accept the role of Guest Principal Dancer with The Hong Kong Ballet, especially by the invitation of Madeleine Onne who invited me to join the Royal Swedish Ballet in 2005. I have tremendous respect for Madeleine’s artistic vision and quality she brings to every production. I look forward to working with her again and with this wonderful company, one that is constantly striving to reach new heights. I know it will be an inspiring journey, both artistically and personally, to be a part of it as a Guest Principal Dancer”.
About Jurgita Dronina
Born in Saratov, Russia, Jurgita Dronina joined the Royal Swedish Ballet in 2005, becoming a Soloist in 2007. Among many leading roles she has danced, her first ballets included Nikiya in La Bayadère (2006), Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (2007) and Swan Lake (2008). In 2009, while performing at Arena Di Verona where she had danced Kitri in Don Quixote, she was called at the last minute to fly back and replace injured Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. She completed the assignment so successfully that she was promoted to Principal Dancer. In 2010, after she had again performed the role of Kitri as a guest artist in Amsterdam, Artistic Director Ted Brandsen was so impressed he offered her a contract with the Dutch National Ballet. In 2011, her performance with Cédric Ygnace in Balanchine's Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux was widely acclaimed. Jurgita has performed as a guest artist with the Norwegian National Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, Opera dell Roma, Teatro San Carlo, Arena di Verona, and as Principal Guest Dancer at Rudolf Nureyev International Ballet Festival, Russia.
In addition to numerous grants, she received Gold Medal at the Grasse International Ballet Competition (2003), Silver Medals at Moscow International Ballet Competition, Jackson International Ballet Competition and Helsinki International Ballet Competition, The Rotary International award (2008), the Dutch Zwaan (swan) award, Best Performance of the year in Netherlands for her Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty (2011), the First Saint Petersburg award “Dance Open” in 2010, 2011 and 2013, Alexandra Radius Prize in 2014 and “Dance Europe” nomination for Outstanding Dancer of the Year in 2009, 2010 and 2011 for the roles of Juliet in Romeo & Juliet, Kitri in Don Quixote, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty and Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux.
One of the premier classical ballet companies in Asia, The Hong Kong Ballet is becoming internationally recognised as a world-class institution that represents Hong Kong’s unique character. Since 1979 the Company has evolved into a vibrant performing arts organisation with accomplished dancers and a strong repertoire composed of a range of stunning, technically challenging productions, led by Artistic Director Madeleine Onne. www.hkballet.com
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