DEVELOPING ARTISTS GRANTS
2012 Grant Recipient
Classical Ballet Winner
Yoshiko Kamikusa, a 16-year-old ballerina from Vancouver BC, was nominated by the Goh Ballet where she dances in the Senior Professional Program. In addition to performing solo or principal roles in numerous productions, Yoshiko has received numerous national and international awards.
In submitting the nomination for The Hnatyshyn Foundation grant, Chan Han Goh, Director of Goh Ballet said: ”Yoshiko Kamikusa studies dance at the Goh Ballet Academy with dedication and passion. She is a conscientious dancer and a pleasure to have in our professional program. Giving her all, she wholeheartedly achieved the critical components (of the Senior Professional Program)... Training alongside our international faculty in her regular daily schedule, Yoshiko also worked privately with Vera Solovyeva and Nikolay Levitsky. She is keen, dedicated, focused, and has an excellent work ethic, and ranked very well in the program receiving Distinction in RAD exams, most recently being awarded the solo seal.”
In adjudicating Ms Kamikusa's performance submissions, the jury commended her choice of material and interpretation: “The Esmeralda variation was sultry and dynamic suiting the gypsy character through slow and controlled movement combined with flexibility. The Kitri variation showed a vivacious and playful character with lightning speed and agility… she was totally in command of the technique and exhibited a strong stage presence from the first entrance to the final pose. The artist statement showed a maturity seemingly beyond her young years. She definitely shows a passion for dance and radiates that joy in her presentation… Her technique would rival any professional. Unusual artistry for such a young person.”
The jury for classical ballet included:
Frank Augustyn, Chair, Dance Department, Adelphi University
Vanessa Harwood, O.C., Former Principal Dancer, National Ballet of Canada
William Thompson, Freelance Choreographer and Master Teacher
As a ballerina and artist, I strongly believe that the most important aspect of performance is being able to share the art of ballet with an audience. Of course, there are countless things about performances that contribute to my own benefits, such as building on stage experience, confidence and presence, as well as increasing my quality of dance. However, I concentrate on improvement of all these factors for a much bigger picture and more valued reason; the audience. Performances are not only opportunities for personal development in performing, but moments that I can give to and take pleasure in with people other than myself. In fact, I am happiest when someone receives and understands my passion for ballet from my time on stage.
My primary goal and aspiration is to become a prima or principal ballerina in a professional ballet company. It is my dream to pursue a significant career in a field that I love and enjoy most. I hope to work with various directors, choreographers, teachers and other dancers who will appreciate, motivate and nurture me to help create the best artist that I can be. I am determined to continuously develop myself in both technical and artistic terms, for as long as I remain active in this profession. I want to bring joy to all my audiences through my dancing at international levels, so that a greater population can appreciate the arts more, especially the beauty of classical ballet.
My inspirations come from various people and situations, but my current teachers, Vera Solovyeva and Nikolay Levitsky, will definitely be given immediate credit. Their years of valuable, professional experience have in no doubt provided me with excellent ballet training and advice, which have proved to be the source of my greatest improvement as a ballerina and artist so far. As teachers, they have generously given and shared with me their passion for ballet and dance that remarkably seems to grow more evident year after year. I am always amazed at their dedication and ability to maximize a dancer’s potential, along with being able to express clear artistic views upon performance. In addition to my wonderful teachers, I am constantly inspired by many great former and current ballerinas in the world. Some of my favorite dancers to watch are Uliana Lopatkina, Sylvie Guillem, Maya Plisetskaya, Altynai Asylmuratova, Maria Kochetkova, Svetlana Zakharova, Alina Cojocaru, and Yuan Yuan Tan. They’re all technically outstanding, but it inspires me much more that they radiate a powerful aura revealing how much they love ballet and dance itself.