On Saturday, 2 June 2018, the Semperoper Ballett will receive the European Culture Prize TAURUS. The award will be handed over during the premiere of the ballet evening »100°C« at the Semperoper Dresden, six days before the official celebration in the Frauenkirche Dresden, at which time the Saxon Minister of State for Science and the Arts, Dr. Eva-Maria Stange, will give the prize-giving address.
In picking Semperoper Ballett as this year’s recipient, the organisers of the prize are honouring the outstanding achievements of the ensemble in the field of dance. With a perfection of expression displayed through brilliant choreographies, the company manages to combine tradition with modernity while building bridges between diverse cultures through its cosmopolitan outlook. »Contemporary dance stands for aesthetic and stylistic diversity,« says Andrew Seidl, Director of the European Cultural Forum. »With its international and timeless flair and an ability to break down borders, the Semperoper Ballett represents the image of Dresden as a European City of Culture.«
»Semperoper Ballett offers unforgettable and brilliant artistic experiences in every single performance. And with its international company of dancers, it provides a wonderful example of the amazing achievements that are possible when people from diverse backgrounds work together with the same passion and mastery. I congratulate the ensemble on being awarded the European Culture Prize TAURUS«, explains Saxony’s Minister for the Arts, Dr. Eva-Maria Stange.
»We were thrilled to learn that we were to be the recipients of this year’s European Cultural Prize TAURUS and we feel honoured to accept this prize in recognition of our artistic work. For us, every single performance is an opportunity to give our audiences a truly unique experience, to make a statement in support of artistic freedom, creativity and solidarity in the universal language of dance. And we are thrilled to receive the award at the premiere of »100°C«, says Aaron S. Watkin, Artistic Director of Semperoper Ballett since August 2006.
Founded in 1823, Semperoper Ballett is a true Dresden institution that has secured a prominent position in the world of dance. Over previous decades the company’s reputation has grown through extraordinary modern choreographies realised under the auspices of such great ballet directors as Tom Schilling, Harald Wandtke, Vladimir Derevianko and, the current incumbent, Aaron S. Watkin. Of equal importance has been the continuous and intensive collaboration with leading artists such as William Forsythe and David Dawson. The company gives 70 performances each ballet season at the Semperoper, often accompanied by the Staatskapelle Dresden, one of the world’s top orchestras. A large part of its international standing can be attributed to the 56 dancers and six apprentice dancers of diverse nationalities as well as the company’s frequent touring: After thrilling North American audiences at the end of 2017, the ensemble is bringing »All Forsythe« to London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre at the end of June 2018.
The TAURUS recognises people or initiatives whose vision and creativity are shaping Europe’s cultural life while helping to ensure that our centuries-old artistic heritage is preserved and integrated into the modern age. To mark the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, in which millions of people are invited to discover our shared and unifying European culture, further prizes will be awarded on 8 June 2018 at the »Festival in the Frauenkirche«, a novel cooperation between the Frauenkirche Foundation and the European Cultural Forum. This year’s prizewinners, which include Prince Albert II of Monaco, the painter Gerhard Richter, the actor Daniel Brühl and the ensemble of the Semperoper Ballett, all make unique contributions towards peace, freedom, cultural diversity and the preservation of Europe’s cultural heritage. These are also the qualities represented by the Frauenkirche Dresden.
The Frauenkirche Dresden and the Dresden Music Festival are expecting more than 10,000 spectators to attend this joint event. The evening’s host will be German musician and entertainer Götz Alsmann. MDR will broadcast the award ceremony live on television from 8.15 pm on Friday, 8 June 2018.