Press Release

San Francisco, CA – September 23, 2023 – The city of San Francisco witnessed a dazzling celebration of ballet excellence at the Petipa Awards Gala, hosted by the Petipa Heritage Foundation. This spectacular event brought together over 60 dancers, including 14 principal dancers from the prominent ballet companies such as Paris Opera Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Teatro alla Scala, Staatsballet Berlin, Astana Opera Ballet, and Compañía Nacional de Danza de México, who graced the stage of the Herbst Theatre to honor the 2023 Petipa Award laureates. The Gala was attended by an array of distinguished guests, including legendary ballerina, choreographer, and actress Natalia Makarova, Artistic Director of Dutch National Ballet Ted Brandsen, and former Artistic Director and principal choreographer of San Francisco Ballet, Helgi Tomasson, among others. The event also had the privilege of hosting Consul Generals of participating countries.


The Gala’s program was a blend of classical ballet masterpieces and contemporary choreography, featuring four U.S. premier works and a world premiere tribute to the late French choreographer Pierre Lacotte, choreographed by Vasily Medvedev.


The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Petipa Awards to the following distinguished laureates:



for life achievement and exceptional contribution 

to the development of choreographic art 

Natalia Makarova

Pierre Lacotte (in memoriam)



for exceptional artistry and outstanding technical skills

Lucia Lacarra 

Hugo Marchand



for preservation of classical ballet traditions 

and support for emerging choreographers

Dutch National Ballet


In addition to the Petipa Awards, selected artists were honored with special recognitions.


Artistic Excellence Recognition: Dorothée Gilbert, Nicoletta Manni, Timofej Andrijashenko, Maia Makhateli, Giorgi Potskhishvili, Bakhtiyar Adamzhan, Matthew Golding, Sasha De Sola

Certificates of Honor – in recognition of commitment to upholding classical dance traditions, dedication to Petipa’s vision, and contributions to the advancement of the art of ballet: Elisa Carrillo Cabrera, Mikhail Kaniskin, Compañía Nacional de Danza, Bayer Ballet.


For more information, please contact:

Yelena Panchenko


About Petipa Award:

Petipa Award is a recognition of exceptional talent and unwavering commitment to preserving classical ballet and advancing Marius Petipa’s innovative vision in the art of choreography. Established by Vasily Medvedev and Stanislav Fečo, founders of the Petipa Heritage Foundation, the award has honored prominent ballet artists, choreographers, dance critics, and dance institutions. The first Petipa Award ceremony was held in Bratislava at the Slovak National Theatre in 2019, with subsequent ceremonies postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Petipa Award laureates are nominated by the artistic team of the Petipa Heritage Foundation and the Foundation’s Honorary Advisory Committee, composed of renowned figures in the world of ballet, including Altynai Asylmuratova, Elisa Carrillo Cabrera, Isabelle Ciaravola, David Dawson, Vladimir Malakhov, and Krzysztof Pastor.


About Petipa Heritage Foundation:

Petipa Heritage Foundation is a California nonprofit 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich legacy of classical ballet through awards, scholarships, educational and choreographic initiatives. The foundation seeks to honor outstanding contributions to the world of ballet and ensure the timeless art form continues to inspire and captivate audiences worldwide.

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