Young Gyu Choi, principal dancer with Dutch National Ballet, is the winner of the Alexandra Radius Prize 2017. 

Young Gyu Choi was presented with the prize – 2500 Euros and an artwork – by former prima ballerina Alexandra Radius at Dutch National Ballet’s festive Gala in Dutch National Opera & Ballet, in Amsterdam, last night. This year, the prize was awarded for the 29th time. 

The jury praises him as a dancer with “A wonderful and very versatile stage personality. (…) always elegant and polished, while his technical achievements are simply amazing.” 

Young Gyu Choi:
“It’s a great honour for me to accept this prize. I joined the company six years ago as a corps de ballet dancer and every year I watched the announcement of the winner of the Alexandra Radius Prize at the Gala. They are always dancers with exceptional qualities, for whom I feel a deep respect. It means so much to me that I can now accept this prize myself. Every day, it will give me even more incentive to become a better artist.”

This is what the jury said:
“The style of Young’s performances is always elegant and polished, while his technical achievements are simply amazing. He also has a wonderful and very versatile stage personality. Young is a dancer who understands the demands of his role, both in classical ballets and in the contemporary repertoire. For instance, he can be exceptionally lyrical, as he demonstrated in La Bayadère, where he really danced the role of Solor from his soul. But he also knows how to convey humour and light-heartedness, as in the roles of Frans in Ted Brandsen’s Coppelia and Basilio in Alexei Ratmansky’s Don Quichot (…) and in various Van Manen ballets.”

This year’s Alexandra Radius Prize jury comprised: Alexandra Radius (formal principal with the Dutch National Ballet), Caroline Iura (former principal with the Dutch National Ballet), Astrid van Leeuwen (dance journalist), Jan Haars (chairman of the Dutch National Ballet Fund) and Henk Vrehen (Friend of the Dutch National Ballet).

Young Gyu Choi - biography
The South Korean Young Gye Choi has been with Dutch National Ballet since 2011. He began in the corps the ballet and worked his way up to the rank of principal in five years time. He has danced with the Korea National Ballet and Universal Ballet in Seoul. Young started his training at the age of eight, and was trained at the Sunhwa Arts School in Seoul and the Tanz Akademie Zürich (Switzerland). In 2006, Young participated in the International Ballet Competition in Varna and came in second; four years later, in 2010, he entered the competition again and won the first prize. That same year, he also came in first in the Boston International Competition. In 2007 he won the first prize in the Youth America Grand Prix in New York.

Friends of the Dutch National Ballet
Almost 2000 ballet-lovers are united in the Friends of the Dutch National Ballet. The Friends’ support for the only classical ballet company in the Netherlands is very important and is steadily gaining in importance. The annual highlight is the presentation of the Alexandra Radius Prize, which is awarded to the most outstanding dancer from within the Dutch National Ballet’s ranks. But the Friends do far more than that. For instance, contributions from the Friends have enabled us to commission new productions as Mata Hari, Cinderella, Giselle and Don Quichotte. They have also provided the company’s dancers with a fully equipped fitness studio. The Friends enable us to invite guest teachers to come and give classes, and thanks to a Travel and Study Fund dancers can take part in international courses and competitions, which enhances their dancing qualities considerably.