competition

2017 WORLD DANCESPORT GRANDSLAM SERIES
World DanceSport GrandSlam Series Latin Final in Shanghai, China

 

What sets the GrandSlam Latin Final in Shanghai, CHN, apart from the rest of the top-tier competitions on the DanceSport calendar are three factors. It is the most strictly invitational competition there is, with entry reserved to the 12 top couples in the GrandSlam Ranking, couples having danced in minimum four out of the five regular legs in the Series. It is also the shortest and most compact competition. Extending over only three rounds, it starts at 7:30 p.m. with the first and concludes not even three hour later with the last round and the awards presentation.

 

Finally, it is its place in the calendar: for virtually all the participating couples it is the last competition of the year. A fact which brings about a special atmosphere – more relaxed than elsewhere – even though the fight is about the highest prize money awarded in the Series.

 

 

2017 WORLD DANCESPORT GRANDSLAM SERIES
World DanceSport GrandSlam Series Standard Final in Shanghai, China

 

Last year’s GrandSlam Standard Final will forever be remembered as the last duel between the eternal opponents Simone Segatori – Annette Sudol, GER, and Dmitry Zharkov – Olga Kukikova, RUS, where the former ended up on top. From there it was total dominance by the Russians in four GrandSlam legs of the 2017 Series as well as in the World Championship held here in China back in September. Even though they had made the announcement to change to the Professional Division, Simone and Annette have not yet danced any competitions there and, as the #2 in the GrandSlam Ranking, would be entitled to dance in this Standard “Showdown Shanghai.” But they have not entered. Something which allows another German couple to put in its first appearance in this GrandSlam Standard Final: Tomas Fainsil and Violetta Posmetnaya.

 

There are four more newcomers to the most exclusive competition in all of DanceSport: Russians Evgeny Nikitin – Anastasia Miliutina and the Chinese wild card couple Qiu Yuming – Wei Liying. They should do their country proud – here too – as they did in the World Standard, where they became the first ever semi-finalists from China. To consider the pre-event favourites and dominators Dmitry Zharkov – Olga Kukikova as shoo-in winners today would be justifiable, if it were not for the mishaps that saw a great dancer (almost) tumble on two occasions last year.

 

 

2017 WORLD DANCESPORT GRANDSLAM SERIES
World DanceSport Grandslam Standard in Stuttgart, Germany

 

That the Standard seems to be the GrandSlam of choice for the majority of the Stuttgart public can easily be explained. On eight out of nine occasions since 2008, the winners were German couples. Dmitry Zharkov and Olga Kulikova of Russia have won everything there is to win and kept on top of their game ever since their last defeat in Shanghai, China in the GrandSlam Final last year. Over the past two years they have claimed two World and two European titles. They most recently celebrated their first victory in the GrandSlam Hong Kong, but they have never won in Stuttgart. The fight between the two couples will probably be as tight as ever, threatening to eclipse the great dancing put in by the third: Evaldas Sodeika and Ieva Zukauskaite of Lithuania. But let’s not worry about them: their confidence is growing with every time they take the floor.

 

 

2017 WORLD DANCESPORT GRANDSLAM SERIES
World DanceSport Grandslam Latin in Moscow, Russia

 

We’re back in Moscow for the last regular leg of the World DanceSport GrandSlam Series. Last year, the Latin and Standard competitions deciding over which couples would make it to the “Final Showdown in Shanghai” had to be moved south – to Barcelona, Spain – on the shortest of notice. One year later it is the ‘All Russian Federation of DanceSport and Acrobatic Rock ‘n’ Roll’, the new WDSF Member, which acts as the host and organizer for the first time. In a big way! Everything seems a little bigger and brighter when it comes to the setting and the atmosphere, and the dancers seem inspired too. Gabriele Goffredo and Anna Matus of Moldova, who have four wins to their credit so far this year, will dance in Moscow for the very first time. They know they have to go up against Armen Tsaturyan and Svetlana Gudyno of Russia, who have won here three consecutive times, if we include last year’s substitute GrandSlam in Spain. Who will take this leg of the competition?

 

 

2017 WORLD DANCESPORT GRANDSLAM SERIES
World DanceSport Grandslam Standard in Helsinki

 

The World DanceSport GrandSlam Series is back, featuring the best competitive dancers in the world vying for the most prestigious titles and prize money in the world of dance. As the top dancers in the various dance styles meet up at different locations around the globe, cameras are trained on every step they take. Their performances are assessed by 12 experts using a judging system – two focusing on the technical aspects and two on the artistry – which makes the process of adjudication more transparent for the viewer at home.

 

 

2017 WORLD DANCESPORT GRANDSLAM SERIES
World DanceSport Grandslam Latin in Hong Kong

 

The 2017 GrandSlam Series Standard reaches its halfway point with the third regular leg held in Hong Kong on 9 July. The two earlier legs in Helsinki, FIN, and in Wuhan, CHN, produced an identic outcome in as far as the winners as well as the runners-up were concerned. In Finland, Dmitry Zharkov – Olga Kulikova, RUS, prevailed in a hotly contested final over Simone Segatori – Annette Sudol, GER, with a total score of 193.17 to 191.91. That’s a winning margin of very little over one point! One month later in China, the Russians claimed their second victory, but this time the margin separating the two couples was all of 0.05. It was produced either by freaky math or by the system’s insistence that a winner had to be declared – even if it all looked very much like a tie on the floor.

 

 

Virtuosity:
The Cliburn

 

Every four years, a group of the finest young pianists takes the stage at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas. The pressure on these artists is overwhelming, because the stakes are so high: prize money, concert bookings, a recording contract, a career. At the heart of this story is the courage it takes for a 20-year-old to go onstage alone before 2,000 people, and hundreds of thousands more online, and play a unique interpretation of one of the most difficult pieces ever written for the piano. The competition requires not only a transcendent musical ability, but a mental toughness that must sustain the soloist through three straight weeks of performance. The Cliburn becomes as much a test of character as a musical proving ground.

 

Pulling Out All the Stops

 

This program chronicles the competition onstage and behind-the-scenes of 10 extraordinary young organists from the United States and Europe vying for first place in the first International Longwood Gardens Organ Competition. None of Longwood’s 10 finalists has a chance to practice on the Aeolian Organ before arriving at the competition. Each has only five hours to prepare to play on one of the world’s most complex instruments, with its 10,010 pipes, 237 stops, five 32-foot pedal stops and four keyboards.

 

AMERICA’S BALLROOM CHALLENGE
Part 3 of 3

 

This three-part series, hosted by former U.S dance champions Mary Murphy and Tony Meredith, features all four major styles of competitive ballroom dancing: American Smooth, American Rhythm, International Standard and International Latin. In addition to 25 world-class couples competing to be named “America’s Best,” the series includes backstage footage of the couples preparing for competition; exhibitions featuring other top couples in each style of dance, from children to Pro-Am champions; and behind-the-scenes looks at different aspects of the world of ballroom dancing, from music to hairstyles.

 

Part 3 of 3
The winning couples in the four divisions of ballroom compete across dance styles in the grand finale. Plus, stunning performances in the Cabaret division and the Pro-Am division.

 

AMERICA’S BALLROOM CHALLENGE
Part 2 of 3

America's Ballroom Challenge Part 2 of 3

 

This three-part series, hosted by former U.S dance champions Mary Murphy and Tony Meredith, features all four major styles of competitive ballroom dancing: American Smooth, American Rhythm, International Standard and International Latin. In addition to 25 world-class couples competing to be named “America’s Best,” the series includes backstage footage of the couples preparing for competition; exhibitions featuring other top couples in each style of dance, from children to Pro-Am champions; and behind-the-scenes looks at different aspects of the world of ballroom dancing, from music to hairstyles.

 

Part 2 of 3
In the second hour, couples take the floor in the International Standard division, full of flowing ball gowns and graceful waltzes, and then the sizzling International Latin style, with its flamboyant costumes and seductive steps.

 

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