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Founded by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein
Chairman of Faculty and Artistic Director Peter Martins

The Mae L. Wien Awards

2014 Wien Awards

The School of American Ballet is pleased to announce the following recipients of the 2014 Mae L. Wien Award:

MAE L. WIEN FACULTY AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED SERVICE
Dena Abergel

MAE L. WIEN AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDING PROMISE
Lyrica Blankfein
Christopher Grant
Baily Jones
Addie Tapp

From left: PETER MARTINS, BAILY JONES, ADDIE TAPP, LYRICA BLANKFEIN, KAY MAZZO,
AND CHRISTOPHER GRANT; Photo by Paul Kolnik

 
DENA ABERGEL attended the School of American Ballet’s 5-week Summer Course at the age of 12 and enrolled as a full-time student in the School’s Intermediate division one year later. Peter Martins invited Ms. Abergel to become an apprentice with New York City Ballet in 1990, and she joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in 1991. During 18 years as a member of New York City Ballet, Ms. Abergel performed in numerous works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins and Christopher Wheeldon. Upon retiring from performing in 2009, Ms. Abergel joined SAB’s faculty and became NYCB’s Assistant Children’s Ballet Master. She was named NYCB’s Children’s Ballet Master in the fall of 2012. In her position with the Company, Ms. Abergel casts and rehearses children from the School of American Ballet in all NYCB productions featuring roles for children.

LYRICA BLANKFEIN enrolled at Westside School of Ballet in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 4 and trained for the next 11 years with NYCB alumna Yvonne Mounsey and Francine Kessler Lavac. She attended SAB’s Summer Course for three years and enrolled as a full-time student at age 14 in the fall of 2010. In 2012, she performed the role of “Simone” in two workshop sessions for Susan Stroman’s upcoming musical The Little Dancer. She has also acted in the television dramas Boston Public, Private Practice and Bunheads. Now 18 and a member of the Advanced Girls D class, Lyrica is also an SAB Children’s Division teaching assistant. At this year’s Workshop, she will perform a solo in Coppélia and appears in the corps for both Serenade and Western Symphony.

CHRISTOPHER GRANT's passion for ballet was inspired by his mother, who danced with the Ashe Performing Arts Ensemble in Kingston, Jamaica. At age 7, he was accepted into SAB’s tuition-free Boys Program. Over the past 12 years he has progressed from the Children’s Division to the Advanced Men’s class. He has performed with NYCB in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Firebird, and The Sleeping Beauty. In recent years he has attended the summer programs of the American Academy of Ballet, NYSSSA, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Now 18, he is making his Workshop debut this year, dancing the principal cowboy in Western Symphony at two performances.

BAILY JONES, 17, started dancing at the age of 6 in Holladay, Utah. At 8, she enrolled at Ballet West Academy and trained primarily with Jan Clark-Fugit and Jeff Rogers. She danced several featured children’s roles in Ballet West productions, including three years as Clara in The Nutcracker. Baily attended SAB’s Summer Course in 2009 at the age of 12 and returned in 2011, when she was invited to enroll in SAB’s Winter Term. She has performed in both NYCB’s and SAB’s Community Lecture Demonstrations for the past three years and is a Children’s Division teaching assistant for the 2013-14 Winter Term. Baily will soon complete her junior year at Professional Performing Arts School, where she is on the Principal’s Honor Roll. In last year’s Workshop, Baily performed as the soloist in Walpurgisnacht Ballet. This year, she dances the “Russian girl” in Serenade and appears in Western Symphony at all performances.

ADDIE TAPP, 18, started dancing at the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts in Colorado when she was 4 years old. She subsequently enrolled in the Glenwood Dance Academy, where her primary teachers were DeAnna Anderson, Dina Duckworth, and Danielle Yost. At 14, she attended SAB’s Summer Course and was invited to enroll in the 2010-11 Winter Term. She has danced in two SAB Student Choreography Workshops and one session of the New York Choreographic Institute. She will graduate from Professional Performing Arts School in late June. Addie performed in the corps de ballet of Divertimento No. 15 and Walpurgisnacht Ballet at the 2013 Workshop. This year, she dances the “waltz girl” in all performances of Serenade.