The Prix Benois de la Danse award is a distinguished award that is akin to an Oscar. Some even say the award is like the “Nobel Prize of dance.” Yes, the Prix Benois de la Danse — founded in 1991 in Russia — is a big deal, and the award typically is given to European dancers or choreographers. So, we were ecstatic to learn that this year the award went to a Latina! On Tuesday, Mexican ballet dancer Elisa Carrillo received the honor of getting the Prix Benois de la Danse award.
“Today is a day of immense joy in my life and in my career. I am extremely grateful to the Benois de la Danse committee for giving me this recognition,” Carrillo said on Facebook. “I want to dedicate this award to all Mexicans and all Mexicans. Never stop fighting and working to achieve our dreams. Thanks for your beautiful words! #OrgulloMexicano.”
The award also comes with a hefty money bag. The winner gets $1,000,000! According to CNN, the only other Mexican dancer to win the award was Isaac Hernández who received it in 2018.
Carrillo also recently won the “Alma de la Danza” award presented by Ministry of Culture of Russia.
“It’s a prize that is very much within Russia and with everything I’ve done, promoting classical dance in the world gave me this award,” Carillo told CNN en Español. “I have had a very close relationship with dance in Russia, it has been many years since I flew to Russia, and I have performed in different shows.”
According to Carillo’s website, the dancer from Texcoco, Mexico, began her dancing career at a very young age. She studied dance at the National School of Classical and Contemporary Dance of the INBA, and at age 14, “she obtained the gold medal and a scholarship from the English National Ballet School, INBA, and FONCA to continue her studies in London, England.”
Congrats, Elisa on this incredibly prestigious award and for making history!
Here’s the dancer at work.