Benois de la Danse laureate

Benois de la Danse nominee

Herman Cornejo was born in Mercedes, San Luis, Argentina, and began his ballet studies at the age of eight at the Instituto Superior de Arte at Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. In 1995, when he was 14, he received a scholarship from the School of American Ballet in New York City. On his return to Buenos Aires, he was invited to join Julio Bocca’s Ballet Argentino. In 1997, Cornejo was a gold medal winner at the 8th International Competition of Ballet Dancers in Moscow, the youngest dancer ever to receive that award in the history of the competition. Upon his return from Moscow, he was promoted to principal dancer with Ballet Argentino, alternating with Julio Bocca in all of the principal roles in the company’s repertoire during its worldwide tours.

In 1999, Cornejo joined American Ballet Theater as a member of the corps de ballet and was promoted to soloist the following year and to principal dancer in 2003. His roles with ABT include Solor and the Bronze Idol in La Bayadère, the Red Cowboy in Billy the Kid, Pyotr in The Bright Stream, the Jester in Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella, Franz in Coppélia, Conrad, Ali, Lankendem and Birbanto in Le Corsaire, It Was Spring in Dim Lustre, Basilio in Don Quixote, Puck in The Dream, the first sailor in Fancy Free, Alain in La Fille mal gardée, Ivan in Alexei Ratmansky’s Firebird, Albrecht in Giselle, The Man in HereAfter (Heaven), the Joker in Jeu de Cartes, Lescaut in Manon, the Nutcracker Prince and the Cavalier in Kevin McKenzie’s The Nutcracker, the Nutcracker Prince in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker, Cassio in Othello, the title role in Petrouchka, the Piper in The Pied Piper, the Son in Prodigal Son, Abderakman and Bernard in Raymonda, Romeo and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Prince Désiré and the Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty, the Rose in Le Spectre de la Rose, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, James and Gurn in La Sylphide, Aminta and Eros in Sylvia and Hortensio in The Taming of the Shrew. He has also danced in many ballets of George Balanchine.

Cornejo is also a principal dancer of Corella Ballet Castilla y León in Spain. He has made numerous guest appearances around the world, including performances with Ballet del Teatro Argentino de La Plata, Compañia de Danza Comtemporánea de Cuba, Boston Ballet, New York City Ballet and Sapporo Ballet.

His awards and citations include the 2000 Peace Messenger prize from UNESCO, the “Mr Expressivity” prize at the 9th International Ballet Festival “Dance Open” in St. Petersburg in 2010, where he performed his first work of choreography, Tango y yo, to the music of Fuga y Misterio by Astor Piazzolla, and, in 2013, a Bessie Award as outstanding performer.