*Photo credits: Stella De Monaco, Gene Schiavone
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“[The Bolshoi Ballet Academy’s] alumni include some of the most illustrious dancers in the history of ballet.” – David M. Herszenhorn, The New York Times
The Russian American Foundation’s partnership with Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy dates to 2007, when both organizations joined in a mission to bring the methods, culture, and pedagogy of authentic Russian classical ballet to the American ballet community. Over the years, RAF and BBA’s partnership has transformed that mission into a reality by realizing a number of highly acclaimed programs, including the Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Youth Intensive (NY and CT), Bolshoi Ballet Academy Teacher Certification Program (NY), and NSLI-Y Russian Language and Culture RAF & Bolshoi Way (Moscow), with support of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
RAF’s programs expand the personal, professional, and cultural horizons of young students not only by offering them the unique opportunity to train with the Academy’s teachers, but also by exposing them to diverse educational and career paths beyond ballet. Leveraging its success with the youth, RAF’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy Teacher Certification program offers professional training to educators of classical ballet, bringing Russia’s 245-year-old honed tradition and best practices of Bolshoi pedagogy to those who are shaping the world of future ballet stars.
A justified testament to the achievements of the partnership between RAF and BBA is that, as of 2013, many of Russia’s premier ballet companies count American graduates of RAF’s programs among their permanent dancers (Joy Womack- Bolshoi Ballet, Kremlin Ballet; Mario Labrador- Mikhailovsky Theatre; Maria Beck- Stanislavsky Theatre).
RAF is proud that its programs and its partnership with Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy create Global Ambassadors of Tomorrow who possess an unbiased openness to the Russian-American dialogue and its significance within today’s globalized world.
The Bolshoi Ballet Academy, one of the oldest and most established schools for classical ballet training, has produced numerous world-class dancers, teachers, and choreographers. With its 235-year history, the Academy is steeped in a rich cultural tradition with a strong curriculum and a pedagogy that focuses on strength, musicality, clarity, and personal expression. Most of the Principal Dancers of the Bolshoi Ballet graduated from the Academy and are among the leading dancers in the world today. Other current alumni include Principal Dancers, Artistic Directors, choreographers, and top ballet educators throughout the world. From some of the most accomplished dancers of the 20th century, including Maya Plisetskaya, Vladimir Vasiliev, Ekaterina Maximova, to the stars of the current generation, including Nina Ananiashvili, Vladimir Malakhov, Natalia Osipova, Alexei Ratmansky, Polina Semionova, and Nikolai Tsiskaridze, the Academy and its graduates continue to earn the highest honors and acclaims in the international dance world.