GBA Master Class with Principal Dancers Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev from American Ballet Theatre

Thanks to News Channel 12 for their wonderful piece on GBA. We appreciate the hard work that the Director and Videographer put in to create this story about our Master Class.

Principal Dancers from American Ballet Theatre Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev, recently taught a master class at Greenwich Ballet Academy.

A Master Class is when a prominent professional dance artist visits for a class or series of classes to teach advanced students. Such opportunities are rare and special for students. Osipova and Vasiliev are two of the top principals at the American Ballet Theatre (ABT), and are presently at the height of their careers, frequently selling out their performances.

“We are thrilled for our students,” says Vodolaga, “since such exceptional performers are infrequently available to teach. Such opportunities are one way that we try to prepare our students to perform ballet at the highest levels.”

The GBA, which nurtures talented young students toward careers in professional ballet, has a history of bringing in legendary dancers, such as Allegra Kent, Leslie Browne and Irina Dvorovenko, to teach Master Classes at the Academy. Now included on that list will be Ms. Osipova and Mr. Vasiliev who are among the world’s foremost artists in classical ballet today. They are presently principal dancers for the American Ballet Theatre, the Royal Ballet and the Michailovsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The GBA, which nurtures talented young students toward careers in professional ballet, has a history of bringing in legendary dancers, such as Allegra Kent, Leslie Browne and Irina Dvorovenko, to teach Master Classes at the Academy. Now included on that list will be Ms. Osipova and Mr. Vasiliev who are among the world’s foremost artists in classical ballet today. They are presently principal dancers for the American Ballet Theatre, the Royal Ballet and the Michailovsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Artistic Director Yuri Vodolaga with YAGP participants, from left, Celia Volkwein, Ester Wells, Lindsey Wales, Juliette Bosco and Elisabeth Beyer.  Photo Credit: Greenwich Post.

Artistic Director Yuri Vodolaga with YAGP participants, from left, Celia Volkwein, Ester Wells, Lindsey Wales, Juliette Bosco and Elisabeth Beyer. Photo Credit: Greenwich Post.

Vasiliev first appeared as a guest artist with American Ballet Theatre in 2011 and was named a Principal Dancer with ABT in September 2012. Among his numerous awards, he received Grand Prix at the International Dance Open Festival in 2011. Osipova made her first appearance with American Ballet Theatre as a guest artist in 2009 and her awards include the Grand Prize at the Prix de Luxembourg International Ballet Competition in 2003, two Golden Mask awards (2007 & 2008) and in 2008 she won both the Leonide Massine’s Positano Dance Award and the Benois de la Danse Award as Best Female Dancer.

“This special Master Class is a great follow-up on last month’s accomplishments at the Youth American Grand Prix Semi-Finals,” said Vodolaga. “We just want to keep the momentum going to assure our students have the skills and stage experience they need to achieve their dream of being professional dancers.”

Last month, along with Mr. Vodolaga’s Outstanding Teacher Award, three GBA dancers place high enough at the Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP) Semi-Finals to advance to the Finals in New York City with one dancer receiving the highest honor available at the regional level. The YAGP is the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition that awards over $250,000 annually in scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide.

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