Top dancers to attend Greenwich Ballet Academy’s Graduation Gala

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Two premier performers from the world-renowned American Ballet Theatre, Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky, guest appear in GBA’s 2012 Le Corsaire excerpts. To the right is Aleksey Babayev, who is now with the Pennsylvania Ballet.

Two premier performers from the world-renowned American Ballet Theatre, Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky, guest appear in GBA’s 2012 Le Corsaire excerpts. To the right is Aleksey Babayev, who is now with the Pennsylvania Ballet.

Greenwich Ballet Academy (GBA) has some special treats in store for ballet fans who attend the school’s Graduation Gala Event on Saturday, June 15.

The gala will celebrate the graduation of two students of the academy who will be attending college in the fall.

Two shows, a 2 p.m. matinee and a 7 p.m. evening performance, will be held at the Massey Theater of the Wallace Performing Arts Center at Greenwich Academy. Excerpts from La Bayadère and Divertissements will feature all GBA students.

Performance of this unique and challenging work will be enhanced by the return of Irina Dvorovenko.

One of ballet’s premier performers over the past decade, Ms. Dvorovenko celebrated her last performance as a principal with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) last month with her interpretation of Tatiana in Onegin at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Ms. Dvorovenko was born in Kiev and joined the ABT in 1996. She became a soloist in 1997 and was named a principal in 2000. In more than 16 seasons she has performed in more than three dozen roles. At the GBA Gala, she will be joined by her husband and fellow principal dancer of the ABT, Maxim Beloserkovsky.

La Bayadère was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1877. Set in the Royal India of the past, it is a story of eternal love, mystery, fate, vengeance and justice.

The ballet relates the drama of a temple dancer (bayadère), Nikiya, who is loved by two men, only one of whom she loves. One, Solor, is a noble warrior and the other is a powerful High Brahmin. Solor unfortunately is promised in marriage to another, Gamzatti, daughter of the Rajah. One of the scenes from this ballet is among the most celebrated in all of classical ballet. It is also noteworthy for exhibiting one of the first examples of abstract ballet.

Due to its challenging choreography, La Bayadère is rarely taken on by ballet academies. GBA students will perform excerpts from Act II of the ballet, the betrothal feast of Gamzatti and Solor.

“This Gala performance will put an illustrious capstone on a truly outstanding season,” said GBA spokesman and artistic director Yuri Vodolaga. “From the recognition our students received at March’s Youth American Grand Prix Semi-Finals to the master classes offered by world renowned dancers Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev in April, GBA has been successful in exposing our students to the very best quality.

Having such prominent guest dancers at our graduation gala is very special for both our students and community of supporters.”

In April, GBA hosted Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev who taught a Master Class, preparing students for their performance of La Bayadère at the Graduation Gala. The Master Class was featured in a special segment on News12 Connecticut. Ms. Osipova and Mr. Vasiliev are among the top principals at the ABT and presently at the height of their careers.

“It was very exciting for our students to receive instruction from Osipova and Vasiliev in preparation for La Bayadère,” Mr. Vodolaga said. “This is a very challenging piece to perform, which is why it is rarely taken on by schools. Being taught by masters has inspired our students to apply themselves to this exceptional piece and strive to perform at the highest levels.”

The GBA seeks to nurture talented young students toward careers in professional ballet. Exposing them to performers at the height of their careers and exposing them to challenging works such as La Bayadère helps to instill such aspirations in students.

Tickets are now available for the gala online at greenwichballetacademy.org or by calling 914-305-4377.

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