World class ballet artists to teach master class at Greenwich Ballet Academy

April 29 will be no ordinary Monday for members of the Greenwich Ballet Academy (GBA), who will get the opportunity to take a special master class taught by two world class ballet artists.

Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev of the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) will teach the class to levels four to eight students and coach a rehearsal of excerpts from La Bayadere, the production at the core of the school’s repertoire for its June Graduation Gala performance to be held on June 15.

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. Ms. Osipova and Mr. Vasiliev are two of the top principals at the ABT and are presently at the height of their careers, frequently selling out their performances.

“We are thrilled for our students,” said GBA instructor Yuri 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. In addition to ABT, they are presently principal dancers for the Royal Ballet and the Michailovsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Mr. Vasiliev first appeared as a guest artist with the American Ballet Theatre in 2011 and was named a Principal Dancer with the company in September 2012. Among his numerous awards, he received Grand Prix at the International Dance Open Festival in 2011.

Ms. Osipova made her first appearance with ABT 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 Mr. 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.”

The special master classes are being funded by the GBA and will only be available to registered GBA students. Limited seating, however, will be available for anyone wishing to watch the class at the GBA studios located at 181 Westchester Avenue, Suite 306, Port Chester, N.Y. Those who wish to reserve a seat should call 914-305-4377.

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