What our students and teachers have been up to over the Summer
I am delighted to report on the progress made by some of the students who have been in contact with me. Here is a brief round up of some of the exciting things that have taken place for them:
Natalya Butchko, who has been a student of Fabrice Herrault, has been invited to the school for The Vienna State Opera Ballet, (Weiner Staatsballett) beginning this September. Natalya took part in the summer school for the Paris Opera Ballet and later the summer school for the Vienna State Opera Ballet. The company is run by Manuel Legris, former étoile of the L’Opera de Paris, and the school for the Staatsballett is directed by Simona Noja. We send our heartfelt congratulations to Natalya.
Aran Bell, who received our first En Avant Scholarship, competed in the USA IBC in July. From all reports, Aran had the largest following and danced his heart out. We are super proud of him. Aran took part in Ellison Ballet’s summer course as well as The Art of Classical Ballet in Florida, and recently he performed at the Premio Capri Danza International, in Italy! Aran, and another of our participant’s, Rachelle Di Stasio, will be joining American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company in September. Congratulations to Aran and Rachelle.
Benji Pearson, who is a student of Fabrice Herrault, spent the summer training at Paris Opera Ballet summer school and Royal Ballet School’s Upper School. He was offered a place at the Upper School at The Royal, but then it was realized that he was too young to board at the boarding house for the Upper School. He was offered other places, but after serious contemplation, he decided to accept a full scholarship to attend San Francisco Ballet School. Bravo Benji!
Claire Boren, who has been at the JKO school in New York, (the school affiliated with American Ballet Theatre), attended the ABT Summer Intensive in New York after taking the En Avant Foundation master class session. She then decided to take an audition class with the school for The San Francisco Ballet and was accepted into their program for 2014/15! Claire is excited to be taking advantage of this new opportunity and we wish her all the best.
At the beginning of July, Grace McCann enjoyed a Ballet Intensive at the Joffrey School in NYC. She has continued to dance throughout the summer at Lustig Dance Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ, with her teachers, Nancy Dow and School Principal Peggy Petteway. Gracie also completed a one-week intensive at LDT, working with the school's Artistic Director, Graham Lustig, as well as with Artistic Associate, Bat Abbit.
Mai Aihara, (seen below with Cynthia Harvey) corps de ballet dancer with ABT, who rehearsed her solo from “Flower Festival“ during our weekend workshop, danced the same solo in Japan this past summer to acclaim! Mai, along with Puanani Brown from ABT, (who was coached by us in the act I solo from Giselle), have just been in Australia performing in a variety of ballets at the Queensland Performing Arts Center in Brisbane.
Julia Conway, (seen below) who studies with Magali Suarez at The Art of Classical Ballet in Florida, (and who has also spent some time in London at the Young Dancers Academy and West London School of Dance) came away with a Gold Medal in the junior division of The World Ballet Competition that took place in Florida a week after our event. She had been coached in the solo from Santanella during the weekend with us and danced it for the competition. Along with the work she did with her teachers, she felt that the coaching she received during the En Avant weekend helped her to secure the Gold! Well done, Julia!
Over the months of June, July, and August, Chloe Harper danced at three different programs in three entirely different places across the country. Her first program was the three-week San Francisco Ballet School intensive. After San Francisco, she headed to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where she completed the last three weeks of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s course. She then went on to study at the program for Ballet Academy East where her normal teachers’ include Cheryl Yeager. This year Chloe and others at BAE also had the privilege of working with Wendy Whelan who will soon retire from New York City Ballet.
Ethan Stiefel has just wrapped up filming for Flesh and Bone, a ballet based television program that will air very soon.
This summer, Isabelle Guérin worked in France and later in Austria, rehearsing for her return to the stage. She then went on to China where she performed with Manuel Legris, one of her former partners. By all reports, she returned to stellar form and kept the audience enraptured.
Cynthia Harvey taught for the School for the San Francisco Ballet for two weeks of their month long program. After that, she began work on the next En Avant Foundation master classes and is on schedule to begin a staging she will be creating of Don Quixote for the Singapore Dance Theatre.