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Metropolitan Ballet Academy & Company (MBA/MBC), recognized by Pointe magazine as one of “seven local studios in America cultivating top talent” (Oct/Nov 2011), will celebrate its 20th Anniversary year with a Gala Performance on Saturday, June 4, 2016 at 4:00 pm. Alumni from Metropolitan’s two decades of training will return from their professional engagements with dance companies across America to perform in the Gala, which also features pre-professional Metropolitan Ballet Company dancers in classical and contemporary works. The Gala Performance will be held at the Josephine Muller Auditorium of Abington Friends School, 575 Washington Lane, Jenkintown, PA 19046. Tickets are $50 each and available at 215-663-1665 or online at www.metropolitanballetcompany.org.
June 4 Gala Performance Program Highlights and Guest Artists
Metropolitan Ballet founder and artistic director Lisa Collins Vidnovic has created a Gala Performance Program which showcases the Academy’s highly acclaimed classical dance training for boys and girls, as well as the nonprofit Company’s repertoire and professional alumni. Highlights of the Program include:
- Sleeping Beauty, Garland Waltz and Rose Adagio; choreography by Marius Petipa as staged by Natalya Zeiger, music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky; featuring alumna Kamryn Baldwin and members of Metropolitan Ballet Company: Ms. Baldwin, from Honolulu, Hawaii and Blue Bell, PA, joined San Francisco Ballet in 2015 after receiving a full merit scholarship to the San Francisco Ballet School—she is one of the youngest dancers to ever receive a full contract with San Francisco Ballet;
- Flames of Paris Pas de Deux; choreography by Vasily Vainonen; music by Boris Asafiev; featuring alumni Leah McCormick and Ariel Breitman: Ms. McCormick, from Jenkintown, PA, completed Richmond Ballet’s two year trainee program and now dances with NB2, Nashville Ballet’s second company; Mr. Breitman from Huntingdon Valley, PA, is a member of Colorado Ballet. In 2012-13 he won three Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) gold medals and one silver medal at the Tanzolymp International Ballet Competition, held in Berlin, Germany.
- Folk Tales; choreography by Katarzyna Skarpetowska, music by Warsaw Village Band, costume design and creation by Mia McSwain, lighting design by John Hoey (photo attached*). Katarzyna “Kate” Skarpetowska was named one of DANCE Magazine’s 2016 “25 to Watch”—MBC Company Premiere 2006.
- A Winged Victory; choreography by MBA alumna Sarah Mettin, music by The Haxan Cloak, Olaf Bender, Ben Frost, costume design and creation by Jan Schleiger, lighting design by John Hoey; featuring Metropolitan Ballet Company boys; World Premiere by MBC March 12, 2016.
- Pas de Deux from Le Corsaire; choreography by Marius Petipa as staged by Natalya Zeiger, music by Alolphe Adam as arranged by Riccardo Drigo; featuring alumni Sierra Levin and Jonathan Tavares: Ms. Levin, of Doylestown, PA, was invited to join Carolina Ballet in Raleigh, NC as a Trainee for the 2015-16 season, after studying in the Company’s summer program. In 2015 Sierra earned 2nd Place in the YAGP Senior Classical Division semi-finals, in Boston, MA.
- Spring Waters Pas de Deux; choreography by Asaf Messerer, music by Sergei Rachmaninov (photo attached*); featuring alumni Kamryn Baldwin and MBA Alumnus Jonathan Tavares. Mr. Tavares was a member of both First State Ballet Delaware and American Repertory Ballet and continues to dance professionally as a freelance artist.
- Untitled; choreography by alumni Justin Geiss, music by Horsefeathers; featuring alumna Sophie Lane: Mr. Geiss, from Furlong, PA, just completed his third year as a full merit scholarship student at the Houston Ballet School, TX, where he recently received the prestigious Ben Stevenson Award. He will join Milwaukee Ballet in the fall.
- Don Quixote Pas de Deux; choreography by Marius Petipa, music by Leon Minkus; featuring alumni Melissa Gelfin (photo attached*) and Peter Weil (photo attached*): Ms. Gelfin is a member of Cincinnati Ballet and has also performed in Cincinnati Opera’s production of Turandot; in 2009 she was awarded a National Training Scholarship with American Ballet Theatre and later danced with Orlando Ballet from 2010-2014; in 2014 she was a finalist in the USA International Ballet Competition. Mr. Weil, of Jenkintown, PA, was a YAGP medalist and New York semifinalist from 2009 – 2015. After completing a Traineeship at Boston Ballet in 2013, Mr. Weil was member of Next Generation Ballet. In 2015, Mr. Weil was a participant in the prestigious Prix de Lausanne. He was invited by Mr. Corella to join Pennsylvania Ballet 2 in September 2015. He was recently promoted to a member of Pennsylvania Ballet after his success dancing the lead role of “Basilio” in Don Quixote as an Apprentice with the Company.
- Viva; choreography by Kanji Segawa, staged by Patrick Coker, music by Antonio Vivaldi, costumes by Elena Comendador, lighting by John Hoey; featuring alumni and members of Metropolitan Ballet Company (photo attached*); created by New York choreographer Kanji Segawa for MBC, World Premiere March 5, 2011.
Lisa Collins Vidnovic launched Metropolitan Ballet Academy in 1996, after performing for a decade with Pennsylvania Ballet, where she was also a Ballet Mistress. At age 14, Ms. Vidnovic received a full scholarship to American Ballet Theater in New York City; at age 16 she began dancing professionally with Chicago’s Lyric Opera Ballet, directed by the renowned Maria Tallchief. Over four decades, Ms. Vidnovic’s dance career included feature roles in many ballets by George Balanchine, as well as choreographers Jacques d’Amboise, Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Peter Martins, Richard Tanner and Lynne Taylor-Corbett. She was a member of the School of Pennsylvania Ballet faculty from 1983-1996 and the Bryn Mawr College faculty from 1990-2000. Ms. Vidnovic also performed for seven years with the Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble.
Ms. Vidnovic founded Metropolitan Ballet with a vision to create a pre-professional ballet school and performing company that provides the highest quality classical dance training, scholarships, performance opportunities and outreach programs designed to promote an appreciation of dance in our community.
Metropolitan Ballet is distinguished by its nationally acclaimed Boys’ Scholarship Program, founded in 1999, which annually provides tuition-free dance training for nearly 60 boys ages 7 to 18. Families enjoy its community and Showcase performances of classical and contemporary repertory, including George Balanchine’s Serenade and Valse Fantaisie, both performed with permission from the Balanchine Trust. More than 25 Metropolitan alumni dance professionally with regional companies across America, on Broadway and in Cirque du Soleil.
Over 50 Metropolitan students have earned highest honors at Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) and/or scholarships for intensive study with prestigious ballet companies from coast to coast. Ms. Vidnovic is a three-time winner of YAGP Philadelphia’s Outstanding Teacher award, and Metropolitan Ballet Academy has twice won Outstanding School. In 2015 the Eastern Montgomery Chamber of Commerce named Metropolitan Ballet Company Nonprofit of the Year.
Metropolitan is now accepting registration for The Bridge Master Class Series for Intermediate and Advanced Students from June 8-15 and its renowned Summer Intensive from July 11-August 12. Boys ages 11-18 are invited to audition for a full academic year of tuition-free training on June 11 at 9:00 am at Metropolitan Ballet Academy, 700 Cedar Rd., Jenkintown, PA. Learn more at www.metropolitanballetacademy.com.