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Wash, DC's Kirov Academy of Ballet closes after today's last performance (5-28 7:30pm)


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Apologies if I missed this in another thread but...


Washington, DC's Kirov Academy (ex- Kirov Acad of Ballet) is apparently closing after tonight's final Spring Gala, which will be livestreamed...but it's not free, so I didn't place this notice in the free-streams thread.


Tix $30, purchased via this link:

Kirov Academy of Ballet Presents Spring Gala 2022 - Kirov Academy of Washington D.C. (kirovacademydc.org)


I'll cross-post in the to-pay links thread...but, as I was quite shocked by this news, wanted to also post a normal discussion thread. Very sad news but I believe that KAB was plagues with financial troubles of various sorts (including theft by the CFO, I think).

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The school said it had hired counselors to aid in the transition, and its artistic director, Joan Boada, who joined the academy in September, will take several students with him when he moves to Boston Ballet in June. The Rock School, San Francisco Ballet and the Washington Ballet are among the dance organizations that have invited Kirov students to audition.


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I'm so happy to read this, AG. There certainly was a lot of promise among last night's student performers. I hope to track the progress of many of these talented "kids"...such as the evening's high-flying Solor, tall and handsome Alexander Nicolosi. My, oh my! He reminded me of a young Igor Zelensky in his flight...but dark haired. I also loved the equally tall-handsome lad who danced the Satanella pdd - Nasrullah Abduh-Rahman. Funny thing, I was especially impressed by the boys/men...not that the girls/women weren't promising too. Perhaps it was the magical touch of the males' coach Vladimir Djouloukhadze, who was the subject of a touching tribute and mini-documentary film at the start of the show...with tributes by some of his star pupils from the early years of KAB (Rasta Thomas, Jonathan Jordan, Brian Maloney, et al).


p.s. Special shout-out to the solo drummer in the Bayadere Drum Dance - Mr. Jie-Siou Wu. What a fabulous ham (in the best sense of the word)! Oh - also the Golden Idol, Brandan Contreras.

Gee, did I mention that I especially loved the guys? 😉

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Now I will be fairer to the female students!

Having been able to rewatch the final KAB concert, as the link remained up throughout the weekend, allow me to point out two names among the outstanding ladies:

* Nora Yun Schaefer in her three assignments: Corsaire Pas d'Esclave pdd (with Alexander Nicolosi, named above), Raymonda Dreams Suite - Raymonda's slow solo with developes, and Gamzatti with the Bayadere Act 2 Suite (also with Nicolosi). In all of her dances, Ms. Schaefer truly stood out for her gorgeous technique and musicality, including a series of triple pirouettes-in-attitude during the Gamzatti-solo diagonal.

* Chloe Han with her beautiful long lines and ultra-pliant back in two assignments:  Satanella pdd (with Nasrullah Abdur-Rahman, pointed out earlier) and, especially, an extremely expressive contemporary solo - Elegy of the Dynast - chor. by Adrienne Canterna-Martinez, to Yoshihisa Hirano's music.

Misses Schaefer and Han certainly have the abilities to follow in the footsteps of the Hee Seos and Michelles Wileses who went on to ABT, and Sasha DeSolas and Vanessa Zahorians in San Fco.

To think that I did not see all of the best among this final KAB class, with some of the students and a top pedagogue, Rozanova, being at the Helsinki ballet competition that's happening this week and next weekend. Speaking of...I hope that not only all of the KAB students are being placed in other top ballet schools next year...but also that all of the artistic and academic teachers are similarly fortunate in nabbing jobs elsewhere. Loads of talent among all of them. 

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Apparently Vanessa Zahorian was the final speaker at the Kirov Academy's closing ceremony. [FYI: Zahorian was a principal dancer at SFB, a Kirov Academy graduate, and is now Artistic Director of the Pennsylvania Ballet Academy along with her husband Davit Karapetyan]

"Congratulations to the class of 2022 @kirovacademydc it was an honor to be your final guest speaker yesterday. Lots of emotions running through as these are the final days of Kirov Academy of Ballets existence. Very sad. I was very emotional during my speech. So much history, so many teachers and students have passed through the academy. I met so many of friends that to this day mean so much to me and my bestie @courtmansfield. Thankful! There were good and bad days, sweat and tears at the Kirov but wouldn’t take any of it away. Thankful for all of the opportunities that was presented to me during my dancing career there and beyond. Forever grateful and thankful for my Kirov Academy family. Especially my teacher Ludmila Morkovina. The academy’s sponsors and donors cant pay to keep it open any longer so this is why they are closing. Also so good to see @joanboada75 as AD present."


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