Moscow Ballet works locally and hands-on with over 50,000 American children over 20 years
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker and other story ballets have toured to 70 cities across North America annually and have included the participation of 60,000 local children! The “Dance with Us” program brings local dancers on stage to dance side-by-side with the 40 professional company members and has been in place for over 20 years. The local children’s participation in performances is just one program in Moscow Ballet’s history of education offerings. While local student dancers audition to participate in “Dance with Us,” and all children can participate in “New-Horizons-A Chidlren’s Program for Life.”
The commitment to delivering hands-on programming for American children began in 1972 when Moscow Ballet’s producers, Akiva Talmi and Mary Giannone, then directors of Connecticut Dance Theatre, invited Karel Shook, co-artistic director of Dance Theater of Harlem (DTH), to work with Hartford, CT’s North End Dance Troupe. Shook invited several students to study at DTH on scholarship. Among them was Charmaine Hunter, an extremely gifted young dancer, who became DTH’s 2nd Prima Ballerina, and star of Arthur Mitchell’s Fire Bird.
Moscow Ballet’s Dance with Us Program
Dance with Us program is twenty one years old and includes partnerships with ballet studios in each tour city, which are carefully developed by Mary Gianonne Talmi, co-producer of Moscow Ballet’s North American tours. Moscow Ballet Audition Directors audition children in each tour city, rehearse them for several days, and leave the local Host Studio to further rehearse the children for 8 weeks prior to the performance. Studio owners are pleased to offer students personal exposure to the highly trained Russian dancers and to the professional performance experience. Cathy Napolitano-Mucci, of Dance Center North in Syracuse NY, hosted auditions for the first Great Russian Nutcracker tour in 1993. She remarks, “I know from watching my students grow and advance since the very first Moscow Ballet tour, that this is one of the most significant experiences a young dancer can have. It lifts them up and humbles them all at the same time.”
Letter of Understanding from the "President's Challenge Program"
Moscow Ballet is proud to announce a Letter of Understanding from the "President's Challenge Program," a program of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN), with the goal of promoting good health and fitness to the thousands of participants in Moscow Ballet educational programs, encouraging them to aspire to the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA).
Musical Wunderkind –Cellists and Choirs
Musical prodigies win coveted spot performing with Russian superstar ballerinas!
CELLISTS -Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition Winners open performances in cities across the country accompanying the Moscow Ballet principal ballerina in her performance of the classic ballet choreography to St. Saens’ The Dying Swan from “Carnival of the Animals”. Wunderkind performed at the National Press Clubin 2012 and in cities on the annual tour that are in the top 20 DMAs.Moscow Ballet’s cross discipline program, “Musical Wunderkind,” is a salute to talented young Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition winners. Unique to Moscow Ballet, the program is an unprecedented cooperation between the internationally renowned ballet company and up-and-coming musicians. Los Angeles Philharmonic winner Edvard Pogossian’s reaction to performing with Moscow Ballet is, “Of course I would love to do it…I am very much looking forward to…this incredible opportunity.”
CHOIRS- Moscow Ballet continues to develop its educational mission to provide art enrichment for the local communities it performs in by including Youth Choirs as vocal accompaniment to the compelling “Waltz of the Snowflakes.”
The youth groups welcome patrons to the theatre performing their repertoire before the curtain rises and sing a cappella for the “Waltz of the Snowflakes” dance at the end of Act I. The children range in age from 7 to 18 years and study with experienced and award-winning music directors prior to the performances. The live performance experience, in some of the country’s finest music halls, is an invaluable and rare opportunity for them.
‘New Horizons: A Children’s Program for Life’ uses a “three-pronged” approach to a child’s health: addressing diet, exercise and creative expression through unique, interactive experiences rooted in the cultural and performing arts. Creativity, health and wellness through the lens of classical ballet is a unique and potentially life-changing experience for many children which Moscow Ballet dancers can provide in over 60 cities across North America. The New Horizons program also brings funds to the communities it serves, and can assist in the revitalization of a city’s arts and theatre districts. The program is available as a Day of Immersion in conjunction with a public performance or as a Week of Immersion during the summer months.
The Russian-Cultural Ballet project is designed as an introduction to dance and Russian culture for young children. There are a variety of hands-on activities led by a soloist from Moscow Ballet. Activities include character dance instruction, coloring, and puppetry projects, and language related worksheets. The Russian soloist performs for the children and teaches elements of Russian folkdance and/or sections of the Russian dance from the Great Russian Nutcracker. The dancers bring Russian crowns for the girls and sashes for the boys to decorate and bring home. For the youngest children, they often use large puppets from the productions.
During 2005, nine museums and art institution hosted the Russian Cultural Ballet Project: Springfield, MA Springfield Museums;Eau Claire, WI Children’s Museum of Eau Claire; Milwaukee, WI Betty Brinn Museum;Auburn, KY The Shaker Museum;Lincoln, NE Lincoln Children’s Museum;Chicago, IL Chicago Children's Museum;Nashville, NC The Nash Arts Center;Dallas, TX International Museum of Cultures; and E. Aurora, NY Explore & More…A Children’s Museum.
Cinderella Around the World
The “Cinderella Around the World” project was developed in conjunction with Moscow Ballet's full-length production of Cinderella. This is a dance and literacy program that combines Cinderella stories from diverse cultures with music and dance instruction to enrich the language arts curriculum for grades 2 through 6. This program was launched at the Conte Community School in Pittsfield, MA. Over a ten week period, Russian, Korean, Chinese, and West African dancers and musicians were brought in to conduct activities during and after school.
Summer Intensives and the Swan Lake Summer program
The Swan Lake Summer program offers a host of technique classes, repertory and performance, and choreography workshops. Segments of full-length ballets are taught. The Russian-Cultural Ballet project can be offered in conjunction with the summer program. If a ballet school has a relationship with a children's museum a combined event can be coordinated.
Moscow Ballet is a past recipient of a direct federal grant for Emergency School Aid for the reduction of minority isolation (ESAA), The Comprehensive Employment Training Act (CETA) for on the job training in arts and education and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, which helped fund four pilots for PBS television. The company has also worked with school systems to create tutor training programs supported by 21st Century Learning Center (CCLC) federal funds in San Antonio, TX, Dallas, TX, Americus, GA and Jackson, MS.
Moscow Ballet is a past recipient of federal grants and, in 1986, the Talmi’s toured ABT’s Prima Ballerina Cynthia Gregory in the “Celebration Tour” which championed the “Just Say No” campaign for children, First Lady Nancy Reagan was Honorary Chair. Children’s TV programs were produced and aired on PBS stations and GM sponsored the educational program New Horizons which was presented over a semester in 13 public elementary schools in San Antonio.
On a collegiate level, Talmi presented the “First International Glasnost Festival Tours" 1987-92 which starred artists from the Bolshoi, Kirov and other world class ballet companies. The tour included symposiums, film screenings, poetry readings, Master Classes and more for students and the public in universities including Dartmouth, Yale, Middlebury, and Vanderbilt.
In 2011 and ’12 Moscow Ballet presented New Horizons – A Children’s Program for Life, a three-pronged approach to children’s health: addressing diet, exercise and creative expression through interactive experiences with Moscow Ballet dancer, rooted in the cultural and performing arts to over 5000 American school children.
Moscow Ballet is grateful for the invaluable help of leading arts educators, granting foundations and corporate sponsors across the country for supporting this work with American children. Organizations, school districts, or clubs can host New Horizons Arts Education program, contact JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING . www.nutcracker.com/support/history.
Recovery Acres Society
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Cynthia Gregory Tour
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Cynthia Gregory Tour 2
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